Quality of Life

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.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SENDS LETTER TO THE FDOT REGARDING BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAIN USA SAFETY CONCERNS

CHAIRMAN BOB SOLARI AND FELLOW BOARD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF INDIAN RIVER COUNTY SEND A LETTER TO FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S SECRETARY THIBAULT. Within the letter, Solari states he would like to address safety concerns related to the Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) high-speed passenger rail.

Read the letter here.

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."

FLORIDA REAL ESTATE TODAY: VIRGIN TRAINS DISMISSES SAFETY CONCERNS

THE $1.75 BILLION DOLLARS VIRGIN TRAINS USA (FORMERLY BRIGHTLINE) IN PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS INTENDED IMPROVE THEIR HIGH-SPEED RAIL TRAIN SAFETY HAS BEEN INVESTED IN NON-ESSENTIAL REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT. Clearly, safety is not their top priority.

Treasure Coast residents and elected government officials are growing more and more concerned about Virgin Trains complete disregard for safety concerns about their 100+ mph trains which will be traveling through heavily-populated areas.

WITNESS SEES TRUCK STUCK ON TRAIN TRACKS FOR AN HOUR

WITNESS SEES TRUCK STUCK ON TRACKS FOR AN HOUR. The car carrier was stuck on the 26th Street RR crossing in Vero Beach from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Fortunately, maintenance crews were able to successfully remove the truck before any train-vehicle collision could occur.

"What a disaster it would have been should it have happened just before an incoming train, especially if it was carrying anything hazardous," the witness comments. "Could have wiped out the whole neighborhood."

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT'S ESTIMATED COST RISES TO $79B, REPORT SAYS

ESTIMATED COSTS FOR THE CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT INCREASED $2B TO A TOTAL OF $79B, according to a report by the High-Speed Rail Authority.

This project has been vehemently blasted by President Trump and other officials such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom comment that the full project "would cost too much and take too long."

The latest estimate for the high-speed rail project's completion is set for 2033.

Read more here.

RAILROAD CROSSING ARMS NOW WORKING IN DOWNTOWN WEST PALM BEACH

THE BRIGHTLINE/ FLORIDA EAST COAT RAILROAD CROSSING ARMS MALFUNCTIONED FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF ON THURSDAY MORNING, reports the WPTV. Fortunately, the crossing arms had malfunctioned in the down position - it could have malfunctioned in the up position just as easily.

Read more here.

ONE WEEK AFTER CHANGING BRIGHTLINE NAME, VIRGIN TRAIN KILLS PEDESTRIAN IN POMPANO

A PEDESTRIAN WAS STUCK BY VIRGIN TRAINS AND DIED NEAR THE TRACKS ON APRIL 12, the Broward Sheriff's Office confirmed. This just a week since the privately-owned railway company Brightline rebranded as Virgin Trains USA. The cause of death is under investigation.

Read more here.

The original article was written by Martin Vassolo of the Miami Herald.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: LOCAL TREASURE COAST VOTERS DO NOT WANT HIGH-SPEED RAIL

"THE ALL ABOARD FLORIDA/BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN HIGH-SPEED RAIL VENTURE HAS BEEN A DEBACLE OF EVERY DIMENSION SINCE IT WAS FIRST PROPOSED FIVE YEARS AGO," Douglas Sweeny accurately states in an opinion article to the TC Palm. Sweeny highlights how financially infeasible and unsafe the project is, and comments that the majority of local Treasure Coasts residents do not want Virgin Trains USA's high-speed rail.

Read more here.