Tampa Bay Moves Forward With High-Speed Rail Plans

The Brightline will connect Orlando to Tampa and reach speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.

March 17, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Virgin Trains USA

Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock

Tampa Bay's Brightline train continues its expansion with plans to reach Ybor City in 2028, reports Veronica Brezina. "The envisioned Orlando-to-Tampa route was planned years ago, but the timeline continued to be pushed down the road. However, 2028 is the latest anticipated date for a Tampa station, and documents filed with the TPO confirmed the station would be in Ybor, although an exact address was not listed."

According to Brezina's article, "Brightline is currently finishing its West Palm Beach-to-Orlando route connection, which is 73% complete." When complete, "Brightline’s trains would travel from the Orlando airport using an Orlando Utilities Commission rail spur and existing SunRail tracks to then travel on State Road 417 to the Disney World area, where Brightline plans to have a station."

Christine Kefauver, senior vice president of corporate development at Brightline, "noted how the Ybor City station would have offerings such as bike or scooter parking and sharing areas" to support first and last mile connectivity.

"Brightline expects the Orlando-to-South Florida trains to reach a speed of 125 miles per hour between the two metros during the three-hour-long trip," with speeds of up to 150 miles per hour between Orlando and Tampa. "Previous public records showed Brightline’s rail system from Orlando to Tampa would create thousands of jobs and $787 million in federal, state and local tax revenue over the first 10 years."

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