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The Miami-Dade County Commission has approved ratification of agreement for Brightline, soon to be renamed Virgin Trains USA, to build a station at PortMiami by 2020.
The Virgin Trains PortMiami station will be a U.S. transit first as the only intercity rail system in the U.S. to eventually connect an international airport (Orlando International Airport), directly to a major cruise port (PortMiami) by 2022.
Brightline currently operates trains from downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Phase 2 construction is underway to connect to Orlando in 2022. Due to demand along the South Florida corridor, an additional station in Aventura is approved and Virgin Trains is working with the city of Boca Raton to add a station later in 2020.
“This is a first-of-its-kind train to port station that will connect the cruise capital of the world with a car-free option for millions of cruisers looking to start their vacation a little earlier.” said Patrick Goddard, President of Virgin Trains. “This is a tremendous partnership and infrastructure investment between PortMiami, Miami Dade County and Brightline that will increase mobility, take cars off the road and provide our state’s visitors an easier way to get around.”
Last year PortMiami served more than 5.5 million travelers, more cruise passengers than any other port in the world. PortMiami is currently home to 22 cruise lines, and will welcome Virgin Voyages first ship, Scarlet Lady, in 2020.
Virgin Trains USA will eventually connect a vital 170-mile stretch extending from West Palm Beach to Orlando. The line is scheduled to open in 2022. After Orlando, the goal is expand west and north to Tampa and Jacksonville, respectively.
Launched in 2018, Brightline is backed by Fortress Investment Group LLC and it is the only privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail service in the United States. The Company recently announced that it will construct and operate a new express service connecting Las Vegas and Southern California.