News & Reviews News Wire Tri-Rail gets okay for test trains into Brightline Miami station

Tri-Rail gets okay for test trains into Brightline Miami station

By Trains Staff | June 16, 2023

| Last updated on February 4, 2024

Commuter operator’s downtown service now not expected to start until late 2023 or early 2024

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White and blue locomotive pushing commuter train
GP49PH-3 No. 816 pushes a Tri-Rail train north out of the Delray Beach, Fla., station on Jan. 3, 2023. Tri-Rail has received permission to run test trains into Brightline’s MiamiCentral Station. David Lassen

MIAMI — Commuter operator Tri-Rail has received clearance to begin running test trains into Brightline’s MiamiCentral station next week.

WLRN public broadcasting reporter Danny Rivero has posted on Twitter a letter from Florida East Coast Railway that grants Tri-Rail’s parent, the South Florida Regional Transit Authority, authorization to run test trains into the Brightline station June 19 through June 23 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Additional test dates are possible based on the results from these dates, according to the letter.

While the testing is a major step toward the long-delayed launch of Tri-Rail service to downtown Miami, Miami Today reports the actual launch may not come until late this year or early 2024. SFRTA Executive Director David Dech told Miami Today that it has “taken a little longer to get the access that we would have liked,” but that a “productive” call on June 6 addressed some of the logistics of the testing process. Dech had previously mentioned the possibility of starting service this fall.

Dech said the agency has signed agreements with FEC and Brightline allowing Tri-Rail to run 26 trains a day into Miami Central.

Tri-Rail service from MiamiCentral was originally projected to begin in 2017, but has run into a series of difficulties. Initially, the problems related to positive train control [see “PTC stalls Tri-Rail move …,” Trains News Wire, June 19, 2019], but it was subsequently discovered that some Tri-Rail cars would not clear the MiamiCentral platform [see “Tri-Rail service … faces clearance issues,” News Wire, Dec. 13, 2021]. The platform has since been modified.

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