Brightline Express Trains / Virgin Trains
Brightline (soon to be Virgin Trains USA-VTUSA) is an intercity express train service that connects southeast Florida with stops in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Phase two includes expansion to Orlando.
Update July 23, 2019
After Boca Raton expressed an interest in the possibility of having a Brightline (soon to be Virgin Trains USA-VTUSA) station in its downtown, VTUSA representatives confirmed that they would like to deliver train service to Boca Raton in the near future.
In a letter (Virgin letter PDF) to Mayor Scott Singer on July 19, Patrick Goddard, President of Virgin Trains USA Florida, LLC, indicated that Boca Raton is one of the cities that VTUSA has carefully studied, and that the company would like to work with the City to finalize an agreement that would deliver train service to Boca Raton.
As a first step, VTUSA laid out what it was willing to commit to the project and what is would like the City to provide.
- Fund the construction of a VTUSA train station
- Construct the VTUSA train station
- Fund the necessary rail infrastructure improvements
- Construct the necessary rail infrastructure improvements
- Manage the construction of the train station parking garage
- Purchase and supply the necessary rolling stock (trains)
- Operate the VTUSA train station and parking garage
- Offer regularly scheduled train service seven days a week
- Replace parking spaces for the library that are eliminated as a result of the train station
- Work with the City to relocate the library’s community garden and study the possibility of providing the City with community meeting space
In exchange for the above, VTUSA seeks the following from the City:
- Contribution of the land identified on the attached site plan (“the Site”) to VTUSA
- Fund the construction for the station parking garage
- Agree to fund and construct an elevated pedestrian bridge over Dixie Highway; exact location to be determined by both VTUSA and the City.
- Agreement from the City to provide shuttle service from the station to various locations within Boca Raton to improve connectivity.
- Agreement from the City to work with VTUSA to properly re-zone the site as necessary to accommodate VTUSA’s various uses. City will also provide expedited permit processing/review for the project.
VTUSA representatives followed up with a visit to the City Council workshop on July 22 to discuss their plans and determine the next steps. Council members and VTUSA representatives heard from residents on a variety of issues including support and excitement about a station, concerns about train horns, concerns about library parking and questions about where the community garden would be relocated.
In the coming months, City staff will be working through the details of land valuation and possible conveyance, development and zoning issues, funding obligations, expenses and challenges that the project will present. As information is gathered, there will be opportunity for additional workshops, public meetings and input. Comments, questions or suggestions? Email email@example.com.
Although a Quiet Zone (also known as a "no train horn" area) is in effect for Boca Raton, you may have heard train horns this past weekend and may hear them periodically over the next few months. Over the weekend of August 18 there was a major track and signal construction project taking place. The crews are required to use the horn for the safety of the employees working on the tracks. While there is no more planned construction there at the moment, the Quiet Zone is still an active rail corridor with inspections, repairs and improvements happening constantly.
Additionally, while all 10 railroad crossings in Boca Raton are a part of the Quiet Zone, train horns may still be used in emergency situations or to comply with Federal regulations or operating rules.
For residents living near the Deerfield Beach/Boca Raton border, please note that although plans were underway in Broward County to establish Quiet Zones, as the trains approach 2nd Street in Deerfield, they are still required to sound the horn. Read more about status in Broward County. Opens a New Window.
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Boca Raton Mayor, Scott Singer, held a press conference on Wednesday morning, May 30 at the historic Count de Hoernle Train Pavilion to announce the implementation of the Quiet Zones along the FEC corridor. The Quiet Zones go into effect at 11:59pm on May 30, 2018.
The Quiet Zones, which required supplemental safety measures, including four quadrant gates and additional signage, were funded by the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency and constructed by Brightline. All 10 railroad crossings in Boca Raton are a part of the quiet zone, and the “no train horn” areas apply to freight and Brightline trains. Train horns may still be used in emergency situations or to comply with Federal regulations or operating rules.
The quiet zones, which will be a welcome relief to many residents who live near the FEC corridor, will also require pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers to adhere to all safety precautions. It is never safe to attempt to beat a train or cross the tracks when lights are flashing and gates are down. Pedestrians and bicyclists should remove headphones when crossing the tracks and should only cross at designated crossings.
Brightline's Operation Lifesaver program encourages people to make the safe choice, stay off the tracks and know the signs and signals.
Mayor Singer was joined by Council members Andrea Levine O’Rourke and Monica Mayotte, as well as County Commissioner Steven Abrams, members of the Boca Raton Police and Fire Departments, and Ali Soule, Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations for Brightline.
Brightline Quiet Zones Update - May 21, 2018
The City of West Palm Beach, Lake Worth and Boca Raton have submitted the necessary information for the establishment of the quiet zones, and the quiet zone in Boca Raton will go into effect on May 30, 2018, at 11:59 PM.
Residents may still hear train horns in emergency situations or when the trains comply with other railroad or FRA rules- even within a quiet zone. Quiet zone regulations do not eliminate the use of locomotive bells at crossings. Therefore, a more appropriate description of a designated quiet zone would be a “reduced train horn area."
For any additional comments, questions or concerns, contact Brightline at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brightline Reception at 305-521-4800.
The Quiet Zone Letter of Notice to Establish a Quiet Zone on the FEC Railway in the City of Boca Raton and Brightline's Quiet Zone Improvements Letter to Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency (TPA) have been removed. Please contact the Communications and Marketing Division at 561-393-7703.
Brightline's Safety Programs
The Brightline express passenger rail train is currently running on the Florida East Coast corridor which runs near Dixie Hwy. With 10 railroad crossings within the City of Boca Raton, it's always important to be mindful of Brightline's safety program.
- Brightline has developed a rail safety campaign that can be found here, https://gobrightline.com/safety/.
- Operation Lifesaver Fact Sheet (The PDF has been removed. Please contact Brightline at 305-521-4800.
- For any additional comments, questions or concerns, contact Brightline at email@example.com or Brightline Reception at 305-521-4800.
Railroad Crossings in the City of Boca Raton (North to South)
- Hidden Valley Blvd.
- Yamato Road
- Spanish River Blvd.
- NW 28th Street
- NW 20th Street
- Glades Road
- NW 2nd Street
- Palmetto Park Road
- Camino Real
- SW 18th Street
Brightline is the new benchmark for travel by train in America with express inter-city passenger rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with future service to Orlando. Providing a travel option that lives at the intersection of transportation and hospitality, the service will ease the stress of traffic, provide a simple and intuitive experience from door to destination, and foster new opportunities to explore more of Southeast Florida. Brightline is the only privately owned, operated and maintained passenger rail system in the United States. For more information, visit: www.gobrightline.com.