Brightline high-speed trains have a dark side

From Carl Hiaasen in The Miami Herald: “Every passenger rail in this country spews red ink, and Brightline has zero chance of being the lone exception. Its exorbitant Phase 2 is a nonstop run from West Palm to Orlando, via Cocoa. Eventually, we’ll all be paying for this doomed folly, falsely promoted as privately funded … Click here to read more

Brightline plans to install Positive Train Control that could have prevented Amtrak crash

From WPTV: Brightline plans to install Positive Train Control before Congress’ 2018 deadline, but in Martin County engineers worry that if that deadline gets extended that trains that one day travel through the Treasure Coast will not have the important technology. … Click here to read more

Amtrak derailment fuels concern from Martin County locals against Brightline

From WPTV: “It’s too early to tell if speed was a factor in the Amtrak train derailment in Washington, but speed and safety is an important reason why people in Martin County oppose Brightline’s phase two. Starting next year, some Stuart business owners and locals will see Brightline’s construction … Click here to read more

Brightline rail service bonds get noninvestment grade

From Miami Today: “The startup luxury Brightline rail service that is now expected to link Miami with West Palm Beach by the end of March 2018 has received a non-investment grade rating on about $600 million in revenue bonds that are to be issued by the Florida Development Finance Corp. on behalf of the line’s owners … Click here to read more

Brightline to start simulated service this week

From The Palm Beach Post: “All Aboard Florida’s Brightline will begin simulated service this week, running 10 round-trip trains a day along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks as it prepares for the launch of its passenger service later this month. Brightline is expected to start shuttling passengers between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale this month … Click here to read more

All Aboard Florida wins again in water district dispute: permit cleared

“All Aboard Florida’s efforts to clear a needed environmental permit from challenges won another victory Thursday as the South Florida Water Management District rejected final challenges brought by the private passenger train developer’s critics along the Treasure Coast,” reports Florida Politics. “The water district denied 17 exceptions filed by Martin and St. Lucie counties … Click here to read more

EXCLUSIVE: Brightline train derailed in Feb., causing $408K in damage

From The Palm Beach Post: “’Soon after this incident, AAF officials attended not one but two state legislative hearings about rail safety and never once disclosed facts about the derailment, while they sought to table the safety legislation under consideration,’ said Brent Hanlon, Chairman of Citizens Against Rail Expansion, also known as CARE-FL, a Treasure Coast-based group that has been fighting the Brightline project … Click here to read more

Treasure Coast loses another bid to stop extension of Brightline to Orlando

From The Real Deal: “An administrative law judge Friday denied a challenge to the South Florida Water Management District’s decision to issue a permit needed to extend the planned Brightline passenger rail service from South Florida to Orlando. The judge tossed out the challenge brought by Martin County … Click here to read more

Sprint sues All Aboard Florida for $646,000 over partially paid bill

From The Sun Sentinel: “Sprint wants All Aboard Florida to pay up. The communications company has filed a lawsuit in Miami federal court against the parent-company of Brightline and a second company with ties to Florida East Coast Industries … Click here to read more

Martin County pulls out of Brightline lawsuit challenging Phase 2 funding, still claims ‘victory’

“Martin County Senior Assistant County Attorney, Ruth Holmes, says the county backed out of a lawsuit that challenged a request made by Brightline for bonds to pay for the Treasure Coast extension,” reports WPTV. “Contrary to how that sounds, Holmes says it is actually a ‘victory’ … Click here to read more

Treasure Coast’s US Rep. Brian Mast, Brightline exec clash over public money for railroad

From Florida Politics: “The Treasure Coast’s U.S. Rep. Brian Mast and a key railroad executive behind the proposed Brightline high-speed train clashed in Congress Thursday with Mast contending the company is getting public tax dollar subsidies despite claims to the contrary. The broader picture is of a battle … Click here to read more