Congressman Soto Announces Advancement of High Speed Rail Project


Congressman Darren Soto announced today that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has approved phase II of the All Aboard Florida (AAF)/Brightline project, a high-speed rail service that would run from Orlando to Miami, Florida’s largest business and tourism hubs.

The new terminal for Brighline’s trains is being constructed at the Orlando International Airport. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, trains will reach a speed of 110 mph between West Palm Beach and Cocoa, and up to 125 mph on the east-west route from Cocoa to Orlando International Airport. The traveling public will eventually be able to get from Miami to Orlando in 3 hours. The Brightline Express is the country’s first private high-speed rail service and the first privately funded high speed rail in the United States.

“I am ecstatic to see this project advance. We are one step closer to a historic high-speed rail service that would not only ease travel from Central to South Florida, but will also connect businesses and boost our tourism industry,” stated Rep. Soto. “As one of the fastest growing regions in the country, I am proud that Brightline has chosen to make Central Florida a model for cutting edge high-speed transportation technology.”



  1. I would like to point out a factual error in your article…..The All Aboard Florida Train is Not High Speed Rail.

    The All Aboard Florida Train is a belching diesel locomotive with a max speed of 110 mph using technology that we developed in the early 1900’s. The International Union of Railways defines a High Speed train as one that can sustain a minimum of 135 mph, operates on specially designed high speed tracks and uses electricity to power. The EU Directive, which is the regulatory agency for high speed rail in Europe says a high speed train must be able to maintain 155 mph and also operate on electricity.

    Clearly, the All Aboard Florida Train is not High Speed Rail. Florida had the opportunity several years back to build a High Speed Train from Orlando to Tampa… It would then have been extended to Miami in the coming years. This would have cost Florida Tax payers nothing…. all the funding would have come from Federal Dollars. However, because of our short sited politicians (i.e. Rick Scott), and their political agendas, the true High Speed Train was never build and the free money was given to other states.

    So what does Florida end up with? Private “slow speed” rail service, backed by $1.75 Billion in Federal Bonds, operating on a private rail line owned by Florida East Coast Industries. So, the taxpayers take all the risk and Rick Scott’s cronies make all the money.

    Please do not mislead the citizens of Florida into believing that All Aboard Florida is in anyway High Speed Rail.

    • The generally accepted definition of basic HSR is operating speeds of 200 kph, or 124 mph. Peak operating speeds will be 125 mph, which is close to the current limits for diesel propulsion.
      While not as fast as advanced electric HSR, it does fall within the normal international definition of High Speed Rail.
      Florida East Coast spent their own money to upgrade the track, build stations and buy the trains. Any Federal loans are a small part of the total expenses and have to be repaid by FEC whether Brightline succeeds or fails.
      And the complaint that the state should have built the train is rendered moot by the fact that the state chose not to build it.
      Brightline and the Texas Central shinkansen will negate the argument that if HSR were any good, private companies would build it. And the California HSR project will also help show that HSR works well and is a benefit to the country.
      So maybe instead of complaining that Brightline isn’t built the way you would want it built by the people you want to build it, maybe you should take a minute to celebrate the fact the Florida is the first state in the nation with high speed rail.