A Brightline train derailed in February as it moved through the company’s rail repair yard in West Palm Beach at a speed of 4 miles per hour, causing $408,000 in equipment damage, according to an accident report filed with the Federal Railroad Administration.
A Florida East Coast locomotive was leading All Aboard Florida’s Brightline train into the company’s maintenance facility just north of the city’s downtown on Feb. 11 when a section of the train derailed as it moved through a “switch point” in the track. The Brightline train was returning from “signaling compatibility test” when the accident occurred.
Federal officials said Brightline and Florida East Coast Railway officials “promptly” notified the Federal Railroad Administration of the incident and followed all reporting requirements. There were no injuries.
The derailment is drawing fire from opponents of the project who argue Brightline officials did not disclose the incident during state legislative hearings held earlier this year. On Feb. 22 — 11 days after the incident — All Aboard Florida General Counsel Myles Tobin appeared before members of a Florida House committee to discuss a proposed bill regulating high-speed trains.
“Soon after this incident, AAF officials attended not one but two state legislative hearings about rail safety and never once disclosed facts about the derailment, while they sought to table the safety legislation under consideration,” said Brent Hanlon, Chairman of Citizens Against Rail Expansion, also known as CARE-FL, a Treasure Coast-based group that has been fighting the Brightline project.