ORLANDO, Fla. – One of the most common family vacations hundreds of thousands of South Floridians embark on each year is an annual trip to Orlando. Although it’s a great option for those looking for a good, old-fashioned road trip, there’s something particularly stressful about an over three-hour-long car ride with a six-year-old yelling on their iPad, a three-year-old crying, and a spouse looking for the nearest rest stop.
Alas, those days may be gone for good — The Brightline from Miami to Orlando is almost here.
The modern, eco-friendly high-speed rail has officially passed the halfway mark for construction on its extension to Orlando.
The progress on Brightline’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility and 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Aiport (OIA) represent the company’s $4.2 billion dollar private investment into the state of Florida.
“This is an exciting time for our community and the entire state of Florida,” says Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Brightline is fulfilling a longtime vision to bring high-speed rail to Central Florida and providing additional transportation options for our residents and our visitors. I look forward to boarding the first Brightline train to Miami from their station at Orlando International Airport.”
Brightline has over 1,000 construction workers on multiple sites for the 170-mile project. In total, Brightline’s high-speed rail network will create over 10,000 jobs and over $6.4 billion in economic impact over an eight-year period, according to the company.
Once the rail is complete, the corridor will connect South and Central Florida (a total of 235 miles), making it one of the country’s largest and most significant privately financed infrastructure projects ever created.
The project is expected to be completed by late 2022.
“Today, Brightline is halfway home to Orlando as we progress toward completion of one of the nation’s largest and most significant transportation projects,” says Brightline’s CEO Mike Reininger. “This is just one major milestone of Brightline’s progress and investment of more than $4 billion dollars which serves as a powerful example to those across the country who are calling for the creation of a national high-speed rail network.”
Brightline currently has operations and stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. The company currently has plans for additional stations in Boca Raton and Aventura, and discussions are underway with local stakeholders regarding expansion to Disney and Tampa.