Brightline trains are headed for Brevard County: What to know about the Cocoa station

Brightline, the high-speed passenger rail company, has announced plans to construct a station in Cocoa as part of its Orlando-to-West Palm Beach route.

But the timeline for just when that station will come to fruition remains unclear.

Why is Brightline putting a station in Cocoa?

The announcement came after the company purchased 33 acres of land in Cocoa, known as "the Cocoa curve," for $12.5 million in April 2021. The project, which will receive $15.5 million in federal grants and is eligible for up to $40 million more, aims to provide enhanced transit options for the Space Coast region.

Where is the Cocoa curve?

The Cocoa curve refers to an area where the train must already slow down to accommodate the southwest turn as it makes its way from Orlando down to South Florida. Brightline and transportation officials have long hinted that the natural slow-down area could be the perfect place to accommodate a stop for the passenger line.

When is the Brightline Cocoa stop going to open?

A Brightline train heads south out of a tunnel in north Cocoa on its way to Miami. The train is passing near the site of a planned Brightline station in Cocoa.
A Brightline train heads south out of a tunnel in north Cocoa on its way to Miami. The train is passing near the site of a planned Brightline station in Cocoa.

Although the timeline for construction and total cost of the project are yet to be determined, the commitment from Brightline signals a promising future for transportation in the region. Brightline's all-electric, zero-emission trains will offer state-of-the-art amenities and top speeds of 130 mph, significantly reducing travel times between major Florida cities.

Brightline currently has stops at Orlando International Airport, and in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura and Miami.

Brightline announced earlier this year that it also will add a stop in downtown Stuart, after selecting a proposal for a $60 million rail station project there. The station could open as soon as late 2026.

The station — a collaboration of Stuart, Martin County and Brightline — will cost the city and county $45 million, with Brightline covering the remainder of the costs. State and federal grants could cut the city and county's combined cost to less than $10 million, Martin County officials said.

Stuart had been chosen from among five Treasure Coast sites for Brightline's seventh station. Two of the others were in Fort Pierce and two were in St. Lucie County.

There are plans to add a Tampa location. Officials in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties also have expressed interest in having a station.

downtown Stuart station may open as soon as late 2026, two years earlier than originally estimated, Brightline officials said earlier this month.

Brightline ticket options

There are two ticket options offered.

Smart, which is described as comfort business class. It includes complimentary Wi-Fi, various seat outlets and 19-inch leather seats. There is an option to purchase beverages and snacks.

Premium is known as the first-class option. Aside from the complimentary Wi-Fi and seat outlets, it also includes 21-inch leather seats. Snacks and beverages also come with the ticket.

Is there a fee to carry bags on the Brightline?

The is no cost for carry-on bags, but there is a two-bag limit, and they cannot weigh more than 50 pounds.

Cost for checked bags is $10 each, with a two-bag limit. Brightline warned multiple bags should be reserved in advance due to capacity.

Tyler Vazquez is the Brevard County watchdog reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Vazquez at 321-480-0854 or tvazquez@floridatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Brightline Cocoa station: What to know about future train stop