The sunshine state is picking up more speed of late—in the form of Brightline, the intercity higher-speed rail system that began operations earlier this year between Miami and West Palm Beach, with a single intermediate stop at Fort Lauderdale. Orlando is the next scheduled destination for 2021 as the service expands in the coming years with a West Palm Beach–Orlando segment, via Cocoa.
Developed and operated by All Aboard Florida, part of Florida East Coast Industries, Brightline—and its diesel-electric locomotive-hauled trains-—is the only privately owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system in the United States. Positioning itself as the new benchmark for train travel in America, the company is thinking of travelers’ needs along the way. For the fall-winter season, passengers can take advantage of the recently debuted “Buzzer Beater” service, which provides a later departure time from MiamiCentral so that Miami Heat basketball fans can stay until the end of the game. If basketball’s not your thing, hop aboard a “Tasting Train,” one of the monthly experiences hosted by Brightline that features premier food and beverage while traveling to MiamiCentral. Riders who recently disembarked from MiamiCentral enjoyed a stylish live-music reception along with a sampling of Guado al Tasso by Marchesi Antinori wines. What pairs well with fine Tuscan wine and food on a train? Incredible views of Biscayne Bay and the downtown Miami skyline as you’re pulling away, of course.