AMTRAK CRASH RAISES SAFETY CONCERNS ABOUT BRIGHTLINE'S HIGH-SPEED TRAINS

Publish Date: 
Friday, December 22, 2017 - 12:45pm

AFTER THE FATAL AMTRAK TRAIN DERAILMENT IN WASHINGTON STATE, QUESTIONS REGARDING BRIGHTLINE'S HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER TRAINS SAFETY ARISE ONCE MORE. The Amtrak train in Washington derailed going 80 mph in a 30 mph zone. Brightline intends to serve trains that are expected to reach speeds of 79, 110 and 125 mph.

"I am afraid of this happening on the Treasure Coast," said Indian River County Attorney Dylan Reingold. "I think it paints a real picture of our real concerns."

Brightline trains would be passing through 200 railroad crossings and a railroad drawbridge in densely populated areas along the Floridian East Coast.

When asked, Brightline officials would not give specifics about how they intend to make sure the Amtrak derailment is not repeated in Florida. They intend to install a new technology, Postive Train Control, which would use satellite GPS, ground-based radio towers and sensors in railroad tracks to automatically slow or stop trains to prevent derailments and other potential crashes. However, this technology will not be installed before trains start rolling out and carrying passengers.

Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida say the trains should not roll out before the new technology is installed. "It would be a tragedy if Brightline trains were to start running without the [system] in place," CARE Florida chairman Brent Hanlon said. "That would just be devasting."

Read more here.

Original Article written by Wayne K. Roustan of the Sun Sentinel.