Everybody has been watching Brightline, the bold upstart operator of private-sector passenger trains in a nation where every other scheduled train is operated in the public sector, either by Amtrak or by a local transit authority. There has been a lot of news about Brightline lately, and this writer originally intended to focus on the customer experience and the railroad’s plans for the future.
All Aboard Florida
Only one company submitted a proposal to develop a passenger rail line connecting Tampa and Orlando – but that company is well-known in Florida transportation circles.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven L. Abrams was selected Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA).
BrightRed, the fifth and final higher-speed trainset for All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger rail service, has departed the Siemens USA plant in Sacramento, Calif., and is on its way to South Florida, traveling 3,052 miles across the southern U.S. via the Union Pacific and CSX through eight states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida).
The Siemens-built, Cummins QSK-95-powered Charger diesel-electric locomotives hauling All Aboard Florida’s Brightline higher-speed express passenger trains connecting West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami along the Florida East Coast Railway main line will be fueled with blended biodiesel under a two-year contract with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL).
Brightline, Florida’s soon-to-open higher-speed passenger rail service, conducted a training seminar for first responders from Broward and Palm Beach counties at Workshop b, the rail operator’s maintenance facility, in West Palm Beach on June 24.
The future of a bill aimed at regulating Brightline, South Florida’s private passenger rail operation, is in question after a House committee this week postponed a vote on the measure.
Siemens announced Dec. 14 that its first Brightline trainset, comprised of two locomotives and four coaches adorned in Brightline Blue, is complete and has left the company’s manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif.