Brightline Orlando: When train service begins to South Florida, when tickets go on sale

The construction of Brightline's train station in Orlando is finally complete. 

The Brightline Orlando Station was unveiled with plenty of fanfare as officials took the time to educate future passengers on how to navigate Florida's higher-speed rail system. 

First, park in the Terminal C lot at Orlando International Airport (MCO), they said.

"Come in through the south side, come in through [State Road] 417, cause that’s a seamless connection right here," Kevin Thibault, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said. 

If you need a ticket, you can buy it online ahead of time or purchase it at the station. After you get the ticket, you can check your luggage before going through security, and once ready for travel, the new station has everything you need as you wait for your ride.

"The PREMIUM Lounge, the bar, the retail area, the SMART lounge. Leather seats, WiFi, outlets –  it’s going to be a game changer," Brightline President Patrick Goddard said. 

The higher-speed rail goes to West Palm Beach and Miami. 

"Similar to a hotel, there’s going to be dynamic pricing on certain trains," Goddard said.

Passengers will have the option to select between SMART or PREMIUM classes, with $79 for the SMART class from Orlando to Miami, and $149 for PREMIUM class. 

In the SMART section, we discovered the seats are a little bit smaller than the PREMIUM section, but still very comfortable.

Goddard said the trip to Miami from Orlando is expected to take around 3 ½ hours on the rail. "Relax, take a nap, watch a movie," he said. 

"It was a happy moment for both of us," said Belinda Ortiz Kirkguard, who participated in a tour of the train on Thursday with her 7-year-old son, Christian, who happens to love Thomas the Train.  She said she couldn’t resist bringing him along. "I love the train and the station it’s so cool," Christian said.

Ortiz Kirkguard, who also serves on the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said the rail line isn't just for vacationers but will help also help boost business. "It’s individuals coming for meetings, doing business deals in a very convenient way, you don’t lose time," Kirkguard said. 

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Brightline officials unveiled the new Orlando Station and allowed guests to tour a train. 

Goddard said the first ride starts at 8:30 a.m. and the last ride, arrives back at midnight. So you can spend the day in South Florida, without paying for a hotel. But just a reminder, if you drive to Orlando International Airport, you will have to pay the regular parking rates to park your car. Goddard said 800 parking spots will be added in the future for Brightline.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he hopes to see the SunRail commuter train connect to Brightline in a couple of years as the city is currently in the process of applying for federal funding. 

"The next step is to bring SunRail to the airport and imagine that, being able to get on anywhere in the 61 miles and travel to the airport and then connect to Brightline and go to West Palm or Fort Lauderdale. That’s going to be great for any travel."

As the company prepares to begin rail service from the City Beautiful to South Florida, FOX 35 News is answering your commonly asked questions.

What is Brightline? When will Brightline begin service in Orlando?

Brightline is Florida's higher-speed passenger rail service. Earlier this year it made history as the fastest train in the Southeast, reaching speeds of 130 mph.

Brightline currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach. Brightline hopes to open the Orlando station before July of this year.  

What can guests expect on board a Brightline train?

When guests board a Brightline train, officials say they can expect spacious leather seats with plenty of legroom, access to complimentary, high-speed wifi, charging ports at every seat and multiple food and beverage stations onboard. Guests will also find a designated place for bikes and ample room throughout coaches for carry-on storage.

Where is the Brightline Orlando station located? What amenities does the Brightline Orlando station offer?

Brightline's modern, two-story Orlando space is located adjacent to Terminal C at the Orlando International Airport (MCO).

The Brightline Orlando Station is located at 10705 Jeff Fuqua Blvd. South, Orlando FL 32827.

The station will offer the following amenities:

  • Mary Mary Bar, which serves craft cocktails and small bites
  • MRKT PLACE, a retail shop offering gifts and refreshments
  • BrightKids, a children’s play area

Like its trains, the station also offers free WiFi and charging stations at every seat.

How much are Brightline train tickets? When can I purchase them?

Travelers can purchase train tickets for future dates between Orlando and South Florida starting in May. An official date has not been announced. 

The company offers two classes of service: SMART and PREMIUM. Brightline’s PREMIUM service will provide complimentary drinks and snacks in a dedicated lounge and train coach. 

One-way SMART fares will start at $79 and one-way PREMIUM fares will begin $149, according to Brightline's website.

How long will a Brightline train ride take from Orlando to Miami?

Travelers can expect to travel from Orlando to Miami on a nonstop Brightline train in two hours and 59 minutes, and from Orlando to West Palm Beach in two hours.

"Additional dedicated trains will continue to serve commuters and the South Florida region between Miami and West Palm Beach with early morning departures at 5:00 a.m. from West Palm Beach and late night departures until 12:45 a.m. out of Miami," according to a Brightline press release

What will be Brightline Orlando's train schedule between Central and South Florida?

The Orlando station will operate daily, offering 16 round trips from Central Florida to South Florida. 

During the weekdays, hourly southbound departures from Orlando to Miami will run from 5 a.m. until 8:50 p.m. The first southbound train from Orlando arrives in Miami at 8:30 a.m. Hourly northbound departures from Miami to Orlando will run from 6:50 a.m. until 9:45 p.m. The first northbound train from Miami will arrive in Orlando at 10:15 a.m. 

On the weekends, hourly southbound departures from Orlando to Miami will run the same as weekdays, with the first southbound train from Orlando also arriving in Miami at 8:30 a.m. The hourly northbound departures from Miami to Orlando on the weekends, will begin at 5:45 a.m. and run until 9:45 p.m. The first northbound train from Miami will arrive in Orlando at 9:15 a.m. 

Is the Orlando Brightline station hiring?

Brightline is looking to fill multiple full-time positions at its brand-new train station at the Orlando International Airport. 

The company is hiring for its operations, hospitality/guest services, and safety and security teams, according to its website.

See a list of open positions below:

  • Commissary Attendant
  • Commissary Supervisor
  • Hospitality Attendant
  • Guest Relations Supervisor
  • Security Officer (part-time or full-time)
  • Safety & Security Manager
  • Security Deputy Manager
  • Train Attendant
  • Onboard Lead
  • Bar Attendant
  • Guest Relations Agent
  • Baggage Attendant
  • Station Manager
  • Director, Baggage Operations
  • Senior Manager, Operations Analysis

To apply or learn more about each position, visit Brightline's career page by clicking here