Let's go! — Local-government officials wield shovels to "break ground" May 22 on construction of the DeLand SunRail station, and the extension of the commuter-rail system from DeBary to DeLand.

A crowd gathered this morning at the DeLand Amtrak Station to celebrate the extension of the SunRail commuter train system to DeLand, and to “break ground” on construction of the DeLand station.

The heat was grueling by the time of the 10 a.m. ceremony, and a mound of ground had to be imported to accommodate the groundbreaking, but none of that dampened local officials’ enthusiasm for the beginnings of the long-awaited project.

“Adding these 12.2 miles of track and a new station to the SunRail system will provide a new way for DeLand residents to commute to work and school, and attract scores of Central Floridians to explore the shops, restaurants, arts, education, and attractions that make DeLand so special,” Florida Department of Transportation District 5 Secretary John Tyler said.

The new station will be built adjacent to the Amtrak Station at 2491 Old New York Ave.

SunRail service to and from DeLand is expected to begin in the summer of 2024.

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Born in Virginia, Al spent his youth in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, and first moved to DeLand in 1969. He graduated from Stetson University in 1971, and returned to West Volusia in 1985. Al began working for The Beacon as a stringer in 1999, contributing articles on county and municipal government and, when he left his job as the one-man news department at Radio Station WXVQ, began working at The Beacon full time.


  1. It was a nice event and SunRail had a very good showing of support. I also had the honor and pleasure of sitting with Al Everson on the way back to DeBary from DeLand on the SunRail train. What a amazing man and a icon. I sure hope he completes his book, I am sure he has many fascinating stories to tell. The Beacon has a true DeLand treasure in Al Everson.


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