Brightline works to raise awareness about danger of train tracks


With its passenger service set to start by the end of the year, All Aboard Florida’s Brightline is working to raise awareness about the dangers of walking or stopping on the train tracks.

The company is using U.S. Rail Safety Week, a national campaign that started Sunday and runs through Friday, to encourage both pedestrians and drivers to use caution near rail intersections — particularly as local officials work to establish a quiet zone through Palm Beach County that would help silence train horns along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks where Brightline will operate.

Brightline has not released a start date for its service, but officials have said they hope to start operating between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale by the end of the year.

Although Brightline isn’t shuttling passengers yet, the company’s four trains continue to undergo testing along the FEC tracks between West Palm Beach and Miami.

“Rail safety is Brightline’s number one priority,” Brightline CEO Dave Howard said in a prepared statement released by the company. “Through partnering with Operation Lifesaver to promote National Rail Safety Week, we hope to further equip the general public with the knowledge necessary to stay safe around not just our Brightline tracks, but all other tracks and highway-rail grade crossings located throughout the country.”

For years, the FEC line had one set of tracks that was used only by freight trains. Brightline required the construction of a second set of tracks — an addition that will allow two trains to pass each other at the same time and mix freight and passenger traffic.

Brightline’s passenger trains will move faster than freight traffic.

The company’s trains are expected to reach speeds of up to 79 mph between Miami and West Palm Beach. Freight trains on the FEC line operate at speeds of between 35 mph and 40 mph, although the trains are capable of moving up to 60 mph, officials have said.

In April, Brightline teamed up with the school district on a campaign designed to warn students and those living near the FEC Railway corridor about the dangers of walking along train tracks.

Brightline has asked cities along the route to help promote the campaign, part of a national program called Operation Lifesaver, which is designed to reduce collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and prevent trespassing on or near railroad tracks.



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