Florida’s private passenger rail service, Brightline, has just become the fastest passenger train to ever operate in the Southeastern United States.
Opening a rail connection between Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami in the second quarter of 2023, Brightline trains are expected to hit speeds of 125 miles per hour on a 35-mile stretch of track between Orlando and Cocoa. But testing is all about finding the limits, and the company’s test train officially hit 130 miles per hour, setting a rail speed record for not just the State of Florida but for the entire Southeastern United States of America as well.
Click here for the full testing video.
“Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America is officially the fastest train in Florida and the Southeastern United States after reaching speeds of 130 mph,” the company stated in a press release. “By reaching 130 mph Brightline broke its previous record of 110 mph, which the company set last fall during testing through Martin and St. Lucie Counties in Florida’s Treasure Coast.”
“Florida has always been at the forefront of train travel since the days when Henry Flagler connected Jacksonville to the Keys,” said Jim Kovalsky, president, Florida East Coast Railway Society. “Back then, there were reports that trains ran at 100 mph, but no one ever dreamed of reaching 130 mph. Brightline dreamed big and did it. History has been made and Henry Flagler would be proud.”
There will be three speed zones along the full line between MCO and Miami Central Station in Brickell. Current passenger operations in the initial Southeast Corridor between Miami and West Palm Beach maintain a speed of 79 mph. Beyond that, the stretch between West Palm Beach and Cocoa will allow the trains to speed up to 110 mph, and then the east-west stretch between Cocoa and Orlando will allow 125 mph.
Brightline’s Orlando connection will be only the latest milestone in its plan to complete a high-speed passenger airline from Miami to Tampa, with additional stops planned around the Orange County Convention Center (near Universal Orlando Resort) and International Drive (near Walt Disney World).