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Credit: (Left) Disney / (Right) Brightline

Brightline to Orlando Takes Big Step Forward

In 2018, it was announced that Florida’s Brightline Train — which took riders between West Palm Beach and Miami — would be extending and take riders all the way to Orlando. The new route would include stops at Orlando International Airport and potentially Disney Springs, and would also be a fantastic option for those visitors flying into Miami International and Fort Lauderdale International for their Walt Disney World vacation. The expansion is also great news for residents who live in South Florida and who do not want to drive the more than four hours it can take to get to the Most Magical Place on Earth.

Credit: Associated Press

The Brightline construction has been seemingly slow-going, with a long pause happening in the summer of 2021 as the groups in charge struggled to come to an agreement on the exact route that the Brightline would take. However, an agreement was finally reached, and construction has resumed. Now we have another major update on the work being done. According to WESH — a local Florida news station –, on Tuesday, January 18, the Brightline will begin doing test runs from West Palm Beach to Cocoa, which is less than 50 miles from Orlando.

Credit: Brightline

Here’s more information on the test from WESH:

The trains will not be carrying passengers and won’t go faster than 60 mph, the company said.

This step allows drivers to become familiar with the 130 miles along the corridor with a manager who is already familiar with the area for “oversight and instruction.”

“Brightline is beginning the new year with a critical step toward the completion of its intercity rail system connecting Miami and Orlando,” the company said in a news release.

There are 156 railroad crossings that have been upgraded during the construction process, Brightline said. This entails at least half of the crossings in the section, with more crossings to be upgraded throughout 2022.

Credit: Virgin Trains USA

According to Brightline, construction on the route to Orlando is about 70% complete at this time. If all goes according to plan, the Brightline will have a Disney stop up and operational sometime in 2026. This will be a nice alternative for families who do not want to worry about renting a car or traveling on the Mears bus that operates out of Orlando International Airport.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!