Passenger shares their first experience aboard US high-speed train: ‘Consider me a fan’

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A TikToker has documented their first experience riding Florida’s Brightline service, a high-speed train route that runs from Orlando to Miami.

Christina (@beentherestyledthat) talks her nearly 19,000 followers through the process, from arriving at the station to boarding the carriage. 

@beentherestyledthat Consider me a fan of the Brightline! It was a smooth ride and I don’t have any (real) complaints. It would’ve been nice if the cell phone tray was higher on the seatback so viewing my phone would be more comfortable and I would’ve liked the lights to be dimmer at night to accomodate sleeping. These are just preferences and not enough to deter me from riding the train in the future. I’ve seen complaints about the price. Yes its usually cheaper and faster to fly but it all depends on how you like to travel. You get two free carry ons which you’d have to pay for with an economy ticket for a plane ride so you can weigh your pros and cons. The earlier you book, the better and look out for promotions which they have all the time. Students and teachers get 20% off on SMART fares. #brightline #brightlinetrain #travel #gobrightline #ridebrighter #thingstodoinorlando #stufftodoinorlando ♬ original sound – Christina| BeenThereStyledThat

She points out the passenger lounges, describes the straightforward security process, and notes where to store luggage. She describes getting on the train as “pretty seamless.” 

“Consider me a fan of the Brightline!” she captioned the post. “It was a smooth ride and I don’t have any (real) complaints.”

Among the things praised in the video, Christina notes there was an abundance of charging points in the passenger lounge, “which is always a plus,” and that she was able to bring her water through the security check. This little luxury wouldn’t be allowed at most airports.

Brightline can run at speeds of up to 125 miles per hour, the lowest speed that would be considered a “high-speed” service.

Despite the technology‘s success in other parts of the world, connecting cities and providing fast travel times, high-speed rail hasn’t quite caught on in the United States just yet. But it could be a solution to provide efficient travel without having to take a flight, which would produce far more polluting gases than a train.

Brightline runs on biodiesel — which is manufactured using vegetable oils, animal fats, and other biological substances — making it an even more environmentally friendly option. Some trains run on electricity alone, but many are still powered by diesel. But even traveling on the latter is better for the planet than a short-haul flight.

Her followers were impressed, with some jealous that the service hadn’t reached their location yet.

“Waiting for them to expand the brightline to tampa, this looks so nice,” one user said, with another adding, “God, I wish Texas had these everywhere.”

Others shared their enthusiasm for Brightline, with one saying, “I took it from Orlando to Miami for a cruise and it was actually cheaper than flying.” 

Christina also notes that buying a ticket in advance offered the opportunity to save money, while no baggage charges on Brightline services also helps to cut costs compared to flying.

While traveling by plane is perhaps the quickest form of transport, getting to the airport, checking in, dropping off bags, passing through security, boarding the flight, and perhaps waiting on the tarmac before taking off adds to the travel time — not to mention the process when landing at the arrival airport. It can also be an extremely stressful time.

This is just another factor working in the favor of rail travel, something Christina experienced firsthand. 

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