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When will Brightline rail service start? The owners have a date — sort of

Brightline's Miami Central Station nears final construction

The Miami Central Station of Brightline nears final construction in downtown Miami on August 7, 2017.
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The Miami Central Station of Brightline nears final construction in downtown Miami on August 7, 2017.

There’s progress in Brightline’s long-haul effort to launch express rail service linking Miami and Orlando.

The federal Department of Transportation has issued final environmental approval, clearing the way for the company to launch South Florida service in the first quarter of 2018, the company said in a news release.

Service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach was originally slated to begin last summer, a date that repeatedly has been pushed back.

The privately funded effort promises 30-minute express train service between downtown Miami and downtown Fort Lauderdale, with an additional 30 minutes to West Palm Beach.

The federal approval also allows the company to begin construction on the stretch between West Palm and Orlando early next year. Travelers will be able to go from Miami to Orlando in three hours.

Ticket prices have not yet been set.

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