Florida's Brightline Rail ServiceNew York-headquartered travel and lifestyle agency Lou Hammond & Associates has been named agency of record for Florida's forthcoming passenger rail service, Brightline.

Signaling the first privately funded and operated U.S. passenger rail service built in nearly a half-century, Brightline is the planned high-speed train line that will eventually connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. The express intercity service is being touted as one of the most advanced passenger rail systems in the country, allowing travelers to make the 235-mile trek between Orlando and Miami in about three hours.

The Brightline project, which is owned by infrastructure holding company Florida East Coast Industries LLC, is being constructed on the Florida East Coast Railway, the century-old train system built by famed industrialist and Standard Oil founder Henry Flagler. Brightline’s passenger trains will be designed by the Rockwell Group.

The first phase of construction, which connects Miami with West Palm Beach, is slated for completion by summer 2017. Service to Orlando is expected to begin later that year. MiamiCentral station, a six-block transportation hub in downtown Miami, is currently nearing completion, and construction of similar stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are underway.

LH&A will work to raise awareness for the new rail service, will leverage existing partnerships and will also focus on earned media in the national press, particularly the travel press. The account will be managed out of Lou Hammond’s Miami office.

LH&A accounted for nearly $7 million in net fees in 2015, according to O'Dwyer's rankings of PR firms.