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Brightline We told you, You didn’t listen.


Brightline Train Speeds to 80 MPH

Every city along the route held meetings including WPB. Residents appeared before the commission with their opinions both pro and con.  Residents were concerned with 2 issues noise and safety. The powers to be were concerned with insuring the train made a stop in WPB. It does.

Let’s talk safety:

If you recall the horrific accident that occurred in Seattle when the train derailed, left the tracks, went down the embankment killing 3 and injuring over 80. The data recorder had the train traveling 80 MPH in a 30 MPH zone while approaching a curve.

This train was not equipped with a safety device called “positive train control” which is technology that can automatically slow or stop a train. Sounds like excellent technology.

For years regulators have requested the device be installed on all trains. What is wrong with these regulators, don’t they know that would be expensive and hurt the bottom line? Here is how I imagine the conversation went.

(Lobbyist for RR.) Good morning Senator Numnuts, how are you this fine day?

Senator Numnuts:  I’m good how about yourself, what can I do for you?

Lobbyist:  Were having a little problem with the regulators concerning the installation of a positive train control, and were hoping you can assist us by pushing it out for a year. By the way don’t you have an election coming up?

Senator Numnuts:  “Well, as a matter of fact I am running for re-election.

Lobbyist: I thought so. Don’t let me go without writing you a check. So can you help us out with the regulators so we can postpone upgrades for a year.

Senator Numnuts:  Only for a year, sure I can help you with that, what can go wrong in a year? Don’t forget the check for my campaign.  Senator Numnuts was re-elected.

The above conversation continued and the technology has been extended for years at the behest of the industry. The Brightline in Florida will be equipped with automatic train control a similar technology that monitors the train’s speed and notifies the engineer if the locomotive is going too fast. Why can’t we have the upgrade that slows and stops the train automatically? Was the check bigger than expected?

With the horrific train accident in Seattle I imagine extensions are finished. Unfortunately death and injuries have a tendency to open eyes, and get attention.

Noise Control

On a recent trip to city hall I was stopped at the lights waiting for the Brightline test ride to pass. I can’t possible describe the intensity of the train whistle and my heart goes out to the residents who reside along the track corridor who will listen to 4 trains hourly, from early morning to late evening and as many as 16 round trips daily.

So with all I have written, I have one question. Who allowed the permits to be issued before the safety devices were in place, and there was no train whistle as promised.

No devices, no permits, no permits train stays parked.