Tri-Rail Approved for Testing on FEC/Brightline

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has received approval from Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway to test Tri-Rail equipment and train SFRTA personnel on the FEC right-of-way, in preparation for the anticipated start of Tri-Rail service directly into Downtown Miami. Concurrently, Brightline has provided authorization for Tri-Rail trains to enter MiamiCentral Station as part of the testing.

FEC tracks where Tri-Rail trains will test are in Hialeah, Gladeview, Liberty City, Little River, Little Haiti, Upper East Side, Morningside, Buena Vista, Miami Design District, Midtown, Edgewater, Wynwood, Omni, Overtown, Park West and Downtown. SFRTA said it “may request for additional dates to be considered for testing.”

SFRTA added that onboard personnel will be limited to railroad staff and contractors, including a Brightline qualified engineer that will provide training to SFRTA train crews. Variable message signs will be in place at twelve crossings along the east-west segment of tracks to alert drivers and pedestrians of the additional train activity, with SFRTA personnel handing out flyers with safety tips. 

Tri-Rail trains are scheduled to test from June 19 through June 23, between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. They will be routed from the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC) where Tri-Rail normally operates onto the FEC just south of the Metrorail Transfer Station. They will operate at a maximum speed of 40 mph on the approximate eight-mile right-of-way, starting from Hialeah eastbound and onto the east-west portion of tracks currently in use by FEC freight trains only, then continue south at Little River to the FEC tracks currently in use by Brightline. 

“The day has arrived where the first Tri-Rail train will run directly into Downtown Miami and into the MiamiCentral Station for testing, thanks to the great partnership we have established with FEC and Brightline,” said Commissioner Raquel Regalado, SFRTA Governing Board Chair. “This is yet another momentous occasion marking the progress of the work that has been in the making for a very long time.” 

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