Brightline Completes Construction Work On First Orlando Zone, Finalizes Tampa Negotiations

Brightline’s Miami to Orlando train service is one step closer to completion, while service to Tampa is also moving forward.

The company announced last week that it has completed construction of one of four zones needed to start service between Miami and Orlando.

Brightline also told investors last week that it has now completed negotiations with the Florida Department of Transportation for right-of-way access to build an extension to Tampa, and expects to execute a final agreement with the agency in early 2022.

Brightline has divided the construction project that will connect Miami to Orlando into four zones.

Zone 2, which reached completion in October (but was only announced as complete last week), is just 3.5 miles leading into Orlando International Airport, but said to be one of the most complex and challenging areas for construction in the entire project.

The company is also now finishing the buildout of a station and maintenance facility at Orlando’s airport.

Overall, the Miami to Orlando line remains on track for construction completion in late 2022, with the first paying passengers able to board trains between Miami and Orlando in early 2023 following testing.

Testing is already underway with trains now running daily to Cocoa, which is about 40 miles from the Orlando Airport. Trains will run at 110 miles per hour in that segment.

The remaining 40 mile-stretch between Cocoa and Orlando Airport will see trains run at 125 miles per hour, but is still under construction and not in testing yet.

 

Photos of Brightline’s newly completed Zone 2 at the entrance to Orlando International Airport, and of the station and facilities inside the airport:

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MiamiArchi
2 months ago

This makes me so Happy
Sad (not surprising?) that it takes the private sector to create this amazing and superior product.
They are creating a fantastic, consistent product connecting Florida’s major cities.
They are creating the best train network outside the northeast. That’s a really big deal.
Meanwhile, Amtrak and Tri-rail are trying to figure out how to properly measure and provide their trains dimensions.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Capitalism, pretty hard to beat.

Anonymous
2 months ago

It’s more of a question of Social Democracy versus a Flawed Democracy. Ours is the latter and is run by the largest private corporations that can endlessly exploit lobbying loopholes In our government to prevent things like trains from ever being built so that they can force literally everyone to buy their cars, gasoline, etc. It’s the same reason we can’t get universal healthcare. Countries in Europe & all over the developed world have greater separation between their governments and the private sector and, because of that, are able to get these sorts of popular projects done without issue.

American Worker
2 months ago

I would love to agree with this narrative. I mostly subscribe to social democratic ideology. But Amtrak has often had very good budgets, and mostly squandered them. One of the problems is that they spread their budgets thin on dubiously viable projects in places that aren’t very densely populated and difficult to network. They should spend a much bigger chunk of their budget on improving and expanding service in clusters like the US Northeast with many large cities and a proven customer base.

Anonymous
2 months ago

If it weren’t for Rick Scott we wouldn’t need Brightline. We should’ve had high speed rail connecting the state by now. Not that I don’t appreciate Brightline, but he kept us from getting something even better

Anonymous
2 months ago

Had Rick Scott approved it way back then, we may have had the same rail Maimi to Tampa /St P as well as Orlando to Jacksonville, tying in all of the southern big cities.

Anonymous
2 months ago

The HSR proposal you speak of was on the books for decades because it was a pipe dream and never would have been built. Even if it did, it would have stopped miles away from population centers because it would have been built along freeways rather than using existing track along walkable neighborhoods built before autocentric planning.

DWNTWNR
2 months ago

Rick Scott had say no so he could invest in Brightline’s parent company, All Aboard Florida, first before greenlighting public bonds.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Most railroads around the world were built by the private sector. The U.K. and Japan might have nationalized much of their systems and did a lot of expansion and improvements, but are still paying worker dividends decades later. Meanwhile, America’s had to be bailed out in the early 1970s, with freight being privatized again and Amtrak continuing to be an embarrassment.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Keep going. How about Savannah?

Kitty W
2 months ago

How about no?

Anonymous
2 months ago

when the Florida cities are done, (st petersbury/Tampa, jacksonville) routes are complete. There may be a call for stretching outwards. Especially if Brightline owns the property.
However that means i the year 2050.

American Worker
2 months ago

is there still the possibility of a Dallas-Houston train? LA to LV?

Anonymous
2 months ago

Yes Miami to Orlando to Daytona Jacksonville and savannah

Anonymous
2 months ago

Let Georgia worry about Georgia.. this is in the state of Florida.

Steven Crosmer
2 months ago

Instead of Savannah, why not Tallahassee?

Anonymous
2 months ago

Now build a billion dollar resort destination casino in proximity to Miami’s Brightline station and let Miami win!

American Worker
2 months ago

even Las Vegas casinos make most of their money servicing local gambling addicts rather than travelers. I think we should be wary of enlarging vices, especially with so many growing opportunities for capital-intensive growth relevant to FL

Anonymous
2 months ago

Great news for Miami and Florida

Anonymous
2 months ago

South Florida Winning!

Anonymous
2 months ago

I’ll preface my comment by saying I’m happy this route is being completed, but…
a disappointing thing about the route is that it’s supposed to take the same amount of time to take the train as it would to drive from South Florida, at least what they’ve quoted. Hopefully it’ll be faster than that.
So you’ll have the cost of tickets there and back, then have to pay for transportation in Orlando on top of that. I guess the cost would be partially offset by not paying for gas, but I question how convenient it’ll be, aside from relaxing during the 3+ hours instead of driving.

Not Anonymous
2 months ago

It is convenient for tourists. Brightline is vay less expensive that renting a car.

Not Anonymous
2 months ago

*way

Anonymous
2 months ago

they still have to rent a car when they get to orlando

Anonymous
2 months ago

But when you take the train to Orlando and back, you don’t have to worry about things like tires, brakes, breakdowns on the freeway, bathroom breaks, constantly watching out for other drivers and the road, leg stretching, getting tired of driving, etc, etc, etc…

Anonymous
2 months ago

Completely different. Inner-city driving vs. highway driving when you are a tourist is completely different. I for one am not flying to a destination just to drive along the highway there for 3.5hrs.

Melo is sigma and Chad
2 months ago

I wonder where the Tampa station will be at.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Tampa Airport and Lakeland from what I recall. Likely more to be added.

Steven Crosmer
2 months ago

Lakeland could easily be built in the middle of I-4 in the middle of the interchange at exit 32 with US-98. No homes would be lost, the mitigations for sound barriers are already there, and there is plenty of room to build the station in the middle of I-4, just east of US-98. There is plenty of parking , motels, restaurants, gas stations, and places to go shopping at Lakeland Square. Publix Marchant Stadium is close by and it will be an asset for baseball fans to watch Detroit Tigers play during spring training. Historic Ybor City deserves to have a station stop regardless of whether or not the Rays stay in Tampa Bay or not, and it will be invaluable stop to serve the Florida State Fairgrounds close by as well.

Anonymous
2 months ago

The rumor is it will be in Ybor close to old Union Station (and possibly the Rays station).. The other option is near Channelside and Water St.

Anonymous
2 months ago

It should be Union Station. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If it isn’t, hopefully its architecture is more like Orlando’s instead of the hideous neo-Brutalist cookie cutter designs used for South Florida.

Anonymous
2 months ago

It makes more sense to be near TPA for tourism purposes. Plus there is more more room there to build. Although getting tracks to the airport could be tricky.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Behind the preposition AT. That was taught in 4th-grade grammar class – Never end a sentence with a preposition.

try ” I wonder where the Tampa station will be?” … and now your grammar !!

Anonymous
2 months ago

lol…

T G
2 months ago

can’t wait for disney springs station.

Universal Studios
2 months ago

*Universal Studios has entered the chat*

Living off A1A
2 months ago

It would be great… albeit not really as a viable route… but as a former NBCU/Univ-Creative member… I was waiting on this for years… now back in SoFL… took too long, thx to the Treasure Coast Crap!

Anonymous
2 months ago

Disney and Universal should not get Brightline stations. There should be a light rail connection going from the airport to both Universal and Disney but “higher speed” trains can not stop at every village along a route, it defeats the purpose of inter-city express rail.

Anonymous
2 months ago

The path from Orlando to Tampa will go through Disney Springs, so it makes sense to give them a stop. Though maybe a free transfer to a local train that stops at every stop would make sense. Kinda like how Brightline is gonna run the commuter rail in Dade and Broward but the main trains will only stop at Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Boca before going to Orlando (plus the Treasure Coast station whenever that gets built)

Brooklyn
2 months ago

It’s unfortunate that from Miami, we’d have to go through Orlando to go back south and east to Tampa. Would be much cleaner than going directly from the South (with stops in Naples, St. Pete, etc.)

I’m actually warming up to the general price structure of Brightline. It doesn’t feel as egregious as I once thought. Intra city trains in Italy are comparable in price.

Anonymous
2 months ago

I think you mean south and west, not east. And if truth be known, more west than south. A higher-speed rail connection between Orlando and Tampa makes total sense. That whole I-4 corridor is already growing into one enormous linear megalopolis.There is also no reason why a line from Tampa south to Naples and then back east to Miami cannot be added down the road, along with another line extension northward from Cocoa to Jacksonville, eventually.