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Press Releases/ Brightline Trains Operati...

Brightline Trains Operating at Top Speeds - Signal Testing Continues

May 21, 2021

MIAMI, Fla. – Brightline signal work continues in Palm Beach County, through railroad crossings in Boynton Beach, Lantana and Lake Worth. Work will begin at 7 a.m., Sunday, May 23 and continue until 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 26. The work supports positive train control (PTC) implementation and is expected to be completed by July 2021. Testing is in preparation of Brightline’s return to service later this year.

For the first time since Brightline began testing, trains will be able to operate at FRA approved and authorized top speeds of 79 miles per hour outside of specific testing zones and along the entire 67-mile corridor from West Palm Beach to Miami. Trains will be adhering to quiet zones throughout testing and will not sound horns in designated areas.

With trains now operating on the tracks at more regular intervals and at top speeds, Brightline is reminding the public, pedestrians, motorists and cyclists to make safe choices around trains and crossings. The safety message is simple: look, listen, live. Drivers and pedestrians should obey all traffic laws around crossings and never stop on the tracks! Remain alert and aware when near railroad tracks and only cross the tracks at a railroad crossing.

NOTE: The following will occur during signal testing at the crossings listed below:

  • Brightline trains will be present in the work zones (listed below) and could be present throughout the entire corridor from West Palm Beach to Miami.
  • Horns WILL SOUND, even in quiet zones. This includes all trains (Brightline and freight trains). This is in adherence to the federal regulation that states train horns must be sounded if workers are present or work is occurring in or near the right of way.
  • Flaggers and workers will be present at railroad crossings and signal locations as well as along the right of way in current work zones (listed below).

We encourage press to post on social media to alert the public on Brightline’s signal tests.  Brightline will be posting announcements on its social channels as well: Twitter and Instagram.

The following information is also available on the Brightline website,  Questions can be directed to Katie Mitzner, Brightline Director of Public Affairs at katie.mitzner@gobrightline.com or 407-502-3587.

 

Palm Beach County

Locations in Boynton Beach, Lantana and Lake Worth
Continuous testing, 7 a.m., Sunday, May 23 through 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 26.

Boynton Beach

SE 23rd Ave.

SE 15th Ave.

SE 12th Ave.

SE 5th Ave.

East Ocean Ave.

Boynton Beach Blvd. (SR 804)

NE 6th Ave.

NE 10th Ave./ML King Jr Blvd.

NE 15th Ave.

NE 22nd Ave. (SR 5)

Lantana

Miner Rd.

Hypoluxo Rd.

Central Blvd.

Pine St.

West Ocean Ave.

Lantana Rd. (SR 812)

Lake Worth

Washington Ave.

12th Ave. South

10th Ave. South

# # #

ABOUT BRIGHTLINE

Brightline is the only private high-speed passenger rail system in the United States, providing modern, eco-friendly train service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida, with plans to expand to Orlando. Brightline was recognized in 2020 by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning 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.

 

 

Press Releases/ Brightline Trains Passes ...

Brightline Trains Passes 50 Percent Completion Milestone on Construction Between Miami to Orlando

May 19, 2021

ORLANDO, FLA. – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly high-speed rail, today announced a major milestone, the company has passed the halfway mark for construction on its extension to Orlando. The company held the announcement at the future site for its vehicle maintenance facility (VMF) just south of the Orlando International Airport (OIA). The progress on Brightline’s VMF and 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to OIA represent the company’s $4.2 billion-dollar private investment into the state of Florida. Brightline executives, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings joined region-wide county and city officials, Central Florida government partners and community leaders who toured the new facility site and celebrated the major construction milestone. Attendees marked the occasion by signing a 12-foot, bright yellow stick of steel rail. The rail will be incorporated into Brightline’s track between the OIA station and the VMF as a sign of everlasting community support.

 

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Once complete the corridor will connect South and Central Florida (235 miles), making it one of the country’s largest and most significant privately financed infrastructure projects. The project is expected to be complete by late 2022. Brightline has over 1,000 construction workers on multiple sites for the 170-mile project with 48 bridges, 52,000 tons of steel rail (approximately the weight of the Empire State Building), 1.4M square feet of retaining walls (more than triple the floor area of Camping World Stadium in Orlando) and six million cubic yards of earth embankment (more than enough to fill up the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center). In total, Brightline’s high-speed rail network will create over 10,000 jobs and over $6.4 billion in economic impact over an eight-year period.

“Today, Brightline is halfway home to Orlando as we progress toward completion of one of the nation’s largest and most significant transportation projects,” said Brightline’s CEO Mike Reininger. “This is just one major milestone of Brightline’s progress and investment of more than $4 billion dollars which serves as a powerful example to those across the country who are calling for the creation of a national high-speed rail network.”

“This is an exciting time for our community and the entire state of Florida,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Brightline is fulfilling a longtime vision to bring high-speed rail to Central Florida and providing additional transportation options for our residents and our visitors. I look forward to boarding the first Brightline train to Miami from their station at Orlando International Airport.”

“Today is an important milestone” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. “The construction of the Orlando extension has employed thousands throughout the region and will continue to bring much needed jobs to our community. We need to continue to support public and private partnerships that will improve transportation and mobility options and meet the needs of our growing population.”

Brightline currently has operations and stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.  The company currently has plans for additional stations in Boca Raton and Aventura, and discussions are underway with local stakeholders regarding expansion to Disney and Tampa.  

“Today is an impressive showing of support from a broad coalition of our public and private partners and community leaders who recognize the need for high-speed rail in Florida,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Brightline is establishing a new transportation network in our state and unlocking countless benefits related to jobs, the climate and equity.”

Brightline will also bring its award-winning 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. Similar to how Brightline plans to operate its service to Orlando, the tracks on the West Coast will run on existing transportation corridors.

Brightline is reinventing train travel in the U.S. with its high-speed rail system that generates a positive impact on jobs, the climate, and accessibility to transportation. Upon completion, Florida will be home to some of the fastest, most efficient and eco-friendly trains running in the United States. 

MATERIALS for DOWNLOAD:

MEDIA CONTACT:

KATIE MITZNER, katie.mitzner@gobrightline.com

407.502.3587

 

About Brightline

Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022. Brightline was recognized in 2020 by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning 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.

 

 

Press Releases/ Brightline CEO Mike Reini...

Brightline CEO Mike Reininger Testifies in Front of US House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee

May 6, 2021

MIAMI (May 6, 2021) -- Today, Brightline CEO Michael Reininger presented to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. Reininger offered a private sector perspective on how America can break through the inertia to create a national high-speed rail network and presented tangible steps Congress can take to unlock more private investment into high-speed rail.

Reininger highlighted Brightline’s success and high-speed rail’s ability to meet the Biden Administration’s objectives related to jobs, climate and equity. Excerpts from Reininger’s testimony included:

Jobs: “And of course, there’s the $6.4 billion in economic impact that Florida is already realizing as a consequence of our activities, including more than 10,000 construction jobs.”

Climate: “Our Florida trains run on biodiesel and Brightline West will operate zero-emission, electric trains. Together, these routes will remove more than a half million tons of CO2 emissions annually by eliminating 7.6 million vehicle trips.”

Equity:Additionally, high speed rail revitalizes downtown areas with new transit hubs, enhancing existing infrastructure and encouraging further development to consolidate around stations. Both our transportation and development activities have advanced equity within our communities. Development of MiamiCentral helped spur revitalization of Overtown, an historically vibrant community of color that was cut off with the construction of I-95 decades ago.”

Reininger also offered several recommendations to the committee that will help the country unlock the potential of high-speed rail, including:

Grant Programs: “Consider allowing private entities to become eligible parties for FRA grant programs by partnering with currently eligible applicants as a simple way to stretch direct government investment.”

Private Activity Bonds: “Consider increasing the volume cap on PABs from the current $15 billion – which has already been exhausted – to $30 billion to create a larger available pool to help finance projects.”

Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF): “Another opportunity to improve access to capital is to revamp the RRIF program to make it more attractive to private investors in passenger rail projects.”

Brightline connects city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive. Brightline currently has an existing line in South Florida, is currently under construction to the Orlando International Airport, and is planning a third extension to Tampa.

Brightline West is the company’s first expansion outside of Florida and will connect Las Vegas to the greater Los Angeles Metro Area. The project would utilize fully electric, zero emission train sets with top speeds of 200 miles per hour making it the greenest form of transportation in the country.

Full Remarks: https://www.gobrightline.com/press-room/brightline-ceo-testifies-before-the-house-committee-on-transportation-and-infrastructure-

 

--END--

 

CONTACT:     Ben Porritt

EMAIL:            ben@gobrightline.com

Press Releases/ Testimony of Brightline C...

Testimony of Brightline CEO Michael Reininger before the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

May 6, 2021

Testimony of P. Michael Reininger, CEO, Brightline Holdings, LLC before the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and members of the Subcommittee.  As the CEO of Brightline, I am honored to be here again, having last testified before you four years ago.  Brightline was under construction, and some of the same discussion topics were on the table. Since our 2018  launch in Florida, we operate the only private high-speed system in the US, showcasing the potential of American high-speed passenger rail.  

We carried more than a million passengers in our first full year and learned a lot that is worth sharing from the investment of over $4 billion over the last 10 years.

From the perspective of our experience, we see multiple opportunities to again, break free from the inertia that has historically restrained high-speed rail in the US.  

Along with the current discussion around the potential of high-speed rail, we also hear the voices lamenting the lack of the advanced train systems that exist in many competing global economies. We see immediate ways to forge meaningful progress toward realizing the potential we are discussing and encourage this committee to enlist the private sector to multiply the effects of public-sector investments.

We have developed an approach which applies American ingenuity to the successful models observed from around the world.

We carefully select travel markets that are “too short to fly and too far to drive” and where introducing passenger rail presents a clear consumer value proposition. Changing current habits requires offering a better option.

We use existing road alignments and infrastructure corridors to leverage previous investments, reduce environmental impacts, lower costs, speed execution and build a basis for profitability.  

Given the high costs of infrastructure, this is one area where public and private cooperation can yield dramatic results.

We continue to build our system every day, and in 2022 we will complete the extension into the Orlando International Airport making our total route 235 miles- linking 4 of the largest cities in America’s third largest state. 400 million annual trips occur between these cities, 95% of them by car.

We upgraded a freight railway first built in the 1890s and are now building along an express highway to leverage 130 years of previous investment to support our 21st century service. Brightline is on track to carry 9 million annual riders.

Brightline West will connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles where today 50 million annual trips and over 100 daily flights occur.  Traveling on trains capable of speeds of 200 mph- using the I-15 corridor, but cutting the drive-time in half- Brightline West’s better option expects to serve 11 million annual riders.

We Integrate with other systems to fashion a multi-modal network that is diverse and convenient. MiamiCentral connects all local transit systems with ridesharing, bike sharing and even e-scooters to connect our customers to their ultimate destinations

This level of integration requires inter-agency investment and innovation, but also offers real leverage in advancing the appeal of train travel in America.

Cooperation is key to advancing the administration’s priorities related to jobs, climate, and equity so the many benefits that accrue from the introduction of high-speed rail-  to customers, communities and economies -are unlocked.

Revitalizing Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, equitable access to transportation and new employment opportunities are just a few of the benefits in addition to the $6.4 billion in total economic impact Brightline has already produced in Florida.

As this subcommittee looks to exact results-  especially through increased public investment, we urge you not to consolidate around a single approach, and not to underestimate the power private investment can bring toward crafting a national network.

Consider allowing private entities to become eligible parties for FRA grant programs by partnering with currently eligible applicants as a simple way to stretch direct government investment.

High-speed rail projects require large upfront investments and need cost-efficient, long-term financing.  

Private Activity Bonds helped us attract private lenders and freed up capital to be redirected into building our hard assets.  Consider increasing the volume cap on PABs from the current $15 billion – which has already been exhausted – to $30 billion to create a larger available pool to help finance projects.  An improvement, but PABs alone is not the full solution.

RRIF was designed as a low-interest loan, in lieu of grants, to incent projects that need an economic boost.  We vigorously pursued RRIF, but ultimately found it ineffective for projects such as ours.

RRIF has only provided $6.2 billion of a $35 billion authorization in project funding over the last two decades – none of which has gone to high-speed rail. Why? These projects; viewed as start-up ventures, get ladened with high, upfront credit-risk premiums, adding inertia that defeats the momentum otherwise gathered from a low-interest loan. 

If credit risk premiums were an eligible use of USDOT discretionary grant programs, much smaller grants, used in conjunction with a loan, would ultimately return principal and interest to the government, engage equity investment into the collateral and lower the overall level of public investment needed to exact results.  

We commend the efforts of this Subcommittee for the chance to present our suggestions. Our collective efforts can advance us toward an American high-speed rail system that will compete alongside the best in the world- and as an active participant, we remain fully committed to overcoming inertia and building systems that we can all ride within the next fours. 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases/ Brightline Names Christin...

Brightline Names Christine Kefauver Senior Vice President of Corporate Development

March 15, 2021

Orlando, Fla., Brightline Trains has announced Christine Kefauver as senior vice president of corporate development. Kefauver will lead Brightline’s government affairs and community outreach in Central Florida where the company is under construction to expand its service to Orlando International Airport. Brightline is also negotiating with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on an expansion to Tampa.

 

“Christine is the right leader for Brightline to build a strong and active presence in Central Florida,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Christine understands the history and future opportunities of the region and has built a strong reputation with all those involved in effecting change within the transportation sector.”

 

“The transportation industry is changing rapidly and there is no better example than Brightline’s effort to connect Florida with high-speed rail,” said Kefauver. “I’m excited to jump on board and look forward to building a transportation system and network that will accelerate Central Florida’s mobility plans and continue to make Florida our nation’s most competitive state.”

 

Kefauver served as the transportation policy advisor for Mayor Buddy Dyer at the City of Orlando for seven years, playing a key part in advancing Central Florida's first commuter rail line, SunRail. Kefauver has been involved in Central Florida transportation initiatives for over 30 years and recognizes the power of partnerships, having built wide-ranging coalitions while working closely with FDOT, LYNX, The Orlando Economic Partnership, MetroPlan Orlando and Orlando International Airport.

 

Prior to joining Brightline, Kefauver worked as the operations lead for Florida, Alabama and Mississippi for HDR Engineering. Managing a team of more than 600, she was accountable for all of transportation, water, power and construction services. During the past two years at HDR, Christine was the National Urban Market Development Director for both of the Engineering and Architecture lines of business.

 

An active member of the community, Kefauver served nine years on the Coalition for the Homeless in Central Florida and is a past President of WTS Central Florida.

 

--END--

 

ABOUT BRIGHTLINE

Brightline is the first privately funded passenger rail system in America in over a century and was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel. Brightline is designed to reinvent travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too close to fly and too long to drive. Providing fast, efficient, hospitality-driven transportation featuring the latest in customer-friendly amenities, Brightline currently operates in Florida between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with plans to develop new stations in Boca Raton, Aventura and Port Miami. Construction to Orlando is underway and will be complete in late 2022. Brightline West, which will connect Las Vegas and Southern California, is shovel ready and expects to launch service in 2024.

 

Press Releases/ Brightline First in North...

Brightline First in North America to Construct Rail Underpass Under Highway System Using Innovative Box-Jacking Method

March 8, 2021

Orlando, Fla. – Brightline Trains will make construction history when it builds a rail underpass under SR 528 in Brevard County, becoming the first in North America to use the innovative box-jacking method under a highway system and the first to do so under live traffic.

 

The SR 528 tunnel, located just west of US-1, will be constructed over a two-week span using box-jacking. The method uses hydraulic jacks to move precast concrete boxes into place, creating a tunnel under the roadway. An anti-drag system will be used when installing the boxes to allow for traffic to continue to travel overtop the work.

 

The SR 528 box-jacking project begins on Sunday, March 14 and will last through Tuesday, March 30.

During this time, the highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction and some entrance and exit ramps will be closed to reduce congestion on the highway. Full detours of SR 528 will be limited to overnight hours at the start and finish of the project.

 

“In order to build an underpass under SR 528, a busy highway which is a gateway to Florida beaches, we knew we had to come up with a way to minimize the impact on this roadway and the travelling public,” said Michael Cegelis, Executive Vice President, Development and Construction, Brightline. “We strive to use the newest technologies to build high-speed rail in America and our general contractor Granite found, investigated, and proposed this box-jacking concept. Box-jacking will enable us to accomplish in 15 days what would otherwise take up to a year using traditional construction methods.”

 

Granite, who built the concrete box segments, will jack them into place with support from specialty subcontractor Petrucco. The Italy-based Petrucco has successfully completed thousands of box-jacking operations worldwide.

 

The box-jacking system will use hydraulic jacks to push three precast concrete boxes, each weighing between 3,300 and 4,600 tons under SR 528. The installation will progress at approximately three feet per hour and will take between 40 and 50 workers working 12-hour shifts to keep the operation running 24/7.  The underpass, once constructed, will measure 31-feet high by 43-feet wide, will be the length of a football field and will accommodate two trains side-by-side. The underpass will allow Brightline to travel between South Florida and Central Florida and pass under SR 528, eliminating the need for a railroad crossing.

 

The Petrucco box-jacking method, while commonly used in Europe and around the globe for rail construction, has seen limited use in North America. It was first used in the United States on the Long Island Railroad expansion project in New York City. The SR 528 project will mark the fifth use of this method in North America and the second on the Brightline high-speed rail project to Orlando. In September 2020, Brightline became the first to use box-jacking outside of the northeast when it built an underpass under Goldenrod Rd. in just nine days. Traditional underpass construction would have shut down the roadway for nearly a year. 

 

The box-jacking work is part of Brightline’s Orlando extension project which covers 170-miles from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport and will connect Miami to Orlando via high-speed rail.  Construction of the $2.7B project is expected to be completed in late 2022. Railroad construction information can also be found online at https://www.gobrightline.com/railroad-construction.

 

Brightline construction videos and photos available for download at the following links:

 

Dimensions / weight of boxes:

Box 1: 137 ft. x 31 ft., 4,400 tons

Box 2: 110 ft. x 31 ft., 4,600 tons

Box 3: 101 ft. x 31 ft., 3,300 tons


MEDIA CONTACT:

Katie Mitzner

407-502-3587

katie.mitzner@gobrightline.com

 

SR 528 CLOSURES and DETOURS

LANE CLOSURES

Eastbound and westbound SR 528 (from Industry Rd. to US-1)

Full road closure with detour:

  • 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Monday, March 15
  • 10 p.m., Monday, March 29 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30

Detour Information:

  • Eastbound SR 528 traffic will be directed to exit at Clearlake Rd. (Exit 45), travel south on Industry Rd. to SR 524, travel east on SR 524/Clearlake Rd. and follow south to SR 520, travel east on SR 520 to US-1 and travel north on US-1 to access eastbound SR 528.
  • Westbound SR 528 traffic will be directed to exit at US-1 (Exit 46), travel south on US-1 to SR 520, travel west on SR 520 to Clearlake Rd., travel north on Clearlake Rd. to Industry Rd. and travel north on Industry Rd. to access westbound SR 528.

Eastbound and westbound SR 528 (from Industry Rd. to US-1)

Single lane closure in each direction, 5 a.m., Monday, March 15 through 10 p.m., Monday, March 29.

  • Traffic will be shifted to west side of SR 528 and will be reduced to one lane in each direction. As work progresses, traffic will be shifted from the westbound to the eastbound side of SR-528 remaining in one lane in each direction.

RAMP CLOSURES:

Northbound Industry Rd. entrance ramp to eastbound SR 528

Full ramp closure, 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30.

Detour Information:

  • Northbound Industry Rd. traffic wishing to travel east on SR 528 will be directed to travel south on Industry Rd. to SR 524, travel east on SR 524 to Clearlake Rd., travel south on Clearlake Rd. to SR 520, travel east on SR 520 to US-1 and travel north on US-1 to access eastbound SR 528.

Northbound US-1 entrance ramp to westbound SR 528

Full ramp closure, 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30.

Detour Information:

  • Northbound US-1 traffic wising to travel west on SR 528 will be directed to travel south on US-1 to SR 520, travel west on SR 520 to Clearlake Rd., travel north on Clearlake Rd. to Industry Rd. and travel north on Industry Rd. to access westbound SR 528.

Eastbound SR 528 exit ramp to northbound US-1 (Exit 46)

Full ramp closure, 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30.

Detour Information:

  • Eastbound SR 528 traffic wishing to travel north on US-1 will be directed to exit early at Industry Rd./Clearlake Rd. (Exit 45), travel south on Industry Rd. to SR 524, travel east on SR 524 to Clearlake Rd., travel south on Clearlake Rd. to SR 520, travel east on SR 520 to US-1 and travel north on US-1 to access eastbound SR 528.

SR-528 Eastbound and Westbound Detour