PRIVATE inter-city operator Brightline has announced it will delay the launch of services between south Florida and Orlando as it continues with the final stages of certification on the line.

Construction of the 273.5km extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando was completed in June, and services were due to begin on September 1.

However, in an email to passengers who had booked tickets on the inaugural service, Brightline said that the trip had been cancelled with the original ticket purchase refunded. Passengers would also be gifted premium credits for future use, and were offered discounts on rental cars instead.

Brightline is continuing high-speed testing through Brevard County, with a train running at 177km/h in the county for the first time on August 7. Testing was due continue in Brevard County until August 9, after which Brightline would continue qualifying train crews on the new corridor.

“We’re working through the final stages of certification and crew testing, but it’s apparent that we won’t hit our opening weekend as planned,” Brightline says. “Knowing it’s a holiday weekend, we want to give guests as much time as possible to adjust their travel plans. We have already started engaging them and will refund their tickets and provide a premium credit ‘on us.’ We hope they will rebook and enjoy the inaugural Brightline experience.

“We look forward to announcing an official date as soon as possible.”

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