Launching in 2017, Brightline has been building excitement about its Florida service by promising it will be “reinventing what traveling by train can mean in America”. It aims to put innovation at its core with a greater focus on experience for passengers and a customer service beyond just the time spent on the train or at the station.
As an indicator of what passengers can expect, Brightline have announced that its trains will be the first in the United States to utilize retractable gap fillers – extending up to 12 inches from the train and pivot to meet the station platform making boarding and disembarking the trains easy and convenient for all riders.
Brightline and Siemens collaborated with Bode to develop the custom gap filler that is integrated into the train car door system. Bode has gained global recognition for its custom-built door systems, which are in use on passenger trains and light rail vehicles across the world. The gap filler will create a flush surface for passengers to cross and making it easy for those in wheelchairs, pushing strollers or luggage to board Brightline at stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.
“In order to make boarding our trains fast and easy for our all of our guests, we are using the latest technology available and have customized it to create a smart solution unique to our trains and stations,” said Gene Skoropowski, Brightline’s senior vice president of railroad operations. “In building our trains, we are innovating to make train travel easier and more comfortable for all of our guests. We are thrilled to be the first passenger train in the U.S. using this technology from Bode.”
Putting at the heart of the development has been a key part of selling the vision of Brightline which will use the existing Florida East Coast Railway corridor between Miami and Cocoa, and is building new track along State Road 528 between Cocoa and Orlando. Driving from Miami to Orlando takes about four hours. Brightline will allow passengers to cover that same distance in about three hours. The line will transport passengers at speeds between 79 and 125 miles per hour —similar to that of the popular Acela Express that serves the Northeast.
Brightline’s ( @ ) trains are being constructed by Siemens at their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California. The first passenger coach shell was completed recently and is going through a finishing process, preparing it for final assembly. Brightline is expected to take delivery of the first train sets later this year. Construction is also underway on Brightline’s train stations in Downtown Miami at MiamiCentral, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.
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