Brightline passenger trains began operating between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on Saturday, just one day after a VIP preview run killed a pedestrian. This was an inauspicious beginning for what is supposed to be the first new private intercity rail service in the United States in at least four decades.
The fatality took place when a woman walked around the crossing gates that had lowered in advance of the train. Hers was the third death resulting from the trains before they collected a single revenue fare. One of them was ruled a suicide, but even it might have been prevented if Brightline had fenced its right of way. Brightline says it has implemented positive train control, but positive train control cannot prevent pedestrian or grade-crossing accidents. Continue reading