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Cruising Grounds

Passenger rail test begins in Fort Lauderdale


For the next few weeks, ​Brightline will run 20 “simulated service” trains between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, the company announced yesterday. Those 10 northbound and 10 southbound trains each day will not carry passengers.

Although the trains will not physically cross the New River — the Fort Lauderdale station is north of the river — the railroad bridge over the river will still cycle through its closure. Those cycles are expected to take 12 minutes each.

​During simulated and revenue service, the bridge monitor will be provided with Brightline’s schedule each morning. Mariners are encouraged to communicate with the bridge monitor (landline: 305-889-5572; cell: 954-325-0581) to discover upcoming closures for both the passenger and freight traffic.

According to CFR 117.313 C(8), the bridge shall not be closed more than 60 minutes combined for any 120-minute period beginning at 12:01 a.m. each day. ​The signs at the bridge will be updated to alert boaters of the next closure. Brightline is also working on the mobile app, which is expected to be ready in late January.

Simulated service between the Fort Lauderdale and Miami stations is expected to begin in early 2018, the company said.

Brightline is the express train passenger service of All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries.

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