Brightline has been awarded a $15 million CRISI grant to advance preliminary engineering activities to support its 67-mile extension from Orlando to Tampa, Fla.

First Look: FRA CRISI Grantees for FY21

More than $368 million in FY 2021 CRISI (Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements) program grants will be distributed among 46 freight and passenger projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) reported on June 2.

  • C&S

Keeping Vehicles and People Off Brightline Tracks

The recent spate of accidents involving humans and vehicles on Brightline’s tracks between West Palm Beach and Miami between November 2021 and February 2022 highlights two of the biggest obstacles facing Brightline’s success as a scheduled, reliable passenger railroad: The effectiveness of the dozens of grade crossing warning systems, and the easy, unimpeded accessibility of the tracks to large numbers of the population.

According to Tri-Rail Executive Director Steven L. Abrams, two of the problems that have delayed access to the city of Miami may be solved soon, and Tri-Rail and Brightline are working on the other.

Will Tri-Rail Reach Downtown Miami in 2022?

On Feb. 1, Railway Age reported that Steven L. Abrams resigned as Executive Director of Tri-Rail, South Florida’s regional passenger railroad, because of problems with long-delayed access to Brightline’s downtown MiamiCentral station. A month later, Abrams is still on the job, and it appears that things are looking up.

FRA Hosts South Florida Town Hall on Rail Safety

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Feb. 23 held a town hall meeting in Boynton Beach, Fla., to address best practices and strategies for reducing highway/rail grade crossing and trespassing incidents; officials from private-sector passenger rail operator Brightline, Florida East Coast Railway, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail), Amtrak and CSX were among those in attendance.

San Diego MTS and Affirmed Housing have broken ground on a new five-story transit-oriented housing development featuring 124 studio and one-, two- and three-bedroom units reserved for households earning 30%-60% of the area median income. (Rendering Courtesy of Studio E Architects)

Transit Briefs: Brightline, San Diego MTS, Metrolinx

Brightline, Florida’s private-sector passenger rail operator, has ordered revenue management software from Accelya. Also, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and Affirmed Housing have broken ground on a new transit-oriented housing development located at the Grantville Trolley Station; and Metrolinx is naming the 11-mile, 19-station Hurontario Light Rail Transit project as the Hazel McCallion Line.

Brightline service resumed Nov. 8, 2021, following a suspension on March 25, 2020, due to the pandemic.

Brightline: Progress, Potential, a Whole New Market?

Brightline, Florida’s private-sector passenger railroad, is progressing in its effort to extend service north to Orlando International Airport (OIA) and beyond. There is also an opportunity for Brightline to capture an entirely new ridership base, if the railroad is willing to add a specific new line of service.

Kaufman Lynn Construction, Inc., is construction manager for Brightline’s Boca Raton Station project, which includes the 38,000 square-foot station located on a 1.8-acre site and a 455-space parking garage; Zyscovich Architects is station designer. (Rendering Courtesy of Brightline)

Brightline Breaks Ground in Boca

Brightline on Jan. 25 held a groundbreaking ceremony for its $56.2 million Boca Raton Station project; slated for completion this fall, the station is located on the private-sector passenger rail operator’s 67-mile line between Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla.