Brightline launches intercity rail service to Orlando International Airport on September 22

19 days ago in "Brightline"

Brightline Orlando Station
Posted: Wednesday September 13, 2023 12:15pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Brightline announced today that service to Orlando International Airport will begin on September 22, 2023, connecting Orlando and South Florida (Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach) with inaugural rides available for booking at or by downloading the Brightline app on iOS and Android.

"Opening Orlando fulfills our ultimate business model. We have seen incredible enthusiasm from the business and tourism industries eager to travel between Central and South Florida," shared Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. "As we start service to Orlando for peak holiday seasons, I encourage everyone to check calendars, make plans, visit our website or app and reserve a seat now."

For a limited time, Brightline is offering one-way SMART fares starting at $79 for adults and $39 for kids. Groups of 4+ will automatically save an additional 25 percent on SMART fares. SMART service offers a comfortable business-class option onboard in hand-stitched leather seats, complimentary Starlink WiFi, multiple power and USB outlets and an array of food and beverages available for purchase.

One-way PREMIUM fares start at $149, a first class experience with added amenities including a dedicated PREMIUM lounge, priority boarding, checked luggage, and complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the journey.

Costing $5 billion to build, travel time along the 235 miles of track between Miami and Orlando takes around 3 hours, and travels at speeds up to 125mph. Brightline has 16 total train sets running system wide daily, serving 6 stations.

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Twirlnhurl9 hours ago

Do you think the ultimate build out of the I-4/SR-528 interchange will include the rail bridges? Unless they are built at the same time as the road bridges, I think the complexity issues will remain. Threading a new bridge both above and below active roadway bridges is not easy, and those bridge spans will be significant. But we are outside of my areas of expertise, so my opinions regarding construction cost and complexity are weakly held.

lazyboy97o18 hours ago

The state will be paying to modify the interchange. It is already set to be reconfigured as part of the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project and FDOT is still considering the rail corridor in its designs for that project. With the Sunshine Corridor now an active project it will hopefully insure that a corridor is fully considered and some of the existing conflicts are addressed. It’s the timelines that are going to be really hurt by this still being part of the public project. I’m not sure the shorter spans, especially if they follow the high speed rail plan and go along Taft Vineland Rd, is much of a benefit. All of the driveways and other obstacles would probably mean less modularity in the design.

Twirlnhurl2 days ago

I the US, maybe. In places with high quality rail systems, 15 minute headways would not justify subway construction. 15 minutes would be more like a high quality commuter level of service. The reason I think the segment between the Convention Center and the I-4 median will be significantly more expensive per mile than MCO and the Convention Center is this: East of the Convention Center, the line will likely be elevated most of the way, but nearly all the bridge spans will be short and none of them will be difficult to construct. West of the Convention Center, the transition into the rail corridor on the median of I-4 will require a bridge with very long spans or will require I-4 to be raised for a rail underpass. Either one would be built in the middle of the interchange between I-4 and the Bee Line (SR-528), meaning there would be significant vertical clearence issues necessitating more expensive construction techniques, not to mention the costs of mitigating the impact of construction to the operation of those expressways. I believe the ~1 mile stretch between the convention center and MCO may be the single most complicated segment of the entire Brightline network.

JoeCamel2 days ago

If they connect SunRail to the airport and you want to ride be sure your plane lands by 5pm....

lazyboy97o2 days ago

Yes, those funds could go towards other transit improvements and services, but it’s not the only resources Universal has committed to the project. The Sunshine Corridor is also somewhat distinct from Brightline’s expansion plans. Brightline is the fancy service, but getting SunRail expanded to the airport and convention center is likely their bigger focus. SunRail is significantly cheaper than Brightline and would connect not just to the airport but the rest of the line. Based on the old Florida High Speed Rail plans, most of the Sunshine Corridor will probably have to be elevated. I don’t think that last little bit over to I-4 is going to represent a uniquely large portion of the costs.

TiggerDad2 days ago

15 minute intervals seem more akin to a subway than heavy rail.

Disone2 days ago

Sure but there's other things they can do with that special district than the train station. If you follow the money their money has always gone to the opposition of high speed rail project connecting Orlando to Tampa via Disney. They've canceled the Orlando the Tampa train so many times I've lost count.

Twirlnhurl2 days ago

That's true, but if the train never comes, that funding can lead to other transportation improvements in the area. And if the train does come, it will likely be in phases, so if the MCO to Convention Center segment gets built, there is no guarantee that a later phase to Disney or Tampa would ever be built. Sure, FDOT has secured the right-of-way, but that doesn't mean it will be cheap to build that segment. Based on the amount of bridging and the complexity of that segment, I wouldn't be surprised if Convention Center to Disney is an additional $500 million. Universal has a very real chance of getting a train while Disney's chances are significantly lower. I think the odds that a train opens from MCO to Convention Center by 2035 is around 15%, and the odds it makes it as far as the Disney area is probably more like 5%. I would love to be wrong.

TrainsOfDisney2 days ago

Yes. In my example it would be MCO to Disney property direct.

Rich Brownn2 days ago

Disney is only interested if Universal is bypassed

lazyboy97o2 days ago

Universal is seeking a special district to impose additional taxes on the South Campus so that they can provide funding to the endeavor and future service.

Disone2 days ago

IMO... That's exactly what universal studios is trying to do. They're not really interested in having the train come so much as they're just making sure it doesn't go direct from airport to Disney.

lazyboy97o2 days ago

I don’t understand how they got down to $1 billion. The whole reason Brightline didn’t want to go to the Convention Center is because it was going to cost about $2 billion, about double the FL 417 route that they preferred.

TrainsOfDisney2 days ago

This goes into very “blue sky” thinking - but ideally Disney would work with Brightline to create a direct to property train. It would operate from MCO to Disney property every half hour. Constantly. There would be 2 stops, one at Disney Springs, and 1 at Epcot. The line from Disney Springs to Epcot would double up for Disney transportation linking Epcot and Disney Springs as well.