Posts Tagged ‘Brightline’

Brightline to Replace Bridge on Orlando Line

March 19, 2022

Florida intercity passenger operator Brightline plans to replace a 96-year-old drawbridge over the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida, as part of its $2.7 billion Orlando expansion plan.

In a news release, Brightline said the bridge to be replaced represents a critical connection between South and Central Florida.

The project will require the navigation channel to be closed for six weeks between April and May. During that time freight traffic will be briefly suspended.

Brightline is also rehabilitating the 583-foot-long Loxahatchee River Bridge with a replacement of the electrical system and operating machinery, as well as the addition of a second track.

The railroad said it is coordinating efforts with the U.S. Coast Guard, Jupiter Inlet District, Florida East Coast Railway, and local municipalities during the construction period.

Work is being conducted by contractor Scott Bridge Company and is expected to be finished later this year.

FRA Calls Meeting on Safety in South Florida

February 22, 2022

Amtrak and intercity rail operator Brightline officials will meet with the Federal Railroad Administration to discuss railroad safety issues.

Also joining the meeting will be officials of CSX, commuter agency Tri-Rail and local government officials.

The meeting was called by the agency after a spate of fatal accidents involving Brightline passenger trains.

There have been seven fatal grade-crossing incidents since last November and 57 since Brightline launched service.

An FRA spokesman noted that none of the incidents stemmed from a failure by railroads to follow federal regulations.

Some possible actions that may follow from this week’s meeting is law enforcement agencies seeking federal grants to address right-of-way safety issues and citing motorists for failure to obey state traffic laws.

Brightline Completes Track Work at Airport

February 16, 2022

Florida intercity passenger operator Brightline said this week that it has completed construction of new track in the one of the four construction zones of its 170-mile extension to Orlando International Airport from West Palm Beach, Florida.

In a news release, Brightlight said completing the 3.5-mile second zone was complex and challenging because it involved traveling beneath airport taxiways and involved the building of six bridges over roadways.

Other components of the work included included two underpasses and making various improvements to the airports traffic infrastructure.

Brightline trains will serve the airport’s intermodal terminal facility and the Beachline Expressway.

The project has four construction zones. Trains on the double-track Brightline route are expected to travel at a top speed of 125 miles per hour. Service is expected to begin in 2023.

New Brightline Trainset Arrives in Orlando

February 10, 2022

The newest equipment of Florida intercity operator Brightline arrived this week at the railroad’s new maintenance center near Orlando International Airport.

Dubbed “Bright Blue 2,” it was the first time a Brightline train has arrived in Orlando, company officials said in a news release.

The trainset is a six-car train consisting of two locomotives and four passenger coaches manufactured by Siemens Mobility and is the second of five new trainsets to arrive in Florida in preparation for the opening of the railroad’s Orlando extension.

Another new trainset, Bright Red 2, arrived in Florida in October 2021.

The stainless-steel coaches feature ergonomic seating, enhanced Wi-Fi and are compliant with ADA requirements.

Brightline said in its news release that the Orlando extension project is 70 percent completed with passenger expected to begin in 2023.

Brightline Begins Testing on Orlando Extension

January 21, 2022

Florida intercity passenger operator Brightline has begun training runs on a portion of its route extension to Orlando.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the first of those ran to Micco, Florida, on Jan. 18, a point about 90 miles north of West Palm Beach, the current northern terminus of Brightline service.

Brightline officials said the Orlando extension is about 70 percent completed and they expect service to begin in early 2023.

The last segment of the extension to be completed is between Orlando and Cocoa. The station at the Orlando International Airport has already been finished.

Brightline is using Florida East Coast track as far as Cocoa and building a new line from there to Orlando. The project also involves improving 35 miles of FEC track to Cocoa.

That has included constructing a new double-track bridge at Jupiter over the Loxahatchee River to replace a single-track span.

The FEC route will continue to have a single-track drawbridge at Stuart. The track rebuilding will enable Brightline to have a top speed of 110 miles per hour between West Palm Beach and Cocoa.

Trains will use a sealed corridor between Cocoa and Orlando and thus be able to operate at a top speed of 125 mph once a positive train control system on the route is certified by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Brighline currently operates between Miami and West Palm Beach. That service was interrupted between March 2020 and November 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brightline Says Orlando Extension Half Done

May 21, 2021

Brightline said it recently passed the halfway mark for construction of its extension to Orlando, Florida.

The company celebrated the milestone during an event held at the future site of a vehicle maintenance facility just south of the Orlando International Airport.

During the event, attendees signed a 12-foot, bright yellow stick of steel rail, which will be incorporated into Brightline’s track between the airport station and the maintenance facility.

Brightline is building a 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to the airport in a $4.2 billion project.

Regular Brightline service operates between Miami and West Palm Beach although that service has been suspended since last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brightline Aims to Resume in 4th Quarter

April 9, 2021

Brightline is looking to resume operations between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, in the fourth quarter of this year.

The intercity passenger carrier suspended operations in March 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, the company continues to construct its expansion to Orlando.

Workers recently completed a second highway grade separation east of the Orlando Airport.

They used pre-cast concrete boxes that were pushed under a road to reduce extended auto traffic disruptions and construction costs.

The project did result last month in narrowed highway lanes and a few overnight closures of the Beachline Expressway where the rail right-of-way from Orlando joins Florida East Coast Railway’s main line just west of Cocoa, Florida.

Virgin Sues Brightline Over Dropping Virgin Name

March 13, 2021

Virgin Enterprises has filed suit against Brightline over its dropping of the “Virgin Trains” brand name.

The $251 million lawsuit contends Brightline reneged on a 20-year licensing deal by claiming the Virgin brand had been damaged and was no longer “a brand of international high repute.”

The lawsuit says that that claim is “cynical and spurious.”

The two agreement between the two parties had been reached in 2018 but Brightline said last year it was dropping out of the agreement.

Virgin’s lawsuit said the amount it is seeking will cover royalties to this point plus an early termination fee.

Brightline, Florida Resume Talks Over Tampa Extension

March 5, 2021

The Florida Department of Transportation and Brightline have resumed talks about the latter’s proposal to extend its route to Tampa.

Brightline has proposed building the Tampa extension from Orlando in the median of Florida Route 417 and Interstate 4.

Negotiations between the two parties had been suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDOT has asked Brightline to address a number of issues including a method to recover toll revenue lost because of Brightline’s construction and operation.

The agency also has questions about a resolution from Orlando’s airport authority supporting the Orlando-Tampa service and execution of an agreement meeting the requirements for use of the Central Florida Rail Corridor.

Brightline was asked to address these matters by July 31.

Boca Raton Station Work to Begin in March

January 25, 2021

Florida intercity rail operator Brightline expects to begin construction in March of a station in Boca Raton.

The $46 million project will get underway with construction of a temporary parking lot and garden and last for more than a year.

The station is expected to open in 2022. The Boca Raton City Council earlier approved the project, which is getting a $16.35 million federal grant.