BRIGHTLINE held a ground breaking ceremony at the site of its $US 56.2m Boca Raton station in Florida on January 25, as work continues on the 273.6km extension to Orlando International Airport, which is due to open in early 2023.

Kaufman Lynn Construction is constructing the station and when operational, it will be Brightline’s fifth in Florida, joining Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and, later this year, Aventura.

The 38,000m2 station is located on a 1.8-acre site, and will feature touchless turnstiles, high-speed Wi-Fi and a cashless environment. Brightline says the station is expected to be complete in the autumn. Construction of the car park began in December.  

Last year, Brightline was awarded a $US 16.3m Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) Grant from the Federal Railroad Association (FRA) to fund a portion of the station building construction, parking and associated rail infrastructure. Additionally, the city of Boca Raton agreed a $US 9.9m investment towards the parking facilities, with Brightline providing the remaining $US 30m towards the project.

Brightline says more than 480 jobs will be created during construction, contributing more than $US 23m in wages. The operator claims the expanded service will offer access to an additional 89,000 office jobs within “average commuter times.”

Testing on a 209km section of line between West Palm Beach and Cocoa, part of the new line to Orlando, began on January 18.

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An interview with Brightline was published in the November 2021 edition of IRJ, and is available for digital subscribers here.