WATCH: History made as Brightline becomes fastest train in Florida

Posted: 14 March 2023 | | No comments yet

After reaching speeds of 130mph during testing, Brightline is now officially the fastest train in Florida and Southeastern United States. Watch the video here of this historic moment.

Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America, is officially the fastest train in Florida and the Southeastern United States after reaching speeds of 130mph. The historic accomplishment took place on 6 March 2023 during train testing along the new 35-mile rail corridor between Orlando International Airport and Cocoa, Fla (see the footage of this historic moment in the video above). The new tracks are built along the Beachline Expressway/SR 528, which is fenced and has no grade crossings.

One step closer to launching Brightline services between Orlando and Miami

During testing, Brightline trains are required to test faster than planned operating speeds. Once carrying passengers, Brightline trains will travel at maximum speeds of 125mph which is more than two miles per minute. 

Patrick Goddard, President of Brightline, said: “Reaching 130mph isn’t just another milestone to our team, but the continuation of a dream that we’ve been working towards for several years. More importantly, this historic feat brings us one step closer to launching Brightline service between Orlando and Miami.”

Jim Kovalsky, President, Florida East Coast Railway Society, said: “Florida has always been at the forefront of train travel since the days when Henry Flagler connected Jacksonville to the Keys. Back then, there were reports that trains ran at 100mph, but no one ever dreamed of reaching 130mph. Brightline dreamed big and did it. History has been made and Henry Flagler would be proud.”

Brightline train runs on tracks

Approaching Dallas Blvd. Credit: Brightline

Record breaking

By reaching 130mph, Brightline broke its previous record of 110mph, which was set in fall 2022 during testing through Martin and St. Lucie Counties in Florida’s Treasure Coast. 

Opening in 2023, the Orlando Station will revolutionise train travel in America and continue Brightline’s vision of offering a guest-first travel experience. Connecting two of the most congested city pairs in the nation, Brightline will whisk passengers between South and Central Florida in about three hours. 

How fast does a Brightline train go? The maximum speeds are:

  • Current operations in South Florida: 79mph 
  • Orlando extension from West Palm Beach to Cocoa: 110mph
  • Cocoa to Orlando International Airport: 125mph.

The trainsets are powered by two locomotives, one on each end, that are 16-cylinder, 4,000 hp Cummins EPA Tier-IV compliant diesel-electric engines. These locomotives and coaches are manufactured at the Siemens Rolling Stock Facility in Sacramento, California.

Brightline continues to work closely with community partners, government agencies and news media to raise awareness for rail safety throughout all testings. Brightline’s current testing along the corridor from Cocoa south to West Palm Beach is ongoing, reaching speeds of up to 110 mph. Brightline has made significant infrastructure and safety improvements at all 156 crossings between Cocoa and Palm Beach. At the crossings where testing is occuring all safety improvements have been installed. Those improvements vary per crossing, but may include new crossing gates, signal systems, pedestrian gates, pavement markings and roadway profiles. Where trains will operate at 110mph, all crossings have quad gates or medians to prevent motorists from driving around lowered crossing gates. 

Trains will continue testing between Orlando International Airport and Cocoa daily throughout March 2023.


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