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Brightline could soon announce newest station in Florida

by Staff

Brightline may be poised to announce its newest stop in Florida — and word could come as soon as Monday.

Local leaders in Stuart, Florida, this week have signaled that the rail operator may be preparing to reveal the city as the location for its seventh station.

It would give riders a stop that falls between Brightline’s stations in West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport (MCO), along the path of the 170-mile extension that the company opened last September.

“I really believe it’s going to happen,” Joe Catrambone, president and CEO of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce, told TPG Wednesday. “Absolutely.”

A bit of intrigue

Cantrambone’s comments came two days after local outlets first reported that Brightline had, in fact, picked Stuart as the location for its newest station, citing city leaders.

So far, Brightline itself has made no announcement, but the company has announced plans to make an “important announcement at the location of the proposed Brightline station,” Stuart’s city manager Mike Mortell said during a public meeting Monday.

That announcement is now set for Monday, March 4, Cantrambone told TPG, noting he “absolutely” expects the company to unveil plans for a new station in Stuart at that event.

A potential Brightline Treasure Coast station

If those predictions prove true, Stuart would be Brightline’s first new station since the company opened the extension of its service to Orlando last fall. A major milestone for travelers, the Orlando extension meant a three-plus-hour, seamless connection between Central Florida’s theme parks and South Florida’s beaches aboard sleek Wi-Fi-enabled trains.

Stuart sits along Florida’s east coast, just miles from the ocean and about 40 miles north of Brightline’s existing West Palm Beach station.

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Right now, Brightline trains rumble through Stuart but don’t make any stops in the region on their way to and from Orlando … at least, not yet.

On board a Brightline train in September 2023. CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

In October, the company announced it was seeking proposals for a new station somewhere along Florida’s Treasure Coast, which includes Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties. The goal, Brightline said at the time, was to start construction by 2026 and open a new station by 2028.

“If you look at it geographically … economically, it would make sense to put it here,” Cantrambone said. “It will be a great economic boost, especially for those merchants and restaurants in our downtown.”

An expanding rail line

CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

Brightline trains currently make stops in downtown Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach before making the longest (and highest-speed) portion of the journey to Orlando.

Related: Helped by federal funds and private investment, a major push for passenger rail

The company eventually hopes to extend its line to Tampa, on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It has also received significant federal funding through partnerships with California and Nevada for an entirely new high-speed Brightline West system that’s expected to connect Los Angeles and Las Vegas by the time the 2028 Olympics arrive in Southern California.

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