Images: Brightline fully unveil new Orlando Station
Posted: 25 April 2023 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
Brightline has finally revealed its highly anticipated Orlando station at a ceremony with over 300 invited guests.
Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America, has unveiled its highly anticipated Brightline Orlando Station at Orlando International Airport (MCO). With Brightline’s signature yellow and spacious lounges, the station is the perfect backdrop for a new era of passenger rail that will connect two of the fastest growing regions in the state: Central and South Florida. Brightline also announced that Orlando ticket sales will launch in May for future dates, with one-way fares starting at $79 for SMART and $149 for PREMIUM. SMART fare bundles for families of four will be available for less than $199 one way.
More than 300 invited guests took part in the Brightline Orlando Station reveal, the latest milestone moment for Brightline and transportation in America. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Kevin Thibault joined Brightline CEO Mike Reininger, President Patrick Goddard and Brightline teammates to celebrate the historic occasion.
Brightline’s new station
The new station is meticulously designed and built through the lens of today’s modern traveller. The 37,350 square foot station is located in Orlando International Airport’s new 80,000 sq. ft. Train Station facility adjacent to Terminal C. The Train Station connects directly to the airport’s Parking Garage C, which will have more than 350 parking spaces branded for Brightline guests. The Train Station provides direct access to the other airport terminals A and B via the airport Terminal Link (automated people mover) in under five minutes. Transportation and mobility options at the Orlando Station include Brightline’s first and last-mile service, Brightline+, which will cater to the unique needs of the Orlando visitor.
The guest journey begins at the main entrance, located off the airport’s expansive two-story glass atrium. Once inside the station, passengers can purchase tickets from guest services or one of several self-service kiosks, and check luggage before proceeding through touchless turnstiles into the security screening tunnel.
Once through the security tunnel, guests are greeted by an expansive two-story station space, featuring world-class amenities Brightline is known for, such as the Mary Mary Bar, serving hand-crafted cocktails and light bites. The signature sit-down bar is positioned at the far end of the station with a stunning panoramic view overlooking the train platforms where guests can leisurely watch as trains arrive and depart. Above the Mary Mary bar is an iconic, split-flap message board that can rotate alphanumeric text and/or graphics to form a message. A nostalgic nod to historic train stations, the split-flap will provide updated train schedules, boarding times, news of the day and other announcements complete with sounds reminiscent of the first passenger train stations in America. MRKT PLACE is a retail experience with convenient in-station shopping for last-minute gifts, sundries and refreshments.
Brightline offers two classes of service, SMART and PREMIUM. Brightline’s PREMIUM service includes complimentary meals, snacks and beverages, a dedicated first class lounge, free checked luggage, priority boarding and a dedicated coach. Throughout the station, all guests will have access to free high-speed Wi-Fi, charging stations at every seat, 87 big screen televisions and a BrightKids children’s play area located in the SMART lounge. Passengers will access trains by escalator or elevator to first level platforms. These platforms are 1,000 feet long and can accommodate a train with up to 10 coaches and two locomotives.
Brightline’s Orlando expansion is an essential piece of the boldest, private infrastructure project in the nation, connecting millions of riders between Central and South Florida. Service will begin in Summer 2023 and will include 16 daily round trips with hourly departures between Miami and Orlando. Brightline’s non-stop trains have a run time between Miami and Orlando of two hours and 59 minutes. Regular service from Orlando to Miami will stop at all Brightline stations including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Aventura with a run time of three hours and 30 minutes.
“This milestone is the last piece of transformative infrastructure that is now complete as we ready ourselves for the start of the service we have been building for a decade,” Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline, said. “This station will be a gateway for visitors and travellers throughout Florida, but beyond that, it is indicative of how we set out to transform travel in a way that has not been done in more than a century. We are proud to start this journey in Florida and rejuvenated in our belief that the time is now to accomplish this in other parts of the country.”
“Brightline’s Orlando Station sets a new benchmark for travel that establishes a seamless, convenient and comfortable experience built for today’s modern traveller,” Patrick Goddard, President of Brightline, said. “The station is packed with amenities for future guests and has an encompassing sense of arrival from the moment you enter. We’ve curated an experience well beyond time-savings and we can’t wait to welcome guests onboard.”
“The Federal Railroad Administration is committed to growing a safer, cleaner, more equitable rail system,” Amit Bose, FRA Administrator, said. “We know investments in passenger rail mean more efficient travel for riders, more economic development in towns and cities, less congestion on our roads, and less pollution in our air. The City of Orlando and surrounding communities will benefit from the new travel options and opportunities that come with this new rail station, and we applaud this investment in passenger rail.”
“When Brightline begins its comfortable rail passenger service at Orlando International Airport, it will improve mobility between two of the state’s bustling regions and Orlando International will be the only airport in the nation with an intercity high-speed passenger rail station,” Kevin Thibault, CEO of Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said. “Passengers who arrive or depart from Orlando International will have another option to connect to and from South Florida, bringing to fruition a multimodal vision first embraced in the airport’s original design criteria decades ago. We’re excited to be partners with Brightline for this transformative moment in transportation.”
Brightline, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
Amit Bose, Buddy Dyer, Jerry Demings, Kevin Thibault, Mike Reininger, Patrick Goddard