Florida’s Brightline high-speed passenger trains kill one person and seriously injure another in separate crashes less than 12 hours apart – the trains are notorious for having “the lowest fatality rate in the country”.
- The death Tuesday night was the ninth death of Florida’s private passenger railroad since it reopened in November.
- It’s the 57th since Brightline began test runs in 2017, making it the worst fatality per mile in the country.
- Investigators determined that none of the deaths were the fault of the railroad, determining that many of them were suicides, drivers or pedestrians trying to overtake trains.
- Trains travel at speeds up to 79 miles per hour through densely populated urban and suburban areas for approximately 70 miles between Miami and West Palm Beach.
Brightline trains in Florida have killed one person and seriously injured another in separate crashes less than 12 hours apart, the latest in a series of high-speed passenger train collisions since the railroad recently reopened.
The death Tuesday night was Florida’s ninth private passenger railroad since it reopened in November after an 18-month shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s the 57th since Brightline began test runs in 2017, according to the current Associated Press analysis that began in 2019, giving it the worst fatality per mile rate in the country.
Investigators determined that none of the deaths were the fault of the railroad, determining that many of them were suicides, drivers or pedestrians trying to overtake trains.
Trains travel at speeds up to 79 mph through densely populated urban and suburban areas along about 70 miles of track between Miami and West Palm Beach, which it shares with the Florida East Coast Freight Line.
This image from a camera inside a train nose cone provided by Brightline Trains shows a vehicle about to cross its path in Lake Worth, Florida on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.
Serious damage was inflicted as a result of one of the accidents, including this car turned over
Hallandale Beach Police say a pedestrian was hit while trying to cross the road around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Brightline later released video taken from a camera at the front of a train that collided with a car at 6 a.m. Wednesday, causing the driver to be hospitalized with serious injuries, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.
In the video, the barriers were lowered and red lights were flashing as the driver turned off a side street and appeared to deliberately go around the gate and into the path of the train.
According to the railway company, as a result of the accident, the car was torn into two parts. The sheriff’s office said a northbound freight train had just passed an intersection on parallel tracks and the driver may not have noticed the southbound Brightline train until it was too late.
Another driver was killed on Sunday by a Brightline train after driving around a barrier.
A Brightline passenger train passes Oakland Park, Florida.
Police are investigating one of the Brightline train incidents
Brightline said in a statement that Wednesday’s video was released as “an example of the dangers of disobeying railroad crossings (and) to educate motorists and pedestrians to prevent future intrusion.”
AP analysis shows that Brightline averages about one death for every 35,000 miles traveled by trains, three times worse than the next medium or major railroad.
According to police reports examined by the AP, investigators determined that most of those killed were suicidal, drivers maneuvering over barriers to try to overtake trains, or pedestrians who were intoxicated or mentally ill.
Among railroads that have traveled at least 1 million miles in the past five years, SunRail in central Florida has the second highest fatality rate, averaging one for every 108,000 train miles.
More than 800 people die every year in the country as a result of train strikes, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Brightline high-speed passenger trains killed one person and seriously injured another in separate crashes less than 12 hours apart.
In response to accidents, Brightline installed infrared sensors to alert engineers if someone is lurking near the tracks so they can slow down or stop.
The company has also added more fencing and landscaping to make it harder to access the tracks, and is installing red-light cameras at crossings so police can fine drivers who avoid the barriers. He is testing drones to track paths.
Brightline is nearing completion of an extension that will connect West Palm Beach and Orlando.
He has plans to eventually connect Orlando to Tampa. He is also building a line that will connect Southern California to Las Vegas.