There’s No Satisfying Brightline Foes.
Florida East Coast Railway has been around for some 130 years. It ran passenger trains from Miami up the Atlantic Coast of Florida until the mid-1960s when, like the other railroads, it went out of the passenger business and concentrated on running freight trains.
But now the railroad is back in the passenger business through a subsidiary company. They have upgraded the track—their track—to accommodate passenger trains that will eventually run between Miami and Orlando at speeds up to 110 miles per hour. The railroad is calling the passenger service “Brightline”.
From Day One, some local residents have bitterly opposed the railroad’s plans for the passenger service. Much of the rhetoric, if I may say so, has been extreme and often absurd. One individual—with a stunning lack of perspective—objected to the new rail service because more trains meant more times he would have to wait for a drawbridge to be raised permitting his yacht to pass from a boat yard out into the Atlantic.
The Brightline service officially began a week or so ago with trains running between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Unfortunately—and tragically—there have been two fatal accidents—a pedestrian and a bicyclist—both hit by Brightline trains. In both cases, the people went around the lowered gates and tried to beat the oncoming trains across the tracks.
Predictably, these incidents set off a clamor among Brightline’s NIMBY opponents, who are demanding an investigation and insisting that the passenger service be curtailed while that whole fantasy plays out. Even one or two members of the Florida legislature have joined the chorus.
But the classic has to be the person who demanded that the rail line be permanently shut down because children walk along the tracks on their way home from school.Yes, really! You can’t make this stuff up.