breaking news

Flood advisory in effect as rain hammers Jupiter

Brightline starts testing its first train in West Palm Beach


All Aboard Florida’s first Brightline train rolled through West Palm Beach for just over an hour on Thursday afternoon, marking the start of a weeks-long testing phase required before the company can launch its passenger rail service this summer.

The company’s “BrightBlue” train, a moniker based on the blue strips down the side of its cars, left Brightline’s rail repair facility near downtown West Palm Beach just before 3 p.m. — creeping slowing along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks as it periodically stopped at railroad crossing.

RELATED: All Aboard’s Brightline unveils first passenger train

The company will be testing the train along a 9-mile-stretch of track that runs between Park Place in West Palm Beach and Central Boulevard in Lantana.

The effort will include a series of tests required by the Federal Railroad Administration before passengers can ride in the train’s four cars.

Testing is expected to start in the morning and end in the early evening. The train will stop periodically between intersections where the road crosses the track, but Brightline officials said they don’t expect the testing to cause any traffic delays.

RELATED: Concerns over Brightline spark push for high-speed rail regulations

There will not be any passengers on-board while the testing is underway.

Brightline stockpiled 45,000 pounds of sand at its rail repair facility. On Thursday, the company began using the sand, which is divided in 40-pound sandbags, to simulate the weight of passengers in the train’s seat.

RELATED: All Aboard Florida’s Brightline: Everything you need to know

For now, the Brightline train will sound its horn at railroad crossings. The company is working with local transportation planners to create a “quiet zone” to silence train horns along the FEC tracks. Work on the safety improvements needed to implement the quiet zone continues.

Brightline officials have said the first phase of the quiet zone will likely be installed in the are where the testing is taking place.

On Thursday, freight trains continued operating along the FEC line while Brightline’s testing was underway.

The Brightline train traveled from the repair facility near 15th Street in West Palm Beach south of Belvedere Road before turning around. The train has two locomotives and four train cars, allowing it to be operated from either end.

Four more trains are being built at Siemens’ manufacturing hub in Sacramento, California. Those trains, each featuring a different hue, are expected to arrive in South Florida in the coming months.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

What John McCain learned from Ted Kennedy on challenging his own party
What John McCain learned from Ted Kennedy on challenging his own party

WASHINGTON — Ted Kennedy liked to tell a favorite story about Sen. John McCain. The Massachusetts Democrat and the Arizona Republican were on the floor of the Senate and became distracted by a heated debate between two freshmen senators. Just for the fun of it, Kennedy and McCain launched into the fray. As one spoke, the other circled...
WATCH: 40-ton whale filmed getting some sick air  
WATCH: 40-ton whale filmed getting some sick air  

A 40-ton whale that got some flippin’ amazing air is going viral.  Scuba diver Craig Capehart was in a “rubber duck” inflatable boat off the coast of South Africa with his buddies when he filmed the video, according to the description under his YouTube video.  <iframe width="480" height="270"...
Man fatally stabbed while eating bagel
Man fatally stabbed while eating bagel

A man was eating a bagel outside of a convenience store when he was fatally stabbed in the chest early Thursday morning. The 31-year-old victim was seated on a crate eating a toasted bagel with jelly around 6:20 a.m. when the suspect walked over to him, unfolded a knife and plunged it into the man’s chest, according to the New York Daily...
Who is Anthony Scaramucci, the new  White House communications director?
Who is Anthony Scaramucci, the new  White House communications director?

The White House announced Friday that Anthony Scaramucci, a longtime supporter of President Donald Trump, has been named White House communications director. Soon after the announcement was made, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced his resignation. Who is Scaramucci? Here’s a look at the new communications director. Scaramucci,...
Agree to terms: Thousands unknowingly agree to clean toilets for free Wi-Fi
Agree to terms: Thousands unknowingly agree to clean toilets for free Wi-Fi

Overage charges for cell phone data usage aren’t cheap, and many people are excited with the prospect of getting free Wi-Fi in shared spaces. >> Read more trending news But “free” Wi-Fi is almost never free. Usually, getting access requires accepting some terms and conditions from the provider. But do those agreements say anything...
More Stories