No plans for Brevard stop yet, Brightline high-speed train continues practice runs in Cocoa

New Brightline route is about 70 percent complete

COCOA, Fla. – High-speed passenger railroad service, Brightline, made another test run Thursday from West Palm Beach to Brevard County.

The onboard crew conducted the train all the way to Cocoa.

According to the company’s most recent timeline, Brightline expects to finish the $2.7 billion Orlando extension by the end of this year and start carrying passengers between Orlando and West Palm Beach in early 2023.

David Hernly watched the train cross Michigan Avenue and said he’d like to be the first passenger in 2023.

‘’I’m all excited about this train,’’ he said. ‘’Can’t wait to take a ride.’’

People who want to ride the train out of Brevard County will have to travel to catch a train because Brightline does not have a plan for building a stop here yet.

‘’It’s always been part of our strategic vision to have a station in the Space Coast and so we’re beginning those conversations, but right now our focus is getting to Orlando,’’ public affairs director Katie Mitzner said.

Mitzner said the route is about 70 percent complete.

The train Thursday made its first Central Florida appearance Tuesday, just crossing the Brevard County line before returning to south Florida from Micco.

Thursday’s practice run could be where a future station is built.

Supporters feel Cocoa’s central location in Brevard County makes it a great candidate.

‘’It sure would bring a lot of tourism to the town. You’ve got the port right here and why wouldn’t there be a stop here in Cocoa,’’ Hernly said.

Brightline said demand will ultimately be a large factor determining if a stop will be added.

‘’Space Coast, obviously, is an area that is booming once again and we certainly recognize that,’’ Mitzner said.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.