First Look: Brightline Rolls Into Orlando StationWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Brightline, Florida’s private-sector passenger railroad, is another step closer to extending its 67-mile Miami-to-West Palm Beach line north to Orlando.
On May 17, the first train arrived for testing at the Orlando International Airport (OIA) station, part of the new Intermodal Terminal Facility. Brightline reported that its $2.7 billion, 170-mile extension to Orlando (see map below) is nearly 80% complete; construction is expected to wrap up at the end of the year, with service starting in early 2023. (Daily crew training and qualifying test runs between West Palm Beach and Cocoa began in January.)
After testing was done, the train returned to Brightline’s vehicle maintenance facility located south of the airport.
Watch the video of the train’s arrival in Orlando via this link or download the video below.
“For the past four years, the goal has been, ‘Let’s get a train to the Orlando station,’ and seeing it here, it almost, it doesn’t seem real,” Project Engineer Jerome Hall (pictured, left) said on May 17.
Brightline ordered five new trainsets from Siemens Mobility to help serve the extension. The first was delivered from the manufacturer’s plant in Sacramento, Calif., in October 2021. Each trainset comprises four coaches and two Charger diesel-electric locomotives (one at each end). All are scheduled to be delivered by this summer.
In related developments, earlier this year the railroad held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new station in Boca Raton, to be located along its initial, 67-mile line, which launched in 2018. It is slated for completion this fall.
Further Reading: “Brightline: Progress, Potential, a Whole New Market?” by Railway Age Contributing Editor David Peter Alan.