Brightline to Resume High-Speed Testing Through Martin, St. Lucie Counties

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor, Railway Age
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David C. Lester

Brightline recently announced that 110 mph train testing through Martin and St. Lucie counties will resume Friday, Jan. 6.

Testing, which will continue through Jan. 23, will take place along an 11-mile section of track in Martin and St. Lucie counties, with flaggers and law enforcement present at five of the railroad crossings (Walton Road and Riverview Drive in St. Lucie County; and County Line Road, Skyline Drive and Pitchford Landing in Martin County) where trains will operate at high speeds. Testing is expected to bring additional wait times.

Brightline began high-speed testing in the Treasure Coast in October reaching top speeds of 110 mph, marking “the fastest a train has traveled in the state of Florida.” Brightline has also completed 79 mph testing through St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard counties. High-speed testing, in preparation for opening to Orlando in 2023, is occurring in phases along the 129-mile rail corridor between West Palm Beach and Cocoa.

Below is a video released by Brightline that features the 110-mph testing and highlights the safety improvements at crossings throughout the testing corridor.

According to Brightline, the railroad has made crucial safety improvements at all 156 railroad crossings along the corridor. At the crossings in this testing area, all safety improvements have been installed. Those improvements, Brightline says, vary per crossing, but may include new crossing gates, signal systems, pedestrian gates, pavement markings and roadway profiles. Where trains will operate at 110 mph, all crossings have quad gates or medians to prevent motorists from driving around lowered crossing gates.

Brightline has also launched a new safety website, which includes updated safety content, PSAs and a virtual pledge.

Brightline currently serves Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with stations in Aventura and Boca Raton having just opened at the end of 2022. The Orlando station will begin service in 2023.

Brightline also plans to bring its service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are “too close to fly and too long to drive.” Plans are currently in the works to connect Las Vegas to Southern California.


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