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Brightline’s Orlando service delayed to Sept. 1

STORY BY GEORGE ANDREASSI (Week of May 25, 2023)

Brightline conducted 110 mile per hour test runs in northern Indian River County last week after announcing that the anticipated June 30 rollout of high-speed rail passenger service between Orlando and Miami would be delayed at least until Sept. 1.

Brightline started selling tickets on May 17 for the three-and-a-half-hour trip between Orlando and Miami with Friday, Sept. 1, being the first date available on the company’s website.

One-way tickets are selling for $79 and up for adults, according to a Brightline news release. Premium one-way fares cost $149 and up.

The Sept. 1 startup date is two months later than Brightline anticipated in its January 2023 Revenue and Ridership Report when the company predicted “commencement of operations” by June 30.

The daytime test runs at 110 mph ran across the new St. Sebastian River Railroad Bridge and through northern Indian River County between May 17 and May 19, the company said.

The $33 million replacement of the St. Sebastian River Railroad Bridge is expected to be completed in June, according to Brightline’s May 8 construction and testing advisory. Additional testing is expected in June and July.

Once service starts, Brightline’s high-speed passenger trains will pass through Indian River County 32 times per day – 16 in each direction – at speeds of up to 110 mph. Brightline’s online schedule indicates the first train from Orlando to Miami will depart at 5 a.m. and arrive in Miami at 8:30 a.m. The last train leaves Orlando at 8:50 p.m. and arrives in Miami at 12:20 a.m.