Brightline monitors the high-speed train between Tampa and Orlando

A high-speed rail line is planned to operate in the Interstate 4 corridor from Orlando to Tampa. An extension from South Florida to Orlando is approximately three-quarters complete and is expected to be completed by 2023.

Officials with Light line gave an update Wednesday at a meeting of the Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization.

Brightline spokeswoman Christine Kefauver told members of the Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization that they are currently working with Tampa officials to determine where a terminal should be located, as well as the best route. He would probably go through Ybor City, near I-4.

“The last thing we want to do is disrupt communities. And no big extra operational ramps and whatnot for Brightline,” she said. “So the closer we can stay to impacted corridors, the better it is for the communities within reach.”

She said an extension of the lanes from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport is about three-quarters complete and is expected to be complete next year. A stop could also be scheduled for Polk County.

Hillsborough County Board Member and Commissioner Harry Cohen praised the planned station at Orlando International Airport. He said connections from the terminal to other transit lines is something Tampa should also consider.

“The more we can centralize people’s ability to choose between different modes of transportation, I think not only will Brightline be successful,” he said, “but the more we can actually have a real working transportation network .which can bring people to all parts of the region.”

The train would travel up to 120 miles per hour in rural areas, but much slower in cities.

Map of the Orlando to Tampa extension

Map of the Orlando to Tampa extension

Jose P. Rogers