Brightline will begin testing trains at higher speeds in Brevard County this weekend to prepare for the opening of its Orlando extension.
Motorists can expect delays along a 13-mile stretch of track, where 18 crossings will be impacted between Rockledge and Sharpes.
The train will reach speeds of up to 79 miles per hour for this test, which could result in additional wait times in the area.
Flaggers will be present at all the railroad crossings as Brightline works to commission this track for rail traffic.
Brightline will continue to work on testing in Northern Brevard County.
Katie Mitzner, Brightline director of public affairs, said that for phase 2, they would go parallel to the existing Florida east coast rail, from West Palm all the way up to Cocoa.
“We have new roadway profiles, we’ve added in new signals, new gates (and) new roadway markings for safety,” she said.
Brightline’s $2.7 billion Orlando extension is close to completion. They have also planned stations for Aventura, Boca Raton, Port of Miami and Tampa. Brevard County has been suggested as a future Brightline stop.
“It’s always been part of our vision to have a station in the Space Coast,” Mitzner said. “And we have begun those conversations with our partners in Brevard County ... We know how important this is to them.”
Mitzner said the current goal is to open in Orlando, and they are 85% complete. She said they will begin passenger service in 2023.
High-speed testing at 110 miles per hour could begin in Brevard County as early as January.