Vice Mayor Tim Thomas, City of Melbourne Staff Meet With Brightline Rail Route Officials to Review Safety Features

By  //  July 24, 2021

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city’s representatives learned a tremendous amount about upgraded safety features

Melbourne Vice Mayor Tim Thomas, Melbourne Police Commander Mark Renkens, City Engineer David Wilkison and Melbourne resident Ken Sells met with Brightline officials recently to tour the Brightline maintenance yard and train station in West Palm Beach. (City of Melbourne image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Melbourne Vice Mayor Tim Thomas, Melbourne Police Commander Mark Renkens, City Engineer David Wilkison and Melbourne resident Ken Sells met with Brightline officials recently to tour the Brightline maintenance yard and train station in West Palm Beach.

The purpose of the meeting was to gain a better understanding of planned safety features and protocols that will be in place when Brightline begins operating high-speed trains through the City of Melbourne.

The city’s representatives learned a tremendous amount about the upgraded safety features of the railroad crossings that Brightline is constructing, the safety features of the trains, and safety innovations Brightline is currently investigating to enhance track safety.

“We initiated contact with Brightline due to concerns some of our residents had regarding the speed of these trains as well concerns about trespassing and the railroad crossings,” said Thomas.

“Through these meetings, Brightline has addressed these concerns and showed us the cutting-edge technology that will be used to try to ensure they operate safely.”

Melbourne Vice Mayor Tim Thomas, Melbourne Police Commander Mark Renkens, City Engineer David Wilkison and Melbourne resident Ken Sells met with Brightline officials recently to tour the Brightline maintenance yard and train station in West Palm Beach. (City of Melbourne image)

Some of the safety features include:

■ Installation of constant warning time, a predictor system where the gates go down approximately the same amount of time for both freight and passenger trains approaching.
■ Modified vertical alignment of the crossings for improved drivability.
■ Replacement of older gate mechanisms with newer models.
■ Replacement of incandescent flashing lights with LED lights.
■ Reconstructed curbs along sidewalks, restriping, and additional signage.
■ Traffic calming devices such as median separators.
■ Traffic signal preemption will be installed for each crossing that is within 500 feet of a traffic signal to keep vehicles from backing up from the crossing into the intersections.
■ Public information/education campaign with a special emphasis on school-aged children.
■ Brightline is currently working on track improvements along the route from West Palm Beach to Orlando, including replacing the Crane Creek railroad bridge and making safety enhancements to multiple railroad crossings in Brevard County. The company expects to be finished with this work by the end of 2022, that testing will begin in early 2023, and that the route will be fully operational by the summer of 2023.

For more information about the Brightline project, visit their website or contact Katie Mitzner, Brightline Public Affairs Director at 407-502-3587 or Katie.mitzner@gobrightline.com.

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Vice Mayor Tim Thomas, City of Melbourne Staff Meet With Brightline Rail Route Officials to Review Safety Features