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Brightline Sets Record Speed of 130 mph During Test Run

Testing crew
Testing crew

Florida - Tuesday March 3, 2023: Brightline reached a record speed of 130 mph during recent test runs officially making it the fastest train in Florida and the Southeastern United States.

The record 130 mph run took place along the new 35-mile rail corridor between Cocoa and the Orlando International Airport. This new stretch of track runs along the Beachline Expressway/SR 528. It is fenced in and has no grade crossings.

By reaching 130 mph Brightline broke its previous record of 110 mph, which the company set last fall during testing through Martin and St. Lucie Counties in Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Trains will continue testing between Orlando International Airport and Cocoa daily throughout March between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“Reaching 130 isn’t just another milestone to our team, but the continuation of a dream that we’ve been working towards for several years,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline Trains. “More importantly, this historic feat brings us one step closer to launching Brightline service between Orlando and Miami.”

During testing, Brightline trains are required to test faster than planned operating speeds. Once carrying passengers, Brightline trains will travel at maximum speeds of 125 mph which is more than two miles per minute.

Brightline’s current testing along the corridor from Cocoa south to West Palm Beach is ongoing, reaching speeds of up to 110 mph.

brightline_125mph_testing_vnr (540p).mp4

“Florida has always been at the forefront of train travel since the days when Henry Flagler connected Jacksonville to the Keys,” said Jim Kovalsky, president, Florida East Coast Railway Society. “Back then, there were reports that trains ran at 100 mph, but no one ever dreamed of reaching 130 mph. Brightline dreamed big and did it. History has been made and Henry Flagler would be proud.”

The Orlando Station will open this year connecting Miami and Orlando. Brightline says its trains will make the journey between south and central Florida in about three hours.

Brightline maximum speeds:

  • Current Operations in South Florida: 79 mph
  • Orlando Extension from West Palm Beach to Cocoa: 110 mph
  • Cocoa to Orlando International Airport: 125 mph

The Brightline train sets are powered by two locomotives, one on each end, that are 16-cylinder, 4,000 hp Cummins EPA Tier-IV compliant diesel-electric engines. These locomotives and coaches are manufactured by Siemens Rolling Stock Facility in Sacramento, Calif.
Brightline has made significant infrastructure and safety improvements at all 156 crossings between Cocoa and Palm Beach. At the crossings where testing is occurring all safety improvements have been installed. Those improvements vary per crossing, but may include new crossing gates, signal systems, pedestrian gates, pavement markings and roadway profiles. Where trains will operate at 110 mph, all crossings have quad gates or medians to prevent motorists from driving around lowered crossing gates.

The public is encouraged to help spread the message of rail safety with Brightline’s safety materials, including taking the digital rail safety pledge and viewing and sharing the new safety PSA.