breaking news

Dolphins respond to Donald Trump with protest during national anthem

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

NEW: Mother arrested after her baby’s decomposed body found in bin
NEW: Mother arrested after her baby’s decomposed body found in bin

A 41-year-old mother was arrested on murder charges after police said they found the decomposed remains of her baby in a container in her apartment. Laurens County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the baby’s body on Monday when they were trying to evict Jamie M. Wilson from her Fountain Inn, S.C., apartment, according to Greenville...
NFL responds to Trump attack, kneeling during national anthem at Sunday games
NFL responds to Trump attack, kneeling during national anthem at Sunday games

Football players across the NFL fired back at President Donald Trump in Sunday’s season opening games, protesting his remarks criticizing the league and its players. The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t even show up for the anthem, preferring to remain in the locker room until the anthem was over.
Steelers sitting out national anthem in game against Chicago
Steelers sitting out national anthem in game against Chicago

The Pittsburgh Steelers will not be participating in the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.  Head coach Mike Tomlin announced the Steelers will remain in the locker room during the anthem.  The move follows President Donald Trump’s criticism of the NFL and players’ protests during a political...
Jaguars, Ravens lock arms, kneel during national anthem
Jaguars, Ravens lock arms, kneel during national anthem

Several players from both Baltimore and Jacksonville responded to President Donald Trump’s comments on the NFL by kneeling and locking arms during the national anthem.  The two teams competed in London on Sunday. Many Twitter users shared photos of the scene on the field at Wembley Stadium: The Ravens and Jaguars game is the first NFL game...
NFL players, owners respond to president’s remarks on social media
NFL players, owners respond to president’s remarks on social media

The National Football League’s players –– and some owners –– reacted on social media after President Donald Trump called for a boycott of the league. 
More Stories