EXCLUSIVE: Brightline on track to bring passengers to Orlando 2023

ORLANDO, Fla. — Brightline President Patrick Goddard met exclusively with Channel 9 traffic anchor Alexa Lorenzo to preview what’s ahead for the rapidly growing rail line.


Goddard oversees the new high-speed rail system that will connect central and south Florida.

Our journey started in West Palm Beach.

Photos: An inside look at Brightline

The station is outfitted with guest services and self-service counters before you make your way to security in seconds.

Shoes on, phone in pocket, no problem. Then, it’s train time.

It’s spacious and clean, featuring high-speed internet and outlets.

Watch: Central Florida Spotlight: Brightline

Goddard shared the latest details on Brightline, including safety, hospitality and ridership figures.

He also confirmed that the construction to connect Brightline trains to Orlando is around 85% complete.

There was hope that construction would be wrapped up by the end of this year, but it is now set to be finished by early 2023.

“Going to Orlando is a game changer,” Goddard said. “Because I think there is a much bigger market for that larger distance.”

After three years of service through West Palm, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Brightline is now adding inline stations in Boca Raton and Aventura.

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

When Goddard was asked about a potential Brightline stop in Brevard County, he said, “I think it’s conceivable to look at another stop or two between Palm Beach and Orlando.” Goddard added, “It’s starting to look like more of a destination more of a population hub than ever before.”

The route Channel 9 took stopped in Miami.

The Miami Central station connects with commuter rail, which is the hope with SunRail in Orlando.

“This is one of the largest transit areas of the world,” said George Edwards, Brightline’s vice president of guest experience.

Brightine’s Miami station is big and beautiful, but Orlando’s station is going to be even bigger.

The station will feature Brightline’s signature Mary and Mary Bar, the Autonomous Market and the premium lounge. And outside the stations, you’ll find Teslas and shuttles.

“We are going to get you out to those final destinations,” Edwards said.

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

That’s Brightline Plus, which will also be featured in Orlando with shuttles, vans and limos to popular areas across Central Florida.

So, when exactly in 2023 will the Orlando station open?

Goddard said as soon as Brightline can complete construction, more will be unveiled next spring.

Channel 9 will dive deeper into safety on the tracks and what needs to happen to expand Brightline even more across Central Florida, in our second report that will air Thursday.

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