Lack of Transparency

RESIDENTS POOL $200K SO FLORIDA COUNTY CAN TAKE SUIT AGAINST VIRGIN TRAINS TO SUPREME COURT

THE ALLIANCE FOR SAFE TRAINS NONPROFIT GROUP HAS RAISED $200K IN PRIVATE MONEY. This money has been raised for Indian River County to pursue its case against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Indian River County had previously sued the U.S. DOT and FRA for wrongly issuing $2.7B in tax-exempt bonds, but both a federal court and a federal appeals court ruled the bonds were permissable. After $3M fighting the case, the Indian River County Commission voted in January to end further appeals.

FRA: EIGHT RAILROADS AT RISK OF MISSING PTC DEADLINE

THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINSTRATION RELEASED A FOURTH-QUARTER 2019 REPORT FEB 27, highlighting the status on railroads' progress in implementing positive train control (PTC) systems as required by Congress.

According to the report, eight host railroads, including Florida East Coast Railway—and their tenant railroad, Brightline/Virgin Trains USA— are at risk of not fully implementing a PTC systems by the Dec 31, 2020 deadline.

Read more here.

BRIGHTLINE PASSENGER COUNTS, REVENUE REMAIN WELL BELOW COMPANY'S OWN PROJECTIONS

BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA REPORT FINDS THAT 2019 PASSENGER COUNT AND REVENUES WERE FAR BELOW ITS OWN FORECASTS. Passengers count barely broke one million, less than half the count originally projected, and revenue was $22 million, less than a fifth.

TRAIN WRECK TIMES - GOOD NEWS AND BAD

 

 

 

TRAIN WRECK TIMES

BY SUSAN MEHIEL

GOOD NEWS AND BAD

We are pleased to report our Guest Column in the TC Palm newspapers ran today. Read the article here.

LOCAL LEGISLATORS WANT TO REGULATE VIRGIN TRAINS

STATE SENATOR DEBBIE MAYFIELD PLANS TO PUSH BILL FOR INCREASED SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR HIGHER-SPEED PASSENGER RAILROADS. Mayfield plans to submit her proposal later this month.

This bill follows the findings in the 2018 Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability report, which reported that more deaths and injuries occur along the Florida passenger-rails lines than the national average.

Read more here.

SUSAN MEHIEL'S TRAIN WRECK TIMES - MOVEMENT ON LNG AND MORE

 


Train Wreck Times

By Susan Mehiel

Movement on LNG and a CALL TO ACTION!

 

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION JOINS THE FIGHT AGAINST VIRGIN TRAINS USA/BRIGHTLINE

THE INDIAN RIVER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION FILED AN AMICUS BRIEF SUPPORTING INDIAN RIVER COUNTY'S APPEAL OF PABs for the privately-owned high-speed passenger rail project Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline.

The association argued that the U.S. Department of Transportation "misinterpreted laws in order to qualify Brightline/Virgin Trains USA for the bond financing."

Appellate Judges David S. Tatel, Patricia A. Millett and Neomi J. Rao accepted the association's brief on June 3.

75 PEOPLE HAVE DIED ON FLORIDA RAIL SYSTEMS IN LESS THAN 18 MONTHS | SUSAN MEHIEL'S LETTER TO O’ROURKE

Dear Mr. O’Rourke,

Per your letter below sent to a number of people on the Treasure and Space Coasts of Florida, I would like to take the opportunity to point out a number of issues.

VIRGIN TRAINS USA SELECTS CONTRACTORS FOR ORLANDO RAIL EXPANSION

VIRGIN TRAINS USA HAS SELECTED CONTRACTORS WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING 170 MILES OF RAIL EXPANSION FOR PHASE 2 BETWEEN ORLANDO AND SOUTH FLORIDA. These contractors include Hubbard Construction Company, Wharton-Smith Inc., The Middlesex Corporation, Granite and HSR Constructors.

Read more here.

WITH 76 TRAIN DEATHS IN 3 YEARS, FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILROAD IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN REPORTED

AN ANALYSIS HAS IDENTIFIED AT LEAST 76 DEATHS BY BRIGHTLINE (NOW VIRGIN TRAINS USA) PASSENGER AND FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY FREIGHT TRAINS SINCE 2015, by USA Today. Railroad administration data only shows 55 fatalities.

According to Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Warren Flatau, not all deaths are public on the Federal Railroad Administration data due to "suicide reporting restrictions intended to safeguard privacy."