Brightline Begins Trial Runs Beginning on Monday with No Passengers


Brightline is taking a critical step toward completing its intercity rail system connecting Miami and Orlando. Starting Monday, January 17, 2022, they will begin running qualifying trains between West Palm Beach and Cocoa. 

The construction of Brightline’s expansion which spans from Brightline’s West Palm Beach station to the Orlando station located at the Orlando International Airport is more than 70% complete.

The trains, which will not be carrying passengers, will be an opportunity for train conductors and locomotive engineers to learn the tracks and territory along a 130 mile stretch of the corridor. 

These federally approved runs are for certified engineers and conductors to familiarize themselves with new rail territory, as operating a train requires them to be intimately familiar with the rail corridor, including road crossings, signals, curves, and speed restrictions. 

During these qualifying runs, the Brightline train crews will work with a qualified manager familiar with the territory to provide oversight and instruction.

These qualifying runs will be operating at freight speeds, which are no faster than 60 miles per hour. In addition, they will be required to blow the horn as they approach at-grade crossings or in an emergency, per federal statute.

Look, Listen, Live

Brightline is encouraging the public to look, listen, and live. They would like the public, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, to make safe choices around crossings and trains by always expecting a train and obeying all traffic laws and signals around crossings.

Remember these simple rules:

  • Do not walk or drive around crossing gates when they are down. 
  • Remember trains operate in both directions, so remain alert and aware when near railroad tracks.
  • Only cross tracks at a railroad crossing.
  • Never walk alongside the tracks. It is dangerous and illegal.
  • Never stop on the tracks.

Brightline is expected to reach substantial completion of the Orlando extension by the end of 2022 and begin service in early 2023.

If you have any further questions, contact Katie Mitzner, Brightline Director of Public Affairs, at or 407-502-3587.

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About Tina Hodges 987 Articles
Tina Hodges is a Sebastian native. After graduating from Sebastian River High School, she studied Business Management & Marketing at Indian River State College. Tina worked for Dooney & Bourke for many years before she became our VP of Sales & Marketing & Journalist. Tina joined Sebastian Daily in 2016.