Brightline unveils new $100M facility in Orlando

Basecamp located near Orlando International Airport

ORLANDO, Fla. – Brightline on Monday unveiled its new state-of-the-art train maintenance facility ahead of the high-speed rail service debuting in Central Florida this year.

The 135,805-square-foot facility, called Basecamp, is the length of two football fields and sits on 62 acres south of Orlando International Airport.

Basecamp will service the new Brightline trains and is currently servicing existing trains. It will have the space to service up to 16 trains at one time.

Here’s what else the facility will have:

  • A truck shop to disassemble, clean and rebuild coach and locomotive trucks for additional use.
  • A 25-foot-deep drop table that can operate between the heavy maintenance track and the truck shop and swap out trucks quickly to get trains back into service.
  • An 11,000 square-foot parts shop.
  • A wheel true facility to cut wheels back to their original profile “allowing for maximum ride quality and performance.”
  • An 80,000 gallon biodiesel fuel farm.
  • A train wash facility.

Brightline is a privately run intercity rail line, and the new Orlando station will be in the heart of the airport’s newest terminal, Terminal C. The station will connect stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to Orlando.

The two train platforms will be 1,000 feet and can accommodate a train four cars long with two locomotives to take people from Orlando to Miami in three hours.

Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline, said service will start once all testing is completed on all components of the rail system.

“It’s a testing protocol so if something doesn’t go well with the test and it needs to be repeated then it takes longer, which is why we don’t want to communicate a specific date at this point,” Goddard said.

Goddard was asked if Brightline is still on track to start shuttling passengers to South Florida by the end of the second quarter of 2023, end of July, and said he thinks “that’s the right time frame.”

“But it’s very difficult to predict,” Goddard said. “And we also don’t want to put any sort of pressure on the process as it relates to ensuring the infrastructure and equipment and engineers are 100% ready to operate this thing safely. So the actual verification... it’s going to take as long as it needs to take.”

Brightline also reached a milestone earlier this month, making it the fastest train in Florida.

The train reached 130 mph during a test along a 35-mile stretch between Orlando International Airport and Cocoa, near State Road 528. While the train won’t travel at 130 mph when regular service begins in Orlando, Brightline said it is required to test faster. The train will hit maximum speeds of 125 mph.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.