trains

Associated Press

After Richard Branson announced his Virgin Group would partner with Brightline, Florida’s new higher-speed passenger rail service, a train whisked the British billionaire, VIPs and journalists from Miami to West Palm Beach in just over an hour and then back, with no problems.

That was likely a great relief to railroad staff who have dealt with a higher than average number of deaths involving the sleek, neon-yellow trains, which travel at speeds of up to 79 mph (127 kph) through some of Florida’s most densely populated cities.

ELLIS RUA / Miami Herald

In response to the ongoing spate of fatal accidents along the Florida East Coast rail corridor, Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault to look into the issue.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

A public meeting Monday night in Jupiter about the Brightline/Virgin Trains’s northward expansion turned tense as residents voiced concerns about noise, construction closures and unforeseen costs.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Before Brightline comes rolling through Miami-Dade County, Mayor Carlos Gimenez has asked the Florida Department of Transportation to evaluate safety measures in place at the railway crossings along the private passenger line’s route.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

At least two people were killed and at least 100 people were injured early Sunday morning when an Amtrak train derailed after colliding with a freight train in South Carolina.

The derailment happened in Cayce, outside of South Carolina's capital of Columbia.

Amtrak said a train going between New York and Miami "came in contact" with a CSX freight train at about 2:35 Sunday morning.

Associated

Instead of trumpeting enviable travel times between downtown neighborhoods, promoting its high-end train service and asserting itself as part of the solution to untangling traffic, Brightline has had to focus on rail safety in its first week of service.

 

Three people were hit by Brightline passenger trains in the first week they started running trips between stations in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Two were killed and one person was injured in the three separate crashes at railway crossings.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Brightline officials addressed safety concerns at a press conference in Boca Raton Friday. Four people have been killed by the company’s trains, two within the past week.

While tragic, Brightline executives said the recent fatalities were completely avoidable. Both individuals went around safety gates and flashing lights in attempting to beat the speeding trains.

Brightline will expand its education campaign about rail safety, according to Chief Operating Officer Patrick Goddard.

All Aboard Florida

A Brightline train struck and killed a bicyclist in Boynton Beach on Wednesday afternoon, upping safety concerns in communities where the new high-speed railway travels.

It's the second time since service started last week that people have been hit and killed. In both cases, authorities say the people who died went around safety gates before being hit.

The Amtrak passenger train that derailed on Monday south of Tacoma, Wash., was traveling on tracks that were equipped with technology to prevent accidents, but the safety feature was not activated, according to the rail service.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

The National Transportation Safety Board says an Amtrak passenger train that derailed from an overpass south of Tacoma, Wash., leaving three people dead, was traveling at 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Updated at 12:30 a.m. ET Tuesday

Officials say three people are confirmed dead in the derailment of an Amtrak passenger train that plummeted off an overpass in Washington state. Part of the train was left dangling over a busy freeway between Olympia and DuPont at the height of the morning commute Monday.

Courtesy of Brightline

Brightline trains are leaving the station, but it's not quite yet full steam ahead for the express rail service being built between West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. That could pose a problem for Miami-Dade County's long-term transit plan, officials told the Miami Herald last week.

Phillip Pessar / Creative Commons via Flickr

Five people were hit by trains in South Florida just this week — and two were killed. That brings year-to-date deaths on rail tracks to more than a dozen in South Florida.