Brightline focused on safety while working to connect Orlando to South Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — Brightline says passengers will finally be able to get on a train at Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C and ride it all the way to Miami in 2023.


Channel 9 got an inside look at Brightline and spoke with officials about how it plans to keep everyone safe.

Brightline is testing its trains at top speed in Martin and St. Lucie counties.

“That’s the first time a train has ever run that fast in the state of Florida,” said Brightline president Patrick Goddard. “To be where we are today, is nothing short of herculean.”

High-speed runs are now underway in Brevard County, with trains moving up to 79 mph before ramping up to 110. This is a big step toward connecting Miami and Orlando.

Watch: EXCLUSIVE: Brightline on track to bring passengers to Orlando 2023

“We can see the finish line here. So, we’re going full speed ahead,” Goddard said.

Brightline is stressing safety, working with law enforcement, adding new equipment and even deploying its own safety team to keep people off the tracks.

“What we have experienced is people taking their lives into their own hands, just to save themselves 30 seconds,” Goddard said.

However, when that train moves up the tracks west of Cocoa, into Orange County, Goddard said there is less opportunity for that.

Watch: ‘It’s phenomenal’: 1st Brightline train arrives at Orlando

“From Cocoa into Orlando, we’re running alongside the 528. There are no grade crossings, it’s all highway,” Goddard said. “That’s what allows us to travel at 125 miles an hour.”

Brightline’s trains will be tracked by crews at its operations center housed in the Miami station.

“We’ve got eyes everywhere and radios that allow us to hear what’s happening in the stations, what’s happening on the rail corridor, and we have cameras all throughout the property,” said Brightline vice president of operations, Michael Lefevre.

Crews monitor every aspect of travel on the tracks. And those trains could move even faster at 150 mph when they hightail it to Tampa and that’s all part of a bigger vision.

Watch: ‘Luxury travel at its finest’: Take a tour of Central Florida’s 1st Brightline train

“Ultimately, the goal will be to have this connectivity to SunRail, where people can get off a Brightline train and get on a SunRail train and get to where they need to get to,” Goddard said.

Tickets for a trip between Miami and Orlando will cost around $80 to $100 one way, and take about three hours.

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