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AASHTO Journal

Private Florida Passenger Rail Firm Aims to Launch Service to Three Cities in July, August

The Brightline privately funded passenger rail service, which has been under construction in southeast Florida, announced that its "introductory express service will begin between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in late July, followed by service to Miami in late August."

capitol0816.jpgThe carrier said the startup will mark "the first time a new private infrastructure passenger rail project will initiate operations in the US in more than 100 years." It also said it expects to hold a grand opening and official launch of the train service in September.

The new train system is being built by a company called All Aboard Florida, which is a unit of Florida East Coast Industries, along a rail corridor owned by Florida East Coast Railway.

It designed an initial phase to launch service between Miami and West Palm Beach, and plans a second phase to extend its route to Orlando. 

"While the line has been focused on launching the first phase of service from Miami to West Palm Beach, progress continues on Phase 2 to Orlando," Brightline said in a news release. "The company is currently finalizing permitting and will have a better idea of timing to Orlando after operations begin this summer."

It said March 10 that work was "nearing completion" on new train stations in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and that "rail infrastructure improvements on the corridor between West Palm Beach and Miami are 80 percent complete."

Earlier this year the company received its first trainset of two locomotives and four coaches – dubbed "BrightBlue – and has been testing it on a nine-mile test track.

This month it took delivery of the second of five brightly hued trainsets and named it BrightPink. The builder is Siemens Rolling Stock in Sacramento, Calif., and Brightline said its trains "are 100 percent Buy America compliant, using components from more than 40 suppliers across more than 20 states."

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