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Brightline Station Downtown Miami (27431282607).jpg
The entrance to MiamiCentral
Location600 NW 1st Avenue Miami, Florida 33030 United States
Coordinates 25°46′39″N 80°11′45″W / 25.77753°N 80.19578°W / 25.77753; -80.19578
Latitude and Longitude:

25°46′39″N 80°11′45″W / 25.77753°N 80.19578°W / 25.77753; -80.19578
Owned by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI)
  • 5 Total
  • 3 (FEC - May 19, 2018) [1]
  • 2 (Tri-Rail - est. 2020)
Connections Government Center station
Local Transit Metrobus: 7, 95, 211
Local Transit Broward County Transit: 95 Express, 595 Express
Structure type Train station, condo, retail, office, hotel
Disabled accessYes
Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Zyscovich Architects (2017) and Engineering: TLC Engineering for Architecture, Inc.
Architectural style Modernism (2017)
OpenedApril 15, 1896
May 19, 2018 (rebuilt)
ClosedJanuary 23, 1963
Preceding station Brightline Small Logo.png Brightline Following station
Terminus Brightline Fort Lauderdale
Future / Former services
Preceding station Brightline Small Logo.png Brightline Following station
Future services
Terminus Brightline Aventura
toward Orlando
Preceding station Tri-Rail.svg Tri-Rail Following station
Terminus Downtown Miami Link
Metrorail Transfer
Preceding station Florida East Coast Railway Following station
Former services
Terminus Main Line Little River
Route map
to Mangonia Park (starts 2021)
Track number
(1–3: Brightline; 4–5: Tri-Rail)

Handicapped/disabled access All platforms are accessible

MiamiCentral is a mixed-use railroad station development in the Government Center district of Downtown, Miami, Florida. Currently, the station serves an inter-city rail service named Brightline (briefly known as Virgin Trains USA) and connects to the adjacent Government Center station serving Metrorail, Metromover, and bus lines. In the next few years, the station will serve Tri-Rail commuter rail. The 9-acre (3.6 ha) complex also includes 3 million square feet (280,000 m2) of residential, office, commercial, and retail development. [3] The station was built by All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) overseeing Brightline. MiamiCentral was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in association with Zyscovich Architects. [4] Its name was changed from MiamiCentral to Virgin MiamiCentral on April 4, 2019. [5] Despite the end of Brightline's licensing agreement with Virgin Group, [6] the station's website still uses Virgin branding as of 2020 August 13, but in a Brightline press release, Brightline said in a statement all ties were cut with Virgin and all of their assets will no longer be under the Virgin name.


Original FEC station: 1896–1963

MiamiCentral was originally a railroad station opened April 15, 1896 as the southern terminus of Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). The station was the southern end of the FEC line until 1905, when construction began to Key West via the Overseas Railroad. The FEC built a wooden passenger station building in 1912 at site of what would become the Dade County Courthouse. [7] Construction on the courthouse was started in 1925 and finished 1928. Seaboard Air Line Railroad intercity passenger rail started service at the location in 1927. FEC and Seaboard both regularly serviced the site until January 23, 1963, when union workers for both companies went on strike. [8] [9]

At the insistence of the City of Miami, which had long fought to get rid of the tracks in the downtown section just north of the county courthouse, the downtown passenger terminal was demolished by November 1963. [10] Although a new station was planned at the Buena Vista yard near North Miami Avenue and 36th Street ( US 27), [9] it was never built. The site of the old station was left as parking lots until construction of MiamiCentral began in 2014.

When FEC ended their passenger service, this left Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (service absorbed by Amtrak in 1971) as the sole intercity rail in Miami. They operated out of the decaying Allapattah terminal at Northwest 22nd Street and Seventh Avenue ( US 441) until in 1978 Amtrak moved to its current location near Hialeah. [11]

New station

Schematic of rapid transit and passenger rail service in the Miami metropolitan area in 2017. The Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link is scheduled to be operational in 2020.

In March 2012, All Aboard Florida, a former subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries that also at the time owned the Florida East Coast Railway, announced plans to connect Miami and Orlando with Higher-speed passenger rail service. [12] In May 2014, All Aboard Florida unveiled their plans for the 9-acre (3.6 ha) site, with construction anticipated to begin in late 2014. The company planned to build two tracks on either side of an island platform 50 feet (15 m) above street level and 3 million square feet (280,000 m2) of transit-oriented development, with retail shops at street level and hotel rooms, housing and office space occupying towers above the station. [13] [14]

In August 2014, preparatory work began with the removal of parking lots that had previously been located on the site. [15] Construction of the facility began in mid 2015, when subterranean support pilings began to be built, and by the end of the year foundation and frame construction was underway. [16] By October 2016, construction of the rail facility was about 70% complete, while work on the lower structure of the office and residential buildings had begun. [17] When Brightline began revenue operations in January 2018 between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, MiamiCentral was still incomplete. [18] Service to Miami was planned to begin at the end of April 2018. [19] Brightline service to MiamiCentral commenced on May 19, 2018. [1]

In its final design, MiamiCentral includes a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) dining and grocery marketplace dubbed Central Fare, 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2) of retail space, one residential building with 800 apartments, and two office buildings. [17] [20] It will have five tracks, with three serving Brightline trains and two serving Tri-Rail trains. [16] The office buildings are 3 MiamiCentral (12 stories, 96,000 sq ft (8,900 m2)) and 2 MiamiCentral (190,000 square feet (18,000 m2)) [21] MiamiCentral is directly connected via a pedestrian bridge over NW 3rd Street to Government Center station, which is served by Metrorail rapid transit trains and Metromover automated people mover trains. [22]

The Tri-Rail commuter service is investing 70 million at the station in the "Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link" project. [23] The opening has been moved to 2019 which comes from Tri-Rail to use rails from the FEC corridor in the section up to station. Regulations require a working PTC systems for that while Florida East Coast Industries has not submitted the necessary application yet.[ needs update?] As the Florida Railroad Administration has up to 180 days for a first response, officials do not expect test runs of Tri-Rail into the new station before the end of 2018. [24] On the other hand, Brightline trains can reach their single platform without an approved track field. [25]

Station layout

Tracks 4 and 5, along with Platforms D and E, are expected to open in conjunction with Tri-Rail's Downtown Miami Link service.

Platform level
Platform E, under construction
Track 5      Tri-Rail (under construction) toward Mangonia Park ( Metrorail Transfer)
Track 4      Tri-Rail (under construction) toward Mangonia Park ( Metrorail Transfer)
Platform D, under construction
Track 3      Brightline toward West Palm Beach ( Fort Lauderdale)
Platforms B-C, doors will open on the left or right Handicapped/disabled access
Track 2      Brightline toward West Palm Beach ( Fort Lauderdale)
Track 1      Brightline toward West Palm Beach ( Fort Lauderdale)
Platform A, doors will open on the right Handicapped/disabled access
M Mezzanine Brightline lounge, retail
G Street level Exit/entrance, retail


See also


  1. ^ a b c Vassolo, Martin. "Brightline has finally announced a start date for service for Miami commuters". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Elfrink, Tim (January 4, 2016). "Here's What Giant MiamiCentral Train Station Might Look Like Inside". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  3. ^ "Here Are Leasing Plans And New Renderings For All Aboard Florida's MiamiCentral Station Project". The Next Miami. September 22, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Florida Rail Developer Selects SOM for Station Plan". SOM. July 30, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Lynch, Ryan (April 4, 2019). "Sir Richard Branson-backed Virgin Trains USA Locks Up Funding for Orlando Leg". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Ohnsman, Alan (August 7, 2020). "High-Speed Rail Startup Brightline Ends Alliance With Richard Branson's Virgin". Forbes. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 7, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
  8. ^ "Miami, FL (MIA)". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Einstein, Paul (September 23, 1963). "It's Coming Down This Week!". The Miami News. p. 2A. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Howe, Ward Allan (November 3, 1963). "THE FLORIDA RUN: Railroads Anticipating a Busy Winter—New Schedule Effective Dec. 13" (PDF). New York Times. p. XX13. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  11. ^ Kleinberg, Howard (April 24, 1986). "Seaboard Ended Rail Monopoly". The Miami News. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  12. ^ "Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. Announces Plans for Private Passenger Rail Service in Florida | Business Wire". Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  13. ^ "All Aboard Florida: Plans for downtown Miami station unveiled". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  14. ^ Vazquez, Christina. "All Aboard Florida unveils designs for Miami station". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  15. ^ "Work begins — finally — on Miami-to-Orlando fast train". miamiherald. August 25, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Huge Miami train station about to rise from ground". Sun Sentinel. November 27, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Here's a look at progress on MiamiCentral train station as construction chugs along". Miami Herald. October 21, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  18. ^ "Brightline starts service Saturday; round-trip fares starting at $20". Palm Beach Post. January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "Brightline president: 'Train ridership is three times what we expected'". South Florida Business Journal. March 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Chew Chew! Miami-centric restaurants opening in downtown rail depot". Miami Herald. May 6, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  21. ^ Bandell, Brian (February 19, 2018). "First building at Brightline's Miami station completed". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  22. ^ "Connection Made: Pedestrian Bridge Installed Between MiamiCentral, Government Center Station". The Next Miami. October 8, 2018. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link". Retrieved January 17, 2018. The key to this leveraging is a local investment of $70 million by the public for incremental construction costs by the public partners for the MiamiCentral Station, to accommodate Tri-Rail trains and new rail infrastructure to support the extension into Downtown Miami.
  24. ^ Katya Maruri (April 17, 2018). "Tri-Rail won't roll into downtown Miami this year". Miami Today.
  25. ^

External links