Brightline Deaths A Glimpse Into the Future?

By Rich Campbell
November 11, 2017
TC Palm

Brightline hasn’t even started commercial operations, yet its trains already have struck and killed two people.

Not a good start for a project that might eventually bring 32 daily passenger trains through the Treasure Coast.

Is this a harbinger of things to come for Brightline, formerly known as All Aboard Florida?

You decide.

Brightline officials have repeatedly emphasized their commitment to safety for the Miami-to-Orlando passenger rail project.

“Safety is our top priority,” a Brightline spokesperson said Wednesday via email. “And we are implementing every safety measure outlined in the Final Environmental Impact Statement to ensure our system meets or exceeds (Federal Railroad Administration) guidelines. This includes meeting the sealed corridor guidelines in the Treasure Coast.”

The environmental impact statement helps federal agencies assess the environmental, social and economic impacts of a proposed project.

Let’s be accurate.

All Aboard Florida initially had no intention of installing sealed corridors in our region. Sealed corridor construction — i.e., enhanced safety features at highway-grade crossings, which could include four-quadrant gates and concrete medians to separate traffic — were recommended in a 2014 report by the Federal Railroad Administration, but were rejected by the rail company because they were a “guideline” rather than a “regulation.”

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