All Aboard Florida’s Brightline trains look empty? Palm Beach Post counts how many were on board

Comment: CCRail has worked hard to provide a wide range of coverage about All Aboard Florida’s entrepreneurial Brightline passenger train service. All Aboard Florida has worked diligently to overcome often baseless and fear-mongered objections about the new service by residents and politicians in South Florida. All Aboard Florida has won court battles, triumphed in the Florida legislature, and continued to push ahead with the project, with initial trial service having started in the last few weeks.

The initial service is intended to be a “shake down” time, testing equipment, station facilities, and employees to see how the new service works for passengers and meshing operations with host freight railroad Florida East Coast Railway. So far, so good.

The Palm Beach Post, along with Fort Lauderdale’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Miami Herald, and Miami’s business newspaper, Miami Today have all provided extensive coverage of Brightline, along with, which covers the Treasure Coast, along the northern part of the route which is scheduled to extend to Orlando International Airport by 2022.

The story below shows how contemporary thinking is stacked against a private passenger train developer. Critics of All Aboard Florida are negatively predicting failure and no ridership even during the initial trial runs. The service has not even reached its southern end-point terminal of downtown Miami, yet, critics are saying the trains are running empty, so, therefore, All Aboard Florida is a failure and should not proceed.

It’s important to note these critics have no financial stake in All Aboard Florida, a privately held company owned by Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm. All Aboard Florida is pioneering the re-emergence of private passenger rail service in the United States. Critics have regrettably become so accustomed to Amtrak, an entity of the federal government, as the only provider of passenger rail service, along with government subsidies, they cannot comprehend the free market approach to passenger rail, and the risks assumed by private capital.

Before any conclusions are made about All Aboard Florida’s Brightline service, it’s only reasonable for those drawing preliminary conclusions to at least wait for the traveling public’s honest reaction by voting with their ability to purchase tickets and use the service after it is complete and up and running. It’s only fair. – CCRail Editor


By Mahima Singh and Jennifer Sorentrue, Palm Beach Post; April 27, 2018

Before dawn on a Tuesday in late March, a four-car Brightline train — capacity 240 — pulled out of the company’s West Palm Beach station and headed south to Fort Lauderdale.

Just eight passengers were on board.

A few weeks later, an early-morning Sunday train carrying six people made the same trip.

Click here to read the full story.


Please share with others