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U.S. Brightline express rail system unveils new trains

20 June 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Brightline, the only privately-funded express passenger rail system in the USA, has unveiled new locomotives and passenger coaches for intercity services in 2017.

Brightline train

Brightline train unveiled at Siemens facility in Sacramento (image: Brightline)

Manufactured at Siemens’ manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California, the Charger diesel-electric locomotive with operate on Florida’s Brightline connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport from 2017. The service has been designed to ease the stress of traffic, foster new opportunities and provide a door to door experience for passengers.

“We are reimagining what it means to travel by train in America”

“With Brightline, we are reimagining what it means to travel by train in America and have taken a thoughtful and innovative approach to how we designed our trains. From the comfort of our custom-designed seats to the convenience of smartly-designed bathrooms, we have carefully and deliberately focused on the details that matter,” said Michael Reininger, president of Brightline. “We are working closely with Siemens through all stages of the manufacturing process and are incredibly proud to see these spectacular trains coming together.”

The Brightline locomotive will be powered by a Cummins diesel-electric engine built in Indiana. The lightweight engine is certified to meet the ultra-low emissions required by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 standards, with additional benefits including reduced noise and excellent response.

Brightline trains can extend up to 10 passenger cars as ridership grows

Brightline trains are built as integrated trainsets, comprised of two locomotives and four high quality stainless steel passenger cars. There will be a bright yellow locomotive on each end, for high reliability and redundancy. The locomotives will also feature an ergonomic cab design for the train’s driver. The trains can be extended to include up to 10 passenger cars as the system and ridership grows.

“We’re proud to be building these advanced technology Brightline locomotives and passenger coaches in America, for America”

“We’re proud to be building these advanced technology Brightline locomotives and passenger coaches in America, for America, while providing highly-skilled jobs throughout our nearly 1,000 person Sacramento manufacturing plant,” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rolling Stock. “This is a significant milestone for our manufacturing plant, for future Brightline riders that will soon experience a new era of transportation in Florida, and for the nation to see higher-speed rail systems continue to become a reality.”

Fully accessible

The vehicle will also provide end to end accessibility for all travellers. As a consequence, the trains feature level boarding, utilising retractable platforms that are integrated into the train car door systems. Prior to the doors opening, the platforms will extend up to 12 inches from the train and pivot to create a flush surface for passengers to cross, making it easy for those with mobility challenges.


The trains also feature wide aisles, automatic interior vestibule doors, at-seat power outlets including USB connections, large windows, high ceilings and open luggage shelves. Passengers will also benefit from ergonomic leather seats – 21 inches wide – with in-seat recline and ample leg room.


Brightline interior (image: Brightline)

Brightline will offer a range of different seating arrangements in two product offerings: Smart and Select. With both options, passengers will be able to reserve specific seats when booking tickets through Brightline’s mobile application, website or station kiosks. Passengers will also be able to add additional items such as parking and ground transportation to their booking to further complete their travel experience.

First Brightlight trainset delivered later this year

The first completed trainset is expected to be delivered to Brightline later this year. Brightline is scheduled to begin service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach beginning in mid-2017.

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