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Brightline moves closer to Miami service; adds Friday night train

Less than three months after Brightline began running its passenger trains between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, the company has expanded its service on Friday nights — offering later trains between the two cities.

The last train will depart West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale at 9 p.m., arriving at 9:40 p.m. The last train will depart Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach at 10:55 p.m., arriving at 11:35 p.m.

Before the schedule change, the last train left the West Palm Beach station at 7 p.m. on Fridays.

Brightline said it made the change to “accommodate the increased demand from its guests.”

Meanwhile, Brightline’s plans to expand its train service to Miami reached a new milestone last week, when the company’s BrightPink train pulled into the MiamiCentral station for the first time. The company released a picture of the train, named for the color of its passenger cars, parked on the station’s elevated tracks.

RELATED: West Palm could get first quiet zone along Brightline’s route

Construction at the station has entered its final stage, and Brightline has said it plans to launch service to downtown Miami in “the coming weeks.” The company’s fleet of trains will soon begin testing on the stretch of rail that runs between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, officials said.

“BrightPink climbed the newly constructed viaduct and pulled into the 50’ elevated station, overlooking downtown Miami and the expansive multi-modal hub,” the company said. “Soon, Brightline trains will begin testing between downtown Fort Lauderdale and Miami in anticipation of extending service in the coming weeks. The start of testing will coincide with additional safety outreach throughout the South Florida region.”

Since starting service in January, Brightline has run as many as 22 trains a day between downtown West Palm Beach and downtown Fort Lauderdale. Round-trip fares starting at $20 for seat in one of Brightline’s Smart Service cars. Round trip tickets for a seat in the company’s Select Service car start at $30, and include a free drink and snack onboard the train and access to the company’s business lounge in both stations.

One-way trips between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale take about 40 minutes. The trains travel at speeds of up to 79 mph, about twice as fast as freight traffic.

The company eventually plans to expand the service to Orlando.

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