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Rail News: Mechanical

Brightline's first locomotive passes initial testing


Brightline's first locomotive has passed initial track testing and moved for the first time with power from its Cummins diesel-electric engine, the Florida-based passenger-rail venture announced yesterday.

The unit moved along a quarter-mile track at the Siemens manufacturing facility in Sacramento, Calif., Brightline officials said in a press release.

The successful test demonstrated Siemens' engineering expertise and gives Brightline officials a "high degree of confidence that the Brightline service will be exceptionally reliable," said Gene Skoropowski, senior vice president of railroad operations at Brightline.

"Brightline will be the only passenger rail service in the country to have such dynamic and modern trains that will offer Americans a new and modern experience in train travel," Skoropowski added.

Brightline is being developed by All Aboard Florida, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries LLC. Expected to begin service in 2017, Brightline will operate between Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, Fla.

In addition to running the diesel engine for the first time, Siemens also tested the air and braking systems, locomotive doors, fire detection systems, audible warning devices, communication systems, and interior and exterior lighting. The company also performed empty and fully loaded weight verification.

The static and dynamic testing of the locomotive was completed over a three-week period, Brightline officials said.

Brightline's trains are composed of two locomotives and four stainless steel passenger cars. Later this year, the first completed trainset is expected to leave Sacramento and be delivered to Brightline at its maintenance facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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