Virgin Rail (formerly Brightline) announced to investors last week that a new station at PortMiami is in the works.
Negotiations with the county have been ongoing for some time.
Earlier this year, county commissioners voted to prepare a study open negotiations with Virgin for rail service to the port, after Virgin expressed an interest in opening a station there. The study is due next month.
Rail infrastructure to the port already exists and is owned by Virgin’s parent company, including a bascule bridge with rail tracks. Cargo trains can be seen occasionally using the tracks, which run past American Airlines Arena. The tracks connect to those used for Virgin’s passenger service a short distance away.
Virgin’s main terminus station at MiamiCentral is about 1.5 miles away from the port. However, PortMiami’s Dodge Island location totals a massive 520 acres, so a single new station there may be insufficient.
A connection to PortMiami from Miami International Airport could also be offered through Virgin’s new service, according to the county resolution. Passengers could connect via Metrorail or TriRail at MiamiCentral with just one stop to or from the airport (TriRail may require two).
In addition to cruise passengers, Virgin’s new train service may attract port employees and port tenant employees, the county resolution states. Royal Caribbean alone has announced plans for over 4,000 employees at their new global headquarters at the port.