BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brightline will begin testing its trains at higher speeds through northern Brevard County this weekend in preparation for its opening to Orlando, officials said in a news release.
The area will see trains travel at 79 mph this month, but the speed will increase to 110 mph early next year. "The work, known as a signal and track cutover, will integrate a new second railroad track into the existing corridor and will take place along a 13-mile section of track, spanning 18 railroad crossings from Sharpes through City Point, Cocoa and Rockledge.
"We will be passing thru these crossings in a matter of seconds and even as we're doing this testing, it's only going to be a delay of only a couple of minutes," Katie Mitzner, Brightline spokesperson said.
The testing is expected to bring longer wait times for drivers at railroad crossings, according to a Brightline spokesperson.
"In this corridor, no one has ever seen a train come through at that speed and so we're using this opportunity to remind everyone of basic rail safety," Mitzner said. These tests are in preparation for it's extension to Orlando in mid 2023.
Flaggers will be present at the following railroad crossings from 6 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 29 through 6 p.m. Saturday. Nov. 5 while the new rail signal system is commissioned:
Canaveral Groves Blvd.
King St. – SR 520
Rosa L. Jones Blvd. (Poinsett Dr.)
Gus Hipp Blvd.
Barnes Blvd. (SR 502)
"Residents should be alert, follow the law around active railroad tracks and railroad crossings and be aware that once the second track is commissioned, rail traffic could run on BOTH tracks. Failure to follow the law could result in fines, points on your license or loss of life," Brightline said in a statement.