Traveling in Florida is About to Get Easier. Here’s Why
Brightline, the privately funded passenger rail service, will run between Miami and West Palm Beach this summer, eliminating the need to slog through car traffic.
Travel along Florida’s east coast is about to get easier with the debut this summer of the first Brightline trains. Initially, the service will operate roundtrip from Miami to West Palm Beach with a stop in Fort Lauderdale. In the future, trains will operate roundtrip from Miami to Orlando. Annually, 50 million people drive or fly between Miami and Orlando, including stopping in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, according to All Aboard Florida, the company building Brightline.Brightline is the only privately funded express passenger rail service in the U.S. Manufactured in Sacramento, Calif. by Siemens, the train’s components came from 40 U.S. suppliers in 20 states. Like Acela, the trains will operate between 79 and 125-mph. At those speeds, a train ride is estimated to take about three hours between Orlando and Miami, shaving about an hour from the typical drive time for the 235-mile trip. On the 65-mile route between Miami and West Palm Beach, the train ride will be an hour, or about 20 to 30-minutes less than driving, depending on traffic.
In addition to saving time, for many business people and vacationers, the train will be more relaxing than driving, especially since Brightline has constructed the trains to be passenger-friendly in new ways.
“Our trains are among the most innovative in the United States and the world, with every detail having been designed and built from the guest’s perspective, making it easy, convenient and comfortable to ride,” says Mike Reininger, president of Brightline. “We are looking forward to the launch of our new express, inter-city service this summer. South Florida is very close to experiencing the future of train travel, a new travel alternative as an option to private cars on crowded roads.”
Brightline Trains’ Passenger-Friendly Features
Accessible trains: Brightline, designed to be the first fully accessible train, uses automated, retractable platforms to create a flush service for passengers to cross from the platform to train. No more “mind the gap” worries or concerns about steps. This benefits not only people with mobility challenges but those pushing strollers or dragging luggage.
Wide aisles: At 32 inches wide, Brightline’s aisles, wider than on many other trains, provide ample space for wheelchairs and strollers.
Wi-Fi and power: Each Brightline train has multiple antennae designed to provide wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi is free. Each seat provides power outlets and USB connections.
Bicycles and small pets: Every train has a bicycle rack. Brightline allows small pets to ride in carriers that fit under the seat.
Efficient restrooms: Forget about wet floors from dripping hands and other bathroom messes. The bathroom’s Dyson faucet dispenses water and dries hands, making it easier for even the laziest of bathroom slugs to dry their hands. A hand wave above the toilet causes the touchless commode to flush and if a bathroom slob forgets, the toilet flushes automatically when the bathroom door opens.