Brightline's first passenger train in Brevard County will now likely cross the St. Sebastian River and enter southernmost Micco sometime after 10 a.m. Tuesday, company officials announced this morning.
The privately held higher-speed rail company will start sending "qualifying trains" on daily roundtrips along the Florida East Coast Railway corridor between West Palm Beach and Frontenac, north of Cocoa.
These trains will not carry passengers. Instead, Brightline locomotive engineers and train conductors will learn the territory and practice through year's end, traveling at freight-train speeds of 60 mph and slower.
Brightline's updated schedule, which is listed as "subject to change:"
• Tuesday's train is scheduled to depart West Palm Beach at 7 a.m., then arrive in Micco sometime after 10 a.m. The train will head north of the Holly Street crossing in the Little Hollywood neighborhood before stopping and heading back to South Florida.
• Wednesday's train will depart West Palm Beach at 7 a.m., then arrive in Cocoa sometime after 11 a.m.
Trains will stop in Frontenac, a small unincorporated community between Sharpes and Port St. John, then return to West Palm Beach. These daily qualifying trains will continue through year's end.
"Operating a train requires engineers and conductors to be intimately familiar with the rail corridor, including road crossings, signals, curves and speed restrictions," a Brightline press release said.
"During qualifying runs, Brightline train crews will work with a manager already qualified on the territory, who will provide oversight and instruction," the press release said.
Construction crews have finished building more than 70% of Brightline’s $2.7 billion higher-speed rail extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport.
Brightline launched passenger service in 2018 along a 67-mile route linking Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Company officials want to debut passenger service to Orlando early next year.
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Brightline's first Brevard County train scheduled to enter Micco, then turn around