Lonely Planet Writer

New express rail line to connect Miami and Orlando in three hours

If you’re heading to Florida, you may want to hop aboard a new rail line that will ultimately connect its top tourist hubs. Brightline, the state’s new hospitality-focused express passenger rail service, has just launched its introductory service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The company expects to become fully operational and extend service into downtown Miami in the coming months, with a future service to Orlando.

A new rail line will connect Miami and Orlando. Image: Brightline

The service currently features ten daily round-trips during the weekdays and nine on the weekends, to provide guests with an opportunity to travel between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in about 35 minutes. While the downtown Miami station is still under construction, Brightline is expected to expand operations to there by spring or summer.

It is hoped that the connection to Downtown Miami will begin in the spring or summer of 2018. Image: pisaphotography/Shutterstock

Construction on Phase 2, connecting to Orlando International Airport, will begin later this year and officials believe trains could start making the 235-mile journey to Orlando by 2021. It is expected that it will take three hours to travel between Miami and Orlando on trains going at a speed of up to 125mph.

“We are thrilled to have South Florida preview Brightline with the launch of the introductory service,” said Patrick Goddard, president and CEO of Brightline, the only privately-owned and operated passenger rail system in the US. “We believe the comfort and convenience of our travel experience paired with premium hospitality will set a new standard for passenger rail service. Our team will continue to ramp up operations as we prepare to fully launch this transformative new infrastructure asset for South Florida.”

Night view of Riverwalk promenade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Image: TasfotoNL/Shutterstock

To view Brightline’s full schedule and purchase tickets, please visit here.