Trains, South Florida's Transit System And Concerns Over Brightline

Posted on March 6, 2018

By: Bernard McCormick, Jupiter Magazine

The frequency of fatalities in the first weeks of the Brightline service should come as no surprise—and we suspect it did not come as a surprise to the FEC Railway, whose tracks the new service uses. It is a perfectly positioned track for a high-speed train, but unfortunately that is the problem. Running through the downtowns of communities all along its route, it has hundreds of grade crossings—each one an accident waiting to happen.

The grade crossing accidents on the more westerly CSX tracks, which also carries fast passenger trains, with far fewer grade crossings, along with the FEC’s own experience over more than 100 years with both passenger and freight, had to prepare Brightline executives for a rash of accidents with its new service. And they probably knew that stupid, or careless, or drunk, or whatever kinds of people, would ignore safety gates and be clobbered by trains pushing 80 miles an hour.

They probably expected the kind of close call that the Sun-Sentinel reported last month, in which a driver video taped a pickup truck actually swinging around from behind his own stopped car, and crossing the track in the opposite traffic lane, just missing the speeding train by seconds…

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