ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Treasure Coast drivers and residents should be aware that Brightline will be testing their trains at high speeds later this month.
Brightline officials said in a Tuesday statement that the trains will be traveling at maximum speeds of 110 mph in both Martin and St. Lucie counties the week of Oct. 17.
This first phase of testing is expected to take place over a six-week period along an 11-mile section of track, spanning nine railroad crossings in Martin and St. Lucie counties.
The testing will occur at the following crossings:
St. Lucie County
- Savannah Road/Waterplant Road
- Midway Road (County Road 712)
- Walton Road
- Riverview Drive
- County Line Road
- Skyline Drive (County Road 722)
- Pitchford Landing
- Jensen Beach Boulevard (State Road 707A)
- Palmetto Avenue
During the testing period, flaggers will be present at the crossings.
Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists should be aware that rail traffic will run on both tracks in both directions.
"If the crossing arms are down, don’t drive around," Joe Meade, director of safety at Brightline, said. "This testing serves as a critical reminder to the public to be safe around active railroad tracks and obey all traffic laws. Never stop on the tracks, don't drive around crossing gates and only cross tracks at a designated railroad crossing."
The company has targeted 2023 when they plan to offer service to Orlando in phases along the 129-mile rail corridor between West Palm Beach and Cocoa, through Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard counties.
Brightline said they have made safety improvements at all 156 railroad crossings along the corridor.
Where trains will operate at 110 mph, the company said all crossings have quad gates or medians to prevent drivers from going around lowered crossing gates.