Brightline Orlando event

USA: Private sector inter-city operator Brightline has formally marked the completion of construction work on its northern extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando, where passenger services are expected to launch this summer.

Construction of the Orlando extension began in June 2019, one year after Brightline began operations between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

The project was divided into four zones:

Zone 1

  • the Basecamp maintenance depot south of Orlando International Airport;
  • the Brightline Orlando station in Orlando International Airport.

Zone 2

  • a 6 km section of line at Orlando International Airport which Brightline said ‘represents one of the most complex and challenging areas of construction for the entire project’, passing under taxiways and over tug roads requiring six bridges and two underpasses.

Zone 3

  •  56 km of new alignment following the Beachline Expressway/SR 528 corridor between Orlando International Airport and Cocoa.

Zone 4

  • upgrading and double-tracking 208 km of the existing Florida East Coast Railway between Cocoa and West Palm Beach from Class IV to VI standards allowing operation at up to 177 km/h. Installation of the second track required realigning 90 km of the existing track and the construction of 160 km of new Class VI track within the existing right of way, as well as the rehabilitation of 45 km of existing passing sidings;
  • improvements to 156 level crossings;
  • replacement of 19 bridges, including the moveable St Lucie and Loxahatchee river bridges.

‘Completing this project is the culmination of more than a decade of dedication, determination and hard work’, CEO Mike Reininger told guests attending the commemorative event at the Orlando International Airport station on June 21.