Florida’s new high-speed train will begin speed testing this month ahead of opening to Orlando in 2023. Brightline will test trains at maximum speeds of 110 miles-per-hour the week of October 17, 2022. People in Martin and St. Lucie counties should be alert to follow the law around active railroad tracks and railroad crossings.
“If the crossing arms are down, don’t drive around,” said Joe Meade, director of safety at Brightline. “This testing serves as a critical reminder to the public to be safe around active railroad tracks and obey all traffic laws. Never stop on the tracks, don’t drive around crossing gates, and only cross tracks at a designated railroad crossing.”
The first phase of the testing will take place over six weeks and along an 11-mile section of track. This will span nine railroad crossings in Martin and St. Lucie counties. In St. Lucie counties they will include:
- Savannah Road / Waterplant Road
- Midway Road. (Country Road 712)
- Walton Road
- Riverview Drive
In Martin County they will include:
- County Line Road
- Skyline Drive (County Road 722)
- Pitchford Landing
- Jensen Beach Boulevard (State Road 707A)
- Palmetto Avenue
What To Look For
During this testing period, flaggers will be present at all the crossings in the listed counties. People using the roadways whether in their cars, walking, or biking should be aware that rail traffic will run on both tracks in both directions. Those who don’t follow the law could face fines or points on their license. People are also reminded that this testing could mean longer wait times at railroad crossings.
In preparation for opening to Orlando in 2023, the testing will occur in phases along the 129-mile rail corridor between West Palm Beach and Cocoa, through Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Brevard Counties. Brightline has made crucial safety improvements at all 156 railroad crossings along the corridor. All safety improvements have been installed at the crossings. They vary per crossing but include new crossing gates, signal systems, pedestrian gates, pavement markings, and roadway profiles. Locations where trains will operate at 110 mph have crossings with quad gates or medians to prevent motorists from driving around lowered crossing gates.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America. It serves Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, with stations in Aventura and Boca Raton opening at the end of 2022. It plans to bring service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California.
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