The first train to pull into the new Orlando station, Bright Pink, is greeted by a crowd. [Photo by Brightline]
Brightline began service from West Palm Beach to Orlando on Sept. 22. The first train, Bright Pink, pulled into the Orlando station at 11:05 a.m. with over 500 people in attendance.
The privately owned rail line has carried passengers from Miami to West Palm Beach since 2018 and two new stations at the end of 2022, Aventura and Boca Raton.
Introducing service to Orlando International Airport marks an important moment for the line. It’s the first rail connection between South Florida and Central Florida since Henry Flagler built the Florida East Coast Railway in the late 1800s.
Construction on the 170-mile rail line from West Palm Beach to Orlando began in 2019 and cost an estimated $6 billion. Now Brightline can travel 235 miles from Miami to Orlando in 3 to 3½ hours, depending on stops.
“Brightline’s Orlando station sets a new benchmark for transportation between two of Florida’s busiest regions, with a seamless, convenient experience that caters to today’s modern traveler,” Brightline President Patrick Goddard says. “It’s comfortable and unique, and we are looking forward to welcoming guests onboard.”
The 170-mile route from West Palm Beach to Orlando includes a 35-mile corridor with no road crossings where trains will run up to 125 mph, a steep increase from the 79-mph limit through densely populated South Florida.
The new Brightline Orlando station covers 37,350 square feet adjacent to Terminal C at the Orlando airport. The station is connected to Parking Garage C, which has over 350 parking spaces reserved for Brightline customers.
Entrance to the Brightline Station in Orlando. [Photo by Brightline]
“Today’s grand opening of Brightline’s new Orlando station shows that Florida was right to embrace private rail partners and is great news for Florida families, businesses and the over 100 million tourists who visit our state each year,” Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said at the grand opening.
Brightline is offering one-way Smart fares starting at $79 for adults and $39 for children. Smart fares include the standard Starlink Wi-Fi and an array of power and USB outlets, with food and drinks available for purchase. Premium fares start at $149 and include the premium lounge, priority boarding, checked luggage, and complimentary food and drink.
Brightline is starting a student discount program that offers 25% off Smart fares for passengers who sign up with student email addresses.
Brightline’s expansion to Orlando enables the rail line to connect much of Florida, with five stops in the South Florida tri-county area: Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.