Florida’s private owned Brightline passenger train pulled a test engine into its new terminal station at Orlando International Airport on Tuesday. The train line has been growing by leaps and bounds, but there’s just one problem: It’s the deadliest train line in America by far.
While there are train lines with higher body counts, Brightline is number one in deaths per miles traveled. For every 37,000 miles traveled by a Brightline train, there’s a fatality . The next deadliest isn’t even close; CalTrain in San Francisco at one death per 105,000 miles. Since it began operating in 2018, at least 68 people have lost their lives, and that’s with a 19-month closure due to COVID-19.
It seems every month brings a new tragedy. In April, a driver died in a crash in Pompano Beach. Two weeks later, another was killed in a crash in Hollywood. In just three months after Brightline resumed service following COVID-19 lockdowns, 11 cars crashed into trains, the Palm Beach Post reports.
So what’s going on? Why is this train line so deadly? Brightline told NPR it chalked up 75 percent of the deaths on suicide, which is an unimaginably high number. Outside railway experts told the Miami Herald earlier this year that the problem lies with Floridians: