Brightline begins testing trains in Miami-Dade County

Company cautions residents to pay attention to safety measures in place

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Brightline announced Wednesday that testing on railroad tracks in Miami-Dade County has begun, and people living in and around the Florida East Coast Railway tracks should pay close attention to safety measures that have been put in place. 

Since it began service from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach, the express rail line has been plagued by cars and pedestrians being hit. 

Brightline representatives said all of the accidents were avoidable because people and motorists are circumventing safety precautions or using the trains to taken their own lives. 

They said an aggressive safety campaign has been underway to educate and warn Miami-Dade County residents that the trains will be running and are faster than any other trains on South Florida tracks. 

Drivers can look for some delays at railway crossings in the coming days due to testing and test-train runs, which will continue to ramp up until service begins from Miami sometime early next month.

"You can probably expect to see four or five round trips a day now, and that will ramp up to about 11 round trips a day over the next few weeks," Brightline CEO Patrick Goddard said. 

"It is going to be a new dynamic for downtown," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said. "It is a very dense area. It is the densest area of Dade County, and so, we are doing everything we can in terms of a working perspective to ensure that all safety measures that are reasonable are taken and that the public is informed of what is happening."

Suarez said the county is putting out public service announcements in three languages about the trains and safety measures. 

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