Press Releases/ BRIGHTLINE TRAINS COMPLET...
MIAMI – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly high-speed rail in America, will be testing its full operating train schedule between West Palm Beach and Miami starting this week as it gears up to return to service this November. The public will continue to see increased train traffic on the rail corridor as Brightline nears its relaunch date. Prior to the restart of operations, Brightline is implementing additional safety measures, including the temporary installation of Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) at high trafficked crossings and the deployment of safety ambassadors throughout the community.
Brightline trains will operate at FRA-approved and authorized top speeds of 79 miles per hour along the entire 67-mile corridor. In light of this, Brightline is reminding the public, pedestrians, motorists and cyclists to make safe choices around trains and crossings. The safety message is simple: look, listen, live. Drivers and pedestrians should obey all traffic laws around crossings and never stop on the tracks. Pedestrians should remain alert and aware when near railroad tracks and only cross the tracks at a designated railroad crossing.
Key safety tips from Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness about rail safety:
Trains will be adhering to quiet zones throughout testing and will not sound horns in designated areas unless there is construction occurring or an emergency situation.
We encourage the press to post on social media to alert the public on Brightline’s work and use Brightline safety materials when posting. Brightline will be posting announcements on its social channels as well: Twitter and Instagram.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Press Releases/ BRIGHTLINE AND SIEMENS MO...
Sacramento, CA – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly high-speed rail, and Siemens Mobility, today celebrated the completion of Brightline's newest trainsets, which will roll off the assembly line at the Siemens Mobility North American manufacturing headquarters and prepare to begin passenger operations. In the upcoming days, the newest train will depart the factory on a cross-country excursion to West Palm Beach, FL where it will be stationed in preparation for Brightline’s high-speed rail corridor expansion, set to connect Orlando to Brightline's current route from Miami to West Palm Beach.
At the event, executives from Brightline and Siemens Mobility were joined by California Treasurer Fiona Ma to unveil the new passenger coaches and locomotives, part of the Venture trainset that is the driver of next-generation inter-city rail service in the U.S. Manufactured at Siemens Mobility solar-powered plant in Sacramento, the Venture trainsets for Brightline consist of two Charger Diesel-electric locomotives, one on each end, and four passenger coaches. The Charger Diesel-electric locomotives fulfill the EPA’s stringent Tier 4 emissions standards.
The stainless-steel coaches are made with components from more than 160 suppliers across 27 states. They are designed for luxury and comfort, featuring special ergonomic seating, contemporary communication systems and enhanced Wi-Fi. Thanks to wide aisles, wheelchair storage and fully accessible restrooms, the Venture trainset exceeds ADA requirements from end to end.
“As the nation's first and only private, operational high-speed rail line, Brightline's partnership with Siemens demonstrates our company's commitment to building both a robust domestic manufacturing sector and the future of green transportation,” said Michael Reininger, chief executive officer of Brightline Holdings. “Our partnership should serve as a powerful example of how we can break through the inertia and into an era of high-speed rail in America.”
“Brightline is a pioneer in private rail investment in the United States and we are proud to continue to grow our partnership as we ship the latest trainsets to Florida ahead of Brightline’s expansion. The Venture trainsets are a result of our collaboration and will offer a comfortable and enjoyable passenger experience that was built in Sacramento,” stated Michael Cahill, President of Siemens Mobility Rolling Stock in North America.
“The Siemens-Brightline partnership is a huge win for the state of California, bringing the future of green manufacturing and good-paying jobs to our communities,” said Fiona Ma, California treasurer. “The completion of these trainsets is not only a big step towards developing high-speed rail in the U.S. but also proves that California is capable of achieving tangible progress on climate and creating new manufacturing jobs today—not years from now.”
With more than 2,100 employees, Siemens Mobility’s Sacramento manufacturing facility serves as the North American Rolling Stock Manufacturing Headquarters for Siemens Mobility, an international leader in providing advanced rail transportation for systems around the world. The facility designs, engineers and manufactures across the entire spectrum of rolling stock including commuter and regional passenger trains, light rail and streetcars, locomotives, passenger coaches and trainsets.
Construction on Brightline’s forthcoming 170-mile service extension from West Palm Beach to the Orlando International Airport is more than 60 percent complete and is on track for completion in late 2022. The project has been an economic boom for the state of Florida. In partnership with Siemens Mobility, the newest trainsets represent Brightline’s commitment to invest billions in American infrastructure, creating the country’s first and only private high-speed rail network. Brightline Florida employs more than 1,300 daily construction workers and will create more than 10,000 jobs over the construction period and the first few years of operations. In total, Brightline will generate more than $6.4 billion in economic impact in the state of Florida.
Brightline will resume its operations between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in November. Stations in Boca Raton and Aventura are expected to open in the second half of 2022, and discussions are underway with local stakeholders regarding expansions to Disney Springs and Tampa.
Siemens Mobility and Brightline are also in discussions on supplying Brightline’s technology solutions for its future high-speed Brightline West operations. Brightline West is the most advanced and shovel-ready high-speed rail project in the nation and is poised to bring economic and environmental benefits to the region. It will utilize fully electric, zero-emission trains to connect Las Vegas and Los Angeles through multiple intercity projects.
Siemens Mobility is a separately managed company of Siemens AG. As a leader in transport solutions for more than 160 years, Siemens Mobility is constantly innovating its portfolio in its core areas of rolling stock, rail automation and electrification, turnkey systems, intelligent traffic systems as well as related services. With digitalization, Siemens Mobility is enabling mobility operators worldwide to make infrastructure intelligent, increase value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhance passenger experience and guarantee availability. In fiscal year 2020, which ended on September 30, 2020, Siemens Mobility posted revenue of €9.1 billion and had around 38,500 employees worldwide. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/mobility.
Press Releases/ Brightline Celebrates Wor...
MIAMI - Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail in America, is celebrating World Car-Free Day by joining forces with one of the nation’s most recognizable non-profits, Habitat for Humanity. For the first time, Brightline and Habitat for Humanity affiliates in South Florida are inviting drivers to donate their vehicles to become eligible for a year of free rail travel on Brightline. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Broward, Greater Miami, Palm Beach County, and South Palm Beach County, Brightline will offer a free 2022 annual pass to any individual who donates a vehicle to Habitat’s Cars for Homes program between September 22 and December 31, 2021. Those who want to participate in the Brightline-Habitat World Car Free Day free travel pass promotion can learn more here.
Every year on September 22nd, cities across the globe celebrate World Car-Free Day, encouraging motorists to give up their cars for a day. The event highlights the numerous benefits of going car-free to citizens—including reduced air pollution and the health benefits of walking and cycling in a safer environment. Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program takes this even further. All year long, Habitat accepts donations of vehicles from across the U.S. and dedicates the proceeds from their sale to help Habitat homeowners build strength, stability and self-reliance for their families.
“At its core, Brightline is about building a sustainable community,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “We want to lead the change in modern rail travel while advocating for strong and self-reliant communities. Our partnership with the -affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in South Florida to promote car donations symbolizes this endeavour and we are excited to be working together to achieve the greater purpose of helping those in need. We can’t wait to welcome riders back this November, including some who will be riding for free with this offer.”
Through Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program, individuals can donate a car, truck or other motor vehicle and proceeds from its sale will be distributed to one of the four participating local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, benefitting the donor’s community. About half of the cars donated are sold to licensed dealers at wholesale auctions and are reused for transportation. The other half are typically transported to auto salvage yards where all reusable car parts, batteries, tires and fluids are removed. Vehicles that can be recycled are crushed, shredded and recycled into steel. Recycling cars keeps a significant amount of steel out of landfills – enough to build nearly 45,000 steel-framed homes every year. The energy saved each year is enough to power approximately 18 million homes.
“Cars for Homes provides a great opportunity to turn unwanted vehicles into affordable housing for our community,” said Nancy Robin, CEO and executive director of Habitat Broward. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Brightline, which is investing in our community in both a socially and environmentally responsible way.”
“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Brightline through this wonderful program,” said Mario Artecona, chief executive officer at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami. “A thriving community relies on affordable homeownership and strong transportation options. This relationship highlights both. We are most grateful to Brightline for focusing on Habitat’s mission of providing affordable home-ownership opportunities to South Florida’s working families.”
On August 10, Brightline announced plans to resume service in the first half of November between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Brightline also announced multiple service enhancements and investments, including the introduction of its new mobility as a service platform that will address guests’ first and last-mile connections.
About Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. Donating a car, truck or other vehicle to Habitat’s Cars for Homes program generates funding to help future homeowners build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter in the United States and around the world. To learn more about how to donate a car to a Habitat affiliate in South Florida this fall, visit Cars for Homes or call (877) 277-4344.
# # #
Press Releases/ Do You Believe? THE POLAR...
MIAMI – This holiday season, Rail Events Productions and Brightline are celebrating the return of the immersive family-oriented experience THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at MiamiCentral presented by Walkers Shortbread! THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will return beginning Dec. 11 through Dec. 30, 2021, departing from Brightline’s MiamiCentral Station. Seats are available to book starting Sept. 16. Tickets will be available for purchase online at miamithepolarexpressride.com. Guests are encouraged to book early as this beloved holiday tradition is expected to sell out.
The adventure of this holiday classic comes to life when the festive Brightline train departs for a journey led by a cast of talented actors. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of this story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a one-hour trip to meet and interact with Santa.
Once aboard, the conductor will work his way through the coach and punch golden tickets before hot chocolate and delicious Walkers Shortbread are served by dancing chefs. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg as Santa and his helpers board the train to greet and present each guest with the first gift of Christmas. During the trip, characters on each coach lead fantastic onboard entertainment – just like in the film. Specially choreographed song and dance will take place along with fun games and special character interactions. Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell and souvenir golden ticket in addition to the wonderful memories made on this magical trip. Like the kids in the book, families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride.
Wondering what’s new in 2021? See below:
Exact dates, times, and fares are available by visiting miamithepolarexpressride.com. Ticket prices range from $50 to $70, depending on the ticket type, date, and time of the ride. Images and video for editorial publication are available at: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/zEXt5kzpts
Credentialed press members and influencers covering the event are welcome to complimentary tickets during opening night. Please contact Jamie Ryan at email@example.com or Vanessa Alfonso at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve tickets for your group, if you qualify.
About THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Official THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides are licensed by Rail Events Inc. on behalf of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Inc. Since 2007, Rail Events Inc. has held exclusive license to operate THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
About THE POLAR EXPRESS Book
THE POLAR EXPRESS film is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s classic Christmas picture book, which tells the story of a boy who takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. First published by the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1985, The Polar Express became an instant family favorite and has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. In 1986 it won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for Illustration.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world. WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, the Wizarding World, Looney Tunes, and Hanna-Barbera.
The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
About Walkers Shortbread
It was over one hundred twenty-three years ago that the Walker family started baking shortbread in the Speyside village of Aberlour, where they remain to this day. Joseph Walker founded the company when he opened his village bakery in 1898; now it is his grandchildren and great-grandchildren that continue the tradition of fine baking that he started. In fact, the founder’s personal guarantee is still marked on every pack to confirm that Walkers’ products are made with only the best ingredients obtainable. Though the Walker family have added many new products to their range during the last century, each and every one holds to those original values of quality and natural goodness.
As it always has been, our shortbread is made using only four ingredients: flour, pure creamery butter, sugar, and salt. We are proud to say that our products contain no artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives. In its distinctive tartan packaging, Walkers range of products is packed with Scottish character, both inside and out. The name Walkers is recognized as a mark of excellence the world over, a true Scottish classic.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit our website: www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Rail Events Inc.
Rail Events Inc. is the industry leader in rail-related special events management. In 2019, the company licensed events that hosted over 1.4 million guests at 54 partner railroads in the US, Canada, and the UK. Rail Events Inc. and Rail Events Productions are wholly owned subsidiaries of American Heritage Railways, which is the premier operator of heritage railroads in the United States.
THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s21)
Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS book and characters © & ™ 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Press Releases/ Brightline Awarded $20,00...
MIAMI - Brightline is pleased to announce it was awarded the Operation Lifesaver (OLI) Rail Transit Safety Education Grant for $20,000 to continue its efforts to educate the public about rail safety. The grant will be used to extend Brightline’s award-winning Buzz Boxx initiative. Buzz Boxx is an out-of-the-box campaign created by Brightline to engage with residents in communities along its train corridor to promote rail safety and mental health awareness through a mobile barbershop experience. To date, Brightline and Buzz Boxx have done over 60 activations throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, including partnering with 211 and the Broward County Sheriff’s organizations.
Brightline’s Buzz Boxx is already active and has held community events at various locations along the rail corridor, including The Lords Place, Camillus House, and Angels for Humanity. The new grant will support 10 additional events (four in Miami-Dade, four in Broward, and two in West Palm Beach) from November 2021 to February 2022 with one-to-three barbers per activation.
Barbers will be provided with mentorship and safety training as well as resources (like suicide prevention) to improve the overall wellbeing of the youth and homeless population. Additional materials will be available to participants to take with them as a resource for themselves or to help others in need of mental health support.
"It is quite evident to me that when you look better, you feel better and when you feel better, you tend to do better,” said Amir Youssef, chief executive officer at Buzz Boxx USA. “That is what we hope to accomplish through this campaign with Brightline.”
In coordination with several organizations and law enforcement throughout the Tri-County area, dozens of residents can enjoy the mobile barbershop experience with a free haircut. Prior to their haircuts, all will sign the Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Pledge promising to stay safe around railroad tracks. During their “buzz’s,” residents will engage in meaningful barbershop talk with their barber.
“Brightline believes in finding unique ways to connect with the community to promote awareness and education on rail safety and mental health,” said Ali Soule, VP of Community Relations at Brightline. “The Buzz Boxx has been a key partner as we reach out to underserved communities and work together to help those in need. This grant will help us expand our services and outreach.”
Brightline Launched Buzz Box in 2018 to connect with people that may not respond to traditional safety messaging methods, such as public service announcements or vehicle message signs at highway-rail grade crossings. In 2019, Brightline Trains was awarded the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Certificate of Merit for Safety.
For more information on the Buzz Boxx, partnership inquiries for events and activations, or interest in bringing Buzz Boxx to your facility, please email email@example.com.
Press Releases/ Brightline Partners With ...
MIAMI -- Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail in America, announced today a partnership with Community Greening, a Delray Beach-based urban forestry non-profit, to implement a massive planting project in Palm Beach County. Through the pilot initiative, more than 3,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted along the South Florida railway corridor with the goals of enhancing the environment, while beautifying the corridor and bolstering public safety.
Community Greening has planted more than 7,500 trees and promotes an engaged community creating sustainable greenspaces and a vibrant tree canopy to equitably strengthen our environment, economy, society, and health. This new partnership will protect and connect these urban green spaces by adding thousands of host and pollinator plants that are of vital importance to bird and butterfly populations.
"We're thrilled to partner with Brightline to increase the tree canopy and enhance green spaces to improve our quality of life,” said Community Greening Co-Founder Mark Cassini. “We applaud their commitment to enhancing our Florida communities through this investment in our environment and effort to ensure safety.”
The addition of native trees and shrubs will also provide ecosystem benefits to this corridor valued at approximately $1.8 million, including $198,000 of stormwater benefits, $690,000 of energy saved and $924,000 of air quality improvement. Combined with fencing, the native plants will cover more than 10 miles along the Brightline/Florida East Coast Railway corridor serving as a deterrent and channelization mechanism for trespassers.
“As part of our commitment to restarting Brightline service in South Florida, and beyond, we’re thrilled to join with like-minded community partners, like Community Greening, to bolster our effort to make transportation better for the environment and enhance safety in the communities through which we travel,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “As we reopen, we want to remind our guests that Brightline is committed to building a sustainable system and laying the groundwork for high-speed passenger rail in the U.S.”
In addition, Community Greening will ensure the establishment of the trees by watering and maintaining them for 1 year. The Florida native trees and shrubs will require little long-term maintenance after this period with the exception of occasional invasive tree species removal.
Today’s announcement follows Brightline’s August 10 media update detailing the company’s reopening schedule set to start the first half of November for service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This update also included Brightline’s multiple service enhancements and investments, including new construction, investments in corridor infrastructure and safety, COVID protocols, community engagement, and, as the company looks to resume, the implementation of a recruitment plan that will add 200 jobs in South Florida.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit our website: http://www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Community Greening
Community Greening, an urban forestry non-profit based in Delray Beach, plants trees to improve the environment for people and nature. Community Greening has planted more than 7,500 trees with 5,000 volunteers of all ages. Programming includes tree plantings at parks and schools; urban orchards; residential; tree giveaways and a Youth Tree Team. They have been named the “Southeast Conservation Partner of Year” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service; “Tree Advocacy Group of the Year” by the Florida Urban Forestry Council; the "Non-Profit of the Year" by the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce. Community Greening is a member of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Alliance for Community Trees. To learn more visit: www.communitygreening.org
# # #
Press Releases/ Sam Nazarian's C3 and Bri...
MIAMI - C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), the fastest-growing global food-tech platform founded by hospitality mogul Sam Nazarian, announced today a partnership with Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly high-speed rail in America, to relaunch the culinary center at MiamiCentral, the flagship station for Brightline Trains in South Florida. The 26,000 square foot,16-stall food hall, previously known as Central Fare, will re-open in November as Citizens MiamiCentral under new management from Nazarian and the team at C3.
C3’s roster of famed international chefs including Dario Cecchini (coined The World’s Greatest Butcher by the New York Times), Michelin Starred chef Dani García, and ‘Iron Chef’ Masaharu Morimoto will now bring international flavor to Brightline passengers and the local Miami community through inspired restaurant offerings. Popular C3 brands like Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Cicci di Carne, and new brands including Sa’Moto by Chef Morimoto, EllaMia, and Cindy Lou’s Cookies, a Miami favorite, will join the center’s original brands La Estacion, Rosetta Bakery, Patagonia, CAO, Art de Vivre and 800o Woodfired Kitchen (coming soon).
“Brightline and C3 are both visionaries in our respective fields and, since we share a similar forward-thinking philosophy, we found them to be the ideal partner to oversee this new modern, diverse offering of culinary experiences,” said Patrick Goddard, President of Brightline Trains. “Moreover, Sam Nazarian and his team are very familiar with the Miami market, having built some of the most iconic hotels and restaurants in the city, through sbe. We’re excited about this opportunity to partner with them as we reinvent the travel in Florida.”
C3 brings expertise in running highly trafficked, high-volume, experiential culinary centers with tech-backed digital delivery systems and ghost kitchens. Its signature ghost kitchen model will be added as an enhancement to the culinary center’s operating system to maximize culinary offerings. Visitors of Citizens MiamiCentral will also have the option of contactless ordering and pick-up through the proprietary Go by Citizens app, a first of its kind marketplace that allows users to purchase items across multiple C3 brands via one order. Pick-up and delivery of all brands will be available via Go by Citizens to the surrounding Greater Downtown Miami market.
“We’re proud to be the chosen partner for Brightline’s transformation of the transit experience,” remarked Sam Nazarian, C3’s Founder and CEO. “I’ve kept a close eye on Brightline as an inspiration for my innovation and development goals with C3. We’re excited to start our relationship by working with Brightline to transform the culinary experience at MiamiCentral, a development that has changed the landscape of Downtown Miami as a hub for all things transportation, leisure, business, lifestyle and entertainment.”
Miami’s premiere business, leisure, and transportation hub, MiamiCentral spans over six downtown city blocks and features 816 luxury rental residences within Parkline Miami, 130,000 square feet of dynamic retail and entertainment space including the new Citizens MiamiCentral culinary center, and it is also the flagship station for Brightline in South Florida. MiamiCentral is a unique live-work-play destination with unrivaled transportation options, including connectivity to Brightline, Metrorail, Metromover and Tri-Rail. With millions of guests projected to ride the rails each year, MiamiCentral is transforming South Florida’s urban landscape.
The announcement comes on the heels of C3’s growing infrastructure within the Miami market: earlier this year, C3 signed an office lease on a 10,000-square-foot space at 3015 Grand Avenue in Miami’s Coconut Grove that will be home to C3's Go by Citizens app technology and robust marketing analytics platforms, along with a hybrid tech/test kitchen and culinary institute.
Today’s announcement also follows Brightline’s August 10 media update detailing the company’s reopening schedule set to start the first half of November for service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This update also included Brightline’s multiple service enhancements and investments, including new construction, investments in corridor infrastructure and safety, COVID protocols, community engagement, and, as the company looks to resume, the implementation of a recruitment plan that will add 200 jobs in South Florida.
For more information on C3, Citizens MiamiCentral and Brightline please visit https://www.c3sbe.com and https://www.gobrightline.com/.
C3@quinn.pr for C3
Brightline@dkcnews.com for Brightline
C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) is re-imagining the food service industry at a time when change is needed most. Founded and led by visionary Sam Nazarian with minority investors Simon, a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations, and Accor, the world-leading augmented hospitality group, C3 is simultaneously, systematically and broadly bringing together technology, underutilized retail, hotel and kitchen spaces and world-class culinary talent. C3's array of culinary brands coexist to disrupt the food & beverage industry by capitalizing on rapidly evolving customer preferences through C3 established shared kitchens, mobile delivery with the next-gen Citizens Go app (set to launch in 2021), and Citizens culinary centers. Current C3 brands include Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam's Crispy Chicken, In a Bun, The Other Side and Dani Garcia's El Pollo Verde, with many other brands in the pipeline. The first Citizens culinary center will open in New York City at Manhattan West in 2021. As of February 2021, C3 operates 250 digital kitchens across the U.S. To learn more, visit c3sbe.com.
MiamiCentral is a 6-block transit-oriented development (TOD) in the heart of Downtown Miami. This transformational project is anchored by Brightline’s Miami Train Station, features 816 luxury residences, 136,000 sf of retail, class-A office space, and unprecedented connectivity to Metromover, Metrorail, and Tri-Rail. With Brightline service to Orlando in 2022, MiamiCentral is the first-of-its-kind lifestyle destination for transit, dining, entertainment, living and business.
Press Releases/ Brightline Announces Plan...
MIAMI, FLA. - Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail in America, announced today its plans to resume service in South Florida later this year. During a virtual media update, Brightline President Patrick Goddard detailed the company’s reopening schedule set to start the first half of November for service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Goddard also outlined Brightline’s multiple service enhancements and investments, including new construction, investments in corridor infrastructure and safety, COVID protocols, community engagement, and, as the company looks to resume, the implementation of a recruitment plan that will add 200 jobs in South Florida.
Brightline’s specific date of service resumption will be announced in the weeks ahead. Before selecting a final date, Brightline and the Florida East Coast Railway are working in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to commission the positive train control system and achieve system certification. Once the certification is granted by the FRA, Brightline will initiate revenue service.
“We are thrilled to be gearing up to welcome guests back aboard Brightline,” said Goddard. “Over the last few months, we’ve made upgrades to our guest experience and made significant strides in construction. Our goal remains the same, to take cars off the road while offering the most convenient way to travel in South Florida and a guest-first experience.”
Among the many service enhancements Goddard outlined is the introduction of Brightline’s new mobility as a service platform that will address guests’ first and last mile connections. Delivered in partnership with software company Iomob, the new service is intended to provide guests with full door-to-door travel service, eliminating the gaps created by the first and last miles and reducing environmental impact. It will be powered by a brand new, state-of-the-art, digital platform that will make its app experience and website completely frictionless. The new mobility service is designed to provide door-to-door travel through improved access to stations, offering a selection of private luxury cars, shared shuttle services, golf carts and micro-mobility options.
As always, Brightline’s priority remains the safety of its guests and teammates. During its hiatus, the company enlisted a Chief Health Officer (CHO), Dr. Timothy McCormick, a licensed physician with more than 25 years of experience in public health and occupational medicine. Dr. McCormick provides medical expertise and guidance for the implementation of operations, corporate and construction practices.
Among its new safety measures, Brightline will require all teammates to be fully vaccinated prior to the reintroduction of service. The company has identified and will implement a series of COVID protocols, including an almost touchless transportation system. Safety measures include increased cleaning, pre-packaged foods, touchless bathrooms, cashless payment and electronic tickets. Per the existing federal mandate, teammates and guests will be required to wear masks in stations and on board all trains. Brightline features reserved seating, and the private four-person table configurations within each coach have plexiglass dividers, providing increased privacy and distancing.
Twenty five percent of the air in Brightline’s coaches comes from fresh air intake ducts and gets filtered before being mixed with recirculated air, unlike airplanes where air is entirely recirculated. Brightline will also utilize a Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) system developed by Siemens, the manufacturer of the trainsets. Ozone-Free NPBI artificially creates millions of positive and negative ions and releases them into the forced-air circulation of an HVAC system. The ions, or charged particles, neutralize pathogens, viruses and bacteria.
In the leadup to relaunch, Brightline is working with multiple community partners to recruit for nearly 200 jobs, offering starting wages at $18 per hour. This is paired with a comprehensive total rewards package that goes beyond the standard benefits by providing its teammates with access to resources that support their professional and personal growth. Over the coming months, Brightline will be hosting career fairs throughout South Florida. Available positions can be found at www.gobrightline.com.
“Brightline is building a modern, career friendly work environment and we are dedicated to developing a team that is diverse, inclusive and representative of the communities we serve,” said Goddard. “Our service-oriented culture is designed to give guests the most pleasurable experience in travel, and we are excited to deliver on that promise again.”
The company is continuing its engagement with local community partners along the rail corridor and educating the communities on rail safety, mental health and sustainability. Over the next year, Brightline will invest more than $6.5 million in safety enhancements.
Brightline’s expansion stations in Aventura and Boca Raton continue to progress. The Aventura station is currently under construction, while the Boca Raton station is expected to break ground in the coming months. Construction to Orlando has surpassed the halfway point and is on target to be complete by the end of 2022. Moreover, discussions remain underway with local stakeholders regarding expansion to Disney and Tampa.
Press Releases/ Brightline Trains to Prov...
MIAMI, FLA. - Brightline Trains, the only privately funded high-speed passenger rail system in the United States, has appointed software company Iomob to supercharge Brightline's app with journey planning capabilities. As part of lomob’s strategic plan to grow within the U.S. market, Brightline has become its first U.S. based client. The collaboration between Iomob and Brightline will be focused on the common goal of door-to-door travel with a lower environmental impact.
The new partnership will bring exciting and unique innovations to the rail experience, including the ability to plan, book and pay for an entire journey across a variety of transport modes. Offering a broad range of transport options works to achieve Iomob and Brightline's common goal of empowering users while ultimately lowering the number of miles driven. Additionally, unlike other Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) providers, Iomob includes private cars in the mobility mix, ensuring smoother and more rapid adoption of multimodality within the general commuting public.
Through this partnership, Brightline plans to offer their current and future customers full door-to-door travel service, eliminating the gaps created by the first and last miles. By filling in these gaps, users can travel carefree: a user can travel from the front door to a Brightline station, and then on to a final destination, all by using Brightline's app. First and last-mile mobility options can include public transit, micromobility -- such as a bike or e-scooter -- rideshare, and on-demand shuttles. Customers who choose to use their own vehicle to arrive at the station can pre-book and pay for their parking through the app.
These additions to Brightline's service offering further differentiate the company from its competitors while at the same time broadening its market, attracting new customers who may have previously preferred to travel in their own private vehicles.
"Anyone familiar with Brightline recognizes our commitment to creating the best guest experience in travel and this new partnership will solve the long-standing question of the first and last mile," said Patrick Goddard, President of Brightline. "Offering door-to-door connectivity will make Brightline more convenient for our guests and make our stations more accessible to those seeking the best transportation option in Florida."
For Iomob, this partnership signifies a strong commitment to greener, more accessible, and seamlessly integrated journeys. With Brightline, Iomob incorporates US rail as part of the global mobility-on-demand ecosystem.
Boyd Cohen, CEO at Iomob says: "As an American, bringing Iomob's mobility platform to North America is of particular significance. Our newly established collaboration with Brightline represents a great opportunity for Iomob to showcase how mobility-on-demand can best be deployed in a US context. Having a forward-looking rail company like Brightline as a partner, we are confident that we can deliver a truly multimodal door-to-door experience to their customers. The strength of Iomob's open mobility approach is that it is easily scalable and can be customizable to fit the needs of our clients across the US."
Press Releases/ Brightline to Begin Work ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – The rehabilitation of the Loxahatchee River bridge in Jupiter is underway to add a second track and improve operations along the existing railroad bridge in preparation for Brightline’s expansion to Orlando. Preliminary construction has focused on building a temporary trestle so cranes and work crews can access the water north and west of the bridge. Today, bridge work will begin on the bascule span and the drawbridge which involves driving piles to support overall bridge rehabilitation.
During construction, the drawbridge will remain in the down position on two non-consecutive days for up to 12-hour intervals each day. Due to the type of construction work and necessary safety precautions, the bridge will not be raised during the 12-hour work periods. The bridge will resume normal operations following the work periods. Freight traffic will continue normal operations at all times.
The bridge rehabilitation, by Brightline contractor Scott Bridge Company, will improve the clearance for boaters, modifying a bridge spans to provide additional clearance for the passage of boats while the bridge is in the down position. Bridge improvements will also include replacement of all electrical and mechanical components of the bridge, all new structural steel, replacement of the existing track and the addition of a second track. Bridge work is being coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Jupiter Inlet District and local municipalities. The clearance improvement project is made in collaboration with the Jupiter Inlet District.
Brightline will use variable message signs along the channel to communicate information. Mariners can text “LOX” to 855-686-1236 to sign up for text alert updates. Brightline will also provide updates via Twitter @GoBrightline and on the Brightline website. The bridge rehabilitation project is expected to be completed in late 2022.
Loxahatchee River Bridge Work
Bascule span, drawbridge, to remain in the down position during the following dates and times:
Backup dates of August 5, 6, 10 and 11 may be utilized if necessary.
The bridge will operate on its normal schedule outside of work days and times.
Press Releases/ Brightline West Acquires ...
LAS VEGAS, NV. - Brightline Holdings has achieved a significant milestone with the successful acquisition of a 110-acre parcel that will serve as the future home for Brightline West. Brightline, the only private provider of high-speed passenger rail in America is developing Brightline West to connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles with its brand of modern, eco-friendly transportation services and is expected to carry more than 11 million passengers annually. The site will be developed to include the Las Vegas Terminal and other mobility connections to take passengers to and from all key area destinations.
Located at the south end of the famed Las Vegas Blvd., this ideal location offers visibility and easy access to Las Vegas’ most iconic destinations including the Las Vegas Strip, the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium and McCarran International Airport. The location creates a convenient hub for passengers to connect easily upon arrival in Las Vegas and as a central location within the city for those traveling to Southern California.
“We have continued our pioneering efforts throughout a period of unprecedented change to advance the development of Brightline West, and we now have secured our new home,” said Michael Reininger, chief executive officer of Brightline Holdings. “Today’s announcement represents another important milestone for the project and is tangible evidence of our commitment and progress. The location and quality of the site matches our aspirations for what will be the showcase for new high-speed rail in the country.”
Plans are currently being developed for the terminal station, which will encompass 65,000 square feet of building area and include many innovative amenities for travelers, including ample parking and connections to various ground transportation systems – both existing and planned.
“The site affords us the size and optimum characteristics to fully execute our vision that will be anchored by the most convenient connection between two of the most significant markets in the West,” said Sarah Watterson, president and chief development officer of Brightline West. “Building upon our experiences in major Florida cities, we will now bring creativity, innovation and environmental focus to this new gateway for Las Vegas.”
Brightline West is the most advanced and shovel ready high-speed rail project in the nation and is poised to bring economic and environmental benefits to the region. It will utilize fully electric, zero emission trains to connect Las Vegas and Los Angeles through multiple intercity projects.
Guests departing Las Vegas will have fast and convenient access to all of the Greater Los Angeles area from station points in the Victor Valley, Rancho Cucamonga and Palmdale with direct access via California Metrolink to key points in Los Angeles, such as Union Station.
CONTACT: Greta Seidman
Brightline is the first privately funded passenger rail system in America in over a century and was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel. Brightline is designed to reinvent travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too close to fly and too long to drive. Providing fast, efficient, hospitality-driven transportation featuring the latest in customer-friendly amenities, Brightline currently operates in Florida between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with plans to develop new stations in Boca Raton, Aventura and Port Miami. Construction to Orlando is underway and will be complete in late 2022. Brightline West will connect Las Vegas and Southern California through a series of intercity projects.
Press Releases/ Brightline Trains Operati...
MIAMI, Fla. – Brightline signal work continues in Palm Beach County, through railroad crossings in Boynton Beach, Lantana and Lake Worth. Work will begin at 7 a.m., Sunday, May 23 and continue until 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 26. The work supports positive train control (PTC) implementation and is expected to be completed by July 2021. Testing is in preparation of Brightline’s return to service later this year.
For the first time since Brightline began testing, trains will be able to operate at FRA approved and authorized top speeds of 79 miles per hour outside of specific testing zones and along the entire 67-mile corridor from West Palm Beach to Miami. Trains will be adhering to quiet zones throughout testing and will not sound horns in designated areas.
With trains now operating on the tracks at more regular intervals and at top speeds, Brightline is reminding the public, pedestrians, motorists and cyclists to make safe choices around trains and crossings. The safety message is simple: look, listen, live. Drivers and pedestrians should obey all traffic laws around crossings and never stop on the tracks! Remain alert and aware when near railroad tracks and only cross the tracks at a railroad crossing.
NOTE: The following will occur during signal testing at the crossings listed below:
The following information is also available on the Brightline website, Questions can be directed to Katie Mitzner, Brightline Director of Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-502-3587.
Palm Beach County
Locations in Boynton Beach, Lantana and Lake Worth
Continuous testing, 7 a.m., Sunday, May 23 through 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 26.
SE 23rd Ave.
SE 15th Ave.
SE 12th Ave.
SE 5th Ave.
East Ocean Ave.
Boynton Beach Blvd. (SR 804)
NE 6th Ave.
NE 10th Ave./ML King Jr Blvd.
NE 15th Ave.
NE 22nd Ave. (SR 5)
West Ocean Ave.
Lantana Rd. (SR 812)
12th Ave. South
10th Ave. South
# # #
Brightline is the only private high-speed passenger rail system in the United States, providing modern, eco-friendly train service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida, with plans to expand to Orlando. Brightline was recognized in 2020 by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California.
Press Releases/ Brightline Trains Passes ...
ORLANDO, FLA. – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly high-speed rail, today announced a major milestone, the company has passed the halfway mark for construction on its extension to Orlando. The company held the announcement at the future site for its vehicle maintenance facility (VMF) just south of the Orlando International Airport (OIA). The progress on Brightline’s VMF and 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to OIA represent the company’s $4.2 billion-dollar private investment into the state of Florida. Brightline executives, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings joined region-wide county and city officials, Central Florida government partners and community leaders who toured the new facility site and celebrated the major construction milestone. Attendees marked the occasion by signing a 12-foot, bright yellow stick of steel rail. The rail will be incorporated into Brightline’s track between the OIA station and the VMF as a sign of everlasting community support.
Once complete the corridor will connect South and Central Florida (235 miles), making it one of the country’s largest and most significant privately financed infrastructure projects. The project is expected to be complete by late 2022. Brightline has over 1,000 construction workers on multiple sites for the 170-mile project with 48 bridges, 52,000 tons of steel rail (approximately the weight of the Empire State Building), 1.4M square feet of retaining walls (more than triple the floor area of Camping World Stadium in Orlando) and six million cubic yards of earth embankment (more than enough to fill up the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center). In total, Brightline’s high-speed rail network will create over 10,000 jobs and over $6.4 billion in economic impact over an eight-year period.
“Today, Brightline is halfway home to Orlando as we progress toward completion of one of the nation’s largest and most significant transportation projects,” said Brightline’s CEO Mike Reininger. “This is just one major milestone of Brightline’s progress and investment of more than $4 billion dollars which serves as a powerful example to those across the country who are calling for the creation of a national high-speed rail network.”
“This is an exciting time for our community and the entire state of Florida,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Brightline is fulfilling a longtime vision to bring high-speed rail to Central Florida and providing additional transportation options for our residents and our visitors. I look forward to boarding the first Brightline train to Miami from their station at Orlando International Airport.”
“Today is an important milestone” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. “The construction of the Orlando extension has employed thousands throughout the region and will continue to bring much needed jobs to our community. We need to continue to support public and private partnerships that will improve transportation and mobility options and meet the needs of our growing population.”
Brightline currently has operations and stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The company currently has plans for additional stations in Boca Raton and Aventura, and discussions are underway with local stakeholders regarding expansion to Disney and Tampa.
“Today is an impressive showing of support from a broad coalition of our public and private partners and community leaders who recognize the need for high-speed rail in Florida,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Brightline is establishing a new transportation network in our state and unlocking countless benefits related to jobs, the climate and equity.”
Brightline will also bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. Similar to how Brightline plans to operate its service to Orlando, the tracks on the West Coast will run on existing transportation corridors.
Brightline is reinventing train travel in the U.S. with its high-speed rail system that generates a positive impact on jobs, the climate, and accessibility to transportation. Upon completion, Florida will be home to some of the fastest, most efficient and eco-friendly trains running in the United States.
KATIE MITZNER, email@example.com
Press Releases/ Brightline CEO Mike Reini...
MIAMI (May 6, 2021) -- Today, Brightline CEO Michael Reininger presented to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. Reininger offered a private sector perspective on how America can break through the inertia to create a national high-speed rail network and presented tangible steps Congress can take to unlock more private investment into high-speed rail.
Reininger highlighted Brightline’s success and high-speed rail’s ability to meet the Biden Administration’s objectives related to jobs, climate and equity. Excerpts from Reininger’s testimony included:
Jobs: “And of course, there’s the $6.4 billion in economic impact that Florida is already realizing as a consequence of our activities, including more than 10,000 construction jobs.”
Climate: “Our Florida trains run on biodiesel and Brightline West will operate zero-emission, electric trains. Together, these routes will remove more than a half million tons of CO2 emissions annually by eliminating 7.6 million vehicle trips.”
Equity: “Additionally, high speed rail revitalizes downtown areas with new transit hubs, enhancing existing infrastructure and encouraging further development to consolidate around stations. Both our transportation and development activities have advanced equity within our communities. Development of MiamiCentral helped spur revitalization of Overtown, an historically vibrant community of color that was cut off with the construction of I-95 decades ago.”
Reininger also offered several recommendations to the committee that will help the country unlock the potential of high-speed rail, including:
Grant Programs: “Consider allowing private entities to become eligible parties for FRA grant programs by partnering with currently eligible applicants as a simple way to stretch direct government investment.”
Private Activity Bonds: “Consider increasing the volume cap on PABs from the current $15 billion – which has already been exhausted – to $30 billion to create a larger available pool to help finance projects.”
Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF): “Another opportunity to improve access to capital is to revamp the RRIF program to make it more attractive to private investors in passenger rail projects.”
Brightline connects city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive. Brightline currently has an existing line in South Florida, is currently under construction to the Orlando International Airport, and is planning a third extension to Tampa.
Brightline West is the company’s first expansion outside of Florida and will connect Las Vegas to the greater Los Angeles Metro Area. The project would utilize fully electric, zero emission train sets with top speeds of 200 miles per hour making it the greenest form of transportation in the country.
CONTACT: Ben Porritt
Press Releases/ Testimony of Brightline C...
Testimony of P. Michael Reininger, CEO, Brightline Holdings, LLC before the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and members of the Subcommittee. As the CEO of Brightline, I am honored to be here again, having last testified before you four years ago. Brightline was under construction, and some of the same discussion topics were on the table. Since our 2018 launch in Florida, we operate the only private high-speed system in the US, showcasing the potential of American high-speed passenger rail.
We carried more than a million passengers in our first full year and learned a lot that is worth sharing from the investment of over $4 billion over the last 10 years.
From the perspective of our experience, we see multiple opportunities to again, break free from the inertia that has historically restrained high-speed rail in the US.
Along with the current discussion around the potential of high-speed rail, we also hear the voices lamenting the lack of the advanced train systems that exist in many competing global economies. We see immediate ways to forge meaningful progress toward realizing the potential we are discussing and encourage this committee to enlist the private sector to multiply the effects of public-sector investments.
We have developed an approach which applies American ingenuity to the successful models observed from around the world.
We carefully select travel markets that are “too short to fly and too far to drive” and where introducing passenger rail presents a clear consumer value proposition. Changing current habits requires offering a better option.
We use existing road alignments and infrastructure corridors to leverage previous investments, reduce environmental impacts, lower costs, speed execution and build a basis for profitability.
Given the high costs of infrastructure, this is one area where public and private cooperation can yield dramatic results.
We continue to build our system every day, and in 2022 we will complete the extension into the Orlando International Airport making our total route 235 miles- linking 4 of the largest cities in America’s third largest state. 400 million annual trips occur between these cities, 95% of them by car.
We upgraded a freight railway first built in the 1890s and are now building along an express highway to leverage 130 years of previous investment to support our 21st century service. Brightline is on track to carry 9 million annual riders.
Brightline West will connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles where today 50 million annual trips and over 100 daily flights occur. Traveling on trains capable of speeds of 200 mph- using the I-15 corridor, but cutting the drive-time in half- Brightline West’s better option expects to serve 11 million annual riders.
We Integrate with other systems to fashion a multi-modal network that is diverse and convenient. MiamiCentral connects all local transit systems with ridesharing, bike sharing and even e-scooters to connect our customers to their ultimate destinations
This level of integration requires inter-agency investment and innovation, but also offers real leverage in advancing the appeal of train travel in America.
Cooperation is key to advancing the administration’s priorities related to jobs, climate, and equity so the many benefits that accrue from the introduction of high-speed rail- to customers, communities and economies -are unlocked.
Revitalizing Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, equitable access to transportation and new employment opportunities are just a few of the benefits in addition to the $6.4 billion in total economic impact Brightline has already produced in Florida.
As this subcommittee looks to exact results- especially through increased public investment, we urge you not to consolidate around a single approach, and not to underestimate the power private investment can bring toward crafting a national network.
Consider allowing private entities to become eligible parties for FRA grant programs by partnering with currently eligible applicants as a simple way to stretch direct government investment.
High-speed rail projects require large upfront investments and need cost-efficient, long-term financing.
Private Activity Bonds helped us attract private lenders and freed up capital to be redirected into building our hard assets. Consider increasing the volume cap on PABs from the current $15 billion – which has already been exhausted – to $30 billion to create a larger available pool to help finance projects. An improvement, but PABs alone is not the full solution.
RRIF was designed as a low-interest loan, in lieu of grants, to incent projects that need an economic boost. We vigorously pursued RRIF, but ultimately found it ineffective for projects such as ours.
RRIF has only provided $6.2 billion of a $35 billion authorization in project funding over the last two decades – none of which has gone to high-speed rail. Why? These projects; viewed as start-up ventures, get ladened with high, upfront credit-risk premiums, adding inertia that defeats the momentum otherwise gathered from a low-interest loan.
If credit risk premiums were an eligible use of USDOT discretionary grant programs, much smaller grants, used in conjunction with a loan, would ultimately return principal and interest to the government, engage equity investment into the collateral and lower the overall level of public investment needed to exact results.
We commend the efforts of this Subcommittee for the chance to present our suggestions. Our collective efforts can advance us toward an American high-speed rail system that will compete alongside the best in the world- and as an active participant, we remain fully committed to overcoming inertia and building systems that we can all ride within the next fours.
Press Releases/ Brightline Names Christin...
Orlando, Fla., Brightline Trains has announced Christine Kefauver as senior vice president of corporate development. Kefauver will lead Brightline’s government affairs and community outreach in Central Florida where the company is under construction to expand its service to Orlando International Airport. Brightline is also negotiating with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on an expansion to Tampa.
“Christine is the right leader for Brightline to build a strong and active presence in Central Florida,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Christine understands the history and future opportunities of the region and has built a strong reputation with all those involved in effecting change within the transportation sector.”
“The transportation industry is changing rapidly and there is no better example than Brightline’s effort to connect Florida with high-speed rail,” said Kefauver. “I’m excited to jump on board and look forward to building a transportation system and network that will accelerate Central Florida’s mobility plans and continue to make Florida our nation’s most competitive state.”
Kefauver served as the transportation policy advisor for Mayor Buddy Dyer at the City of Orlando for seven years, playing a key part in advancing Central Florida's first commuter rail line, SunRail. Kefauver has been involved in Central Florida transportation initiatives for over 30 years and recognizes the power of partnerships, having built wide-ranging coalitions while working closely with FDOT, LYNX, The Orlando Economic Partnership, MetroPlan Orlando and Orlando International Airport.
Prior to joining Brightline, Kefauver worked as the operations lead for Florida, Alabama and Mississippi for HDR Engineering. Managing a team of more than 600, she was accountable for all of transportation, water, power and construction services. During the past two years at HDR, Christine was the National Urban Market Development Director for both of the Engineering and Architecture lines of business.
An active member of the community, Kefauver served nine years on the Coalition for the Homeless in Central Florida and is a past President of WTS Central Florida.
Brightline is the first privately funded passenger rail system in America in over a century and was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel. Brightline is designed to reinvent travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too close to fly and too long to drive. Providing fast, efficient, hospitality-driven transportation featuring the latest in customer-friendly amenities, Brightline currently operates in Florida between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with plans to develop new stations in Boca Raton, Aventura and Port Miami. Construction to Orlando is underway and will be complete in late 2022. Brightline West, which will connect Las Vegas and Southern California, is shovel ready and expects to launch service in 2024.
Press Releases/ Brightline First in North...
Orlando, Fla. – Brightline Trains will make construction history when it builds a rail underpass under SR 528 in Brevard County, becoming the first in North America to use the innovative box-jacking method under a highway system and the first to do so under live traffic.
The SR 528 tunnel, located just west of US-1, will be constructed over a two-week span using box-jacking. The method uses hydraulic jacks to move precast concrete boxes into place, creating a tunnel under the roadway. An anti-drag system will be used when installing the boxes to allow for traffic to continue to travel overtop the work.
The SR 528 box-jacking project begins on Sunday, March 14 and will last through Tuesday, March 30.
During this time, the highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction and some entrance and exit ramps will be closed to reduce congestion on the highway. Full detours of SR 528 will be limited to overnight hours at the start and finish of the project.
“In order to build an underpass under SR 528, a busy highway which is a gateway to Florida beaches, we knew we had to come up with a way to minimize the impact on this roadway and the travelling public,” said Michael Cegelis, Executive Vice President, Development and Construction, Brightline. “We strive to use the newest technologies to build high-speed rail in America and our general contractor Granite found, investigated, and proposed this box-jacking concept. Box-jacking will enable us to accomplish in 15 days what would otherwise take up to a year using traditional construction methods.”
Granite, who built the concrete box segments, will jack them into place with support from specialty subcontractor Petrucco. The Italy-based Petrucco has successfully completed thousands of box-jacking operations worldwide.
The box-jacking system will use hydraulic jacks to push three precast concrete boxes, each weighing between 3,300 and 4,600 tons under SR 528. The installation will progress at approximately three feet per hour and will take between 40 and 50 workers working 12-hour shifts to keep the operation running 24/7. The underpass, once constructed, will measure 31-feet high by 43-feet wide, will be the length of a football field and will accommodate two trains side-by-side. The underpass will allow Brightline to travel between South Florida and Central Florida and pass under SR 528, eliminating the need for a railroad crossing.
The Petrucco box-jacking method, while commonly used in Europe and around the globe for rail construction, has seen limited use in North America. It was first used in the United States on the Long Island Railroad expansion project in New York City. The SR 528 project will mark the fifth use of this method in North America and the second on the Brightline high-speed rail project to Orlando. In September 2020, Brightline became the first to use box-jacking outside of the northeast when it built an underpass under Goldenrod Rd. in just nine days. Traditional underpass construction would have shut down the roadway for nearly a year.
The box-jacking work is part of Brightline’s Orlando extension project which covers 170-miles from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport and will connect Miami to Orlando via high-speed rail. Construction of the $2.7B project is expected to be completed in late 2022. Railroad construction information can also be found online at https://www.gobrightline.com/railroad-construction.
Brightline construction videos and photos available for download at the following links:
Dimensions / weight of boxes:
Box 1: 137 ft. x 31 ft., 4,400 tons
Box 2: 110 ft. x 31 ft., 4,600 tons
Box 3: 101 ft. x 31 ft., 3,300 tons
SR 528 CLOSURES and DETOURS
Eastbound and westbound SR 528 (from Industry Rd. to US-1)
Full road closure with detour:
Single lane closure in each direction, 5 a.m., Monday, March 15 through 10 p.m., Monday, March 29.
Northbound Industry Rd. entrance ramp to eastbound SR 528
Full ramp closure, 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30.
Northbound US-1 entrance ramp to westbound SR 528
Full ramp closure, 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30.
Eastbound SR 528 exit ramp to northbound US-1 (Exit 46)
Full ramp closure, 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30.
SR-528 Eastbound and Westbound Detour