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Brightline speeds to connect West Palm Beach to Orlando

Brightline train being tested near Orlando. The train will have operating speeds of up to 125 mph along its final route from Cocoa to Orlando.

Photo by Brightline.

Brightline has conducted tests throughout Palm Beach County in February and March in preparation for its West Palm Beach-to-Orlando route, a major milestone as Brightline connects South and Central Florida.

The testing between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Lake Park, Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach has reached speeds of 110 mph.

Significant safety upgrades are being made to 156 railroad crossings along the route to Cocoa, according to Brightline.

From Cocoa to Orlando, a 35-mile route with no traffic crossings, Brightline recently broke its speed record, testing trains at 130 mph. The testing takes place on the new corridor along the Beachline Expressway from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Reaching 130 isn’t just another milestone to our team, but the continuation of a dream that we’ve been working towards for several years,” says Patrick Goddard, the president of Brightline Trains. “This historic feat brings us one step closer to launching Brightline service between Orlando and Miami.”

Along this 35-mile corridor, Brightline will carry passengers up to 125 mph, a steep increase from the 79-mph limit through the densely populated areas of South Florida.

Brightline’s expansion north will give the rail line the ability to connect much of Florida, with five stops in the South Florida tri-county area: Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.

But Treasure Coast Congressman Brian Mast wrote a letter in February to Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose to raise concerns about safety.

“Brightline is known around the county as ‘the nation’s deadliest railroad,’” the 21st District Republican wrote in his Feb. 10 letter.

Mast called on the administrator to delay the opening of the northern route until the National Transportation Safety Board finishes investigating several crashes involving Brightline.

Meanwhile, Brightline recently took possession of Bright Orange 2, the final train in the fleet of 10 to be launched in Orlando.

Brightline says 90% of its Orlando addition is complete, and the company plans to begin passenger transportation in the second quarter of the year.


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