The service on Brightline trains in Florida marks Starlink's expansion into the railroad and passenger rail industry. Credit: Brightline

TAMPA, Fla. — Brightline said May 8 it has become the first passenger rail company to offer Starlink satellite broadband, which it plans to deploy on a total 10 trains connecting cities across parts of Florida this summer. 

The complimentary service is available on five trains connecting Miami and West Palm Beach in south Florida, Brightline said in a news release, and will be added to five more trains for extending operations to Orlando in central Florida.

Brightline did not detail broadband speeds in the announcement, but said SpaceX’s low Earth orbit constellation would enable streaming, online gaming, video calls, and other high data rate activities even in the most rural areas.

“We’re excited to work with Brightline and provide Starlink to their entire fleet,” SpaceX vice president of Starlink commercial sales Jonathan Hofeller said, “which will enable all of Brightline’s passengers to access high-speed, low-latency internet that is critical in our modern age.”

It is the latest expansion into a new customer segment for SpaceX since it secured regulatory permission June 30 to connect moving vehicles to Starlink.

Since starting out with a focus on residential consumers more than two years ago, Starlink has expanded into enterprise, government, aviation, maritime, and the market for recreational vehicles.

U.S.-based semi-private charter company JSX, the first air carrier to announce plans to adopt Starlink last year, said May 8 it has now installed the service across its entire active fleet of 40 Embraer jets.

The jet service provider has an agreement to equip Starlink on up to 100 aircraft.

SpaceX recently said Starlink has more than 1.5 million customers in total worldwide.

According to data maintained by astronomer and spaceflight analyst Jonathan McDowell, there are currently around 4,000 Starlink satellites in operation as SpaceX continues to expand the constellation aggressively.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...