Brightline critics complain about $408,000 derailment

Passenger railroad officials say they've followed all proper reporting procedures
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Critics of coming Florida passenger service are complaining that Brightline officials didn’t tell them about a yard derailment in February.
On Feb. 11, the trailing truck of a Brightline locomotive derailed while moving over a yard switch at four miles an hour, the Palm Beach Post reports.

That derailment, and why it took until this Monday for documents about the incident to come to light, has become a point of contention for Brightline’s critics.
The Post cites Brent Hanlon, Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida chairman, talking about the railroad’s participation in state rail safety meetings shortly after the derailment.

The citizens group raised questions about the safety of the 110 mph train proposed to link Miami and West Palm Beach. The group supports two state bills designed to impose additional safety requirements on the train, House Bill 269 and Senate Bill 386. Both failed in the Florida legislature.

The Post cites a Brightline representative calling the derailment “minor, on private property” and said a statement released Monday that the railroad followed the required procedures to report the derailment to the FRA which, among other criteria, requires the investigation of “Any ...train incident/accident that is likely to arouse considerable public interest” and “Any non-casualty train accident resulting in the derailment of a locomotive and/or a large number of cars, and extensive property damage.”

The derailment cost Brightline $408,000 according to FRA records.

Specifically, Brightline reported that the yard configuration in West Palm Beach was “not ideal, resulting in very sharp effective track curvature at the [point of derailment].” The railroad has since realigned tracks in the yard and replaced two gearboxes on Brightline Charger No. 102 that was damaged in the derailment.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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