Officials with All Aboard Florida’s Brightline held a train safety workshop on Saturday for police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers from Broward and Palm Beach counties.
More than 35 first responders attended the workshop, which was held at Brightline’s rail repair yard in West Palm Beach, the company said.
During the four-hour workshop, Brightline’s emergency management team provided training, an equipment and facility tour, and an overview of its safety and security plans, the company said.
“Safety is Brightline’s top priority, and it’s critical that we partner with all first responders along the rail corridor before we launch our service,” said Brightline Safety and Security Director Robert Gatchell, a railroad law enforcement veteran, serving 15 years for New Jersey Transit. “This specialized training and preparedness workshop offers our local responders insights on how rail works and how to deal with rail incidents. Collaboration is key to the safety and security of our guests, employees and the many communities in which we will operate. Our unified goal is for the highest level of safety preparedness.”
Brightline is expected to begin service later this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.
Once operational, Brightline’s trains will shuttle passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been announced.
Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.
Construction on the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years from the time work starts.
Brightline in April launched a safety campaign designed to warn students and those living near the Florida East Coast Railway corridor about the dangers of walking along train tracks.
The company has asked cities along the route to help promote the campaign, part of a national program called Operation Lifesaver, which is designed to reduce collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and prevent trespassing on or near railroad tracks.