Brightline shows off express train used for Miami-to-Orlando trips

Test runs between West Palm Beach, Miami expected to begin soon

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor , Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter , Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The company building an express passenger rail line between Miami and Orlando showed off its first engine and cars.

Brightline showcased its first trainset, BrightBlue, to Local 10 News reporter Todd Tongen on Wednesday in West Palm Beach.

"We are excited to welcome our first Brightline trainset to Florida and provide a preview of the entire train," Brightline president Mike Reininger said. "Our trains are among the most innovative in the United States and the world, with every detail having been designed and built from the guest's perspective, making it easy, convenient and comfortable to ride."

The trains include wider interior aisles, providing more space for wheelchairs and strollers. Interior vestibule doors provide passengers a way to move between train cars.

Each trainset includes one select-level coach and three smart coaches. There is also complimentary WiFi.

Test runs between West Palm Beach and Miami are expected to begin soon. There will also be a stop in Fort Lauderdale.

The first phase of the high-speed passenger train -- which promises trips to and from Miami and West Palm Beach in an hour -- is scheduled to open this summer.

However, not everyone is happy about it. The marine industry in South Florida is at odds with the privately financed company, formerly known as All Aboard Florida, because of a 12-day closure in the down position of the New River bridge in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

In a 20-page civil lawsuit filed in federal court, more than two dozen companies complain the closure would bring financial hardship.

 

"Over 65 percent of the approximate yearly $8.8 billion direct and indirect output of the Marine Industry in Broward County comes from the New River access," a federal lawsuit said.

Brightline already has crews on site to make repairs and upgrades to the bridge. From Feb. 11 to Feb. 23, the bridge will be kept in the down position, keeping large vessels from navigating inland.

"The safest and most expeditious way to get the work done, which is what our priority is, is to do it in the down position," Reininger said.

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