Siemens helping bring Brightline to life for Florida riders

Monday, November 16, 2015 10:00 am EST

By:

Michael Cahill, President, Siemens Rolling Stock

Last week, we were proud to be a part of the introduction of All Aboard Florida’s Brightline, the new name of the express passenger rail service that will connect the major cities of Miami and Orlando. As the locomotive and coach manufacturer for Brightline, we recognize this is a significant step in bringing advanced, higher-speed mobility technology to Florida travelers. With manufacturing work already underway at our 800-person Sacramento manufacturing facility, we’re excited to see these newly unveiled Brightline locomotives and train coaches starting to come to life.

The new trainsets will not only feature the five bright, distinct colors unveiled on Monday, but will bring an unprecedented level of efficiency, comfort and connectivity for operators and riders. Brightline will be powered by high-tech diesel-electric locomotives featuring a 4,400 horsepower, 16 cylinder engine built by Cummins out of Indiana. The locomotives have been designed and are being manufacturing to result in lower emissions and reduced noise, with energy-efficient LED lighting and a lighter frame which will enable Brightline to operate at speeds up to 125 mph as efficiently as possible. The high-tech locomotives also feature an intelligent state-of-the-art microprocessor control system that will allow operators to monitor the locomotive’s performance, self-diagnose issues, and take self-corrective action. 

Siemens is also manufacturing passenger coaches for Brightline that will carry riders along the system. These stainless-steel train coaches have been designed with today’s rider in mind, featuring level boarding for easy access for bikes, walkers, strollers and wheelchairs.  The coaches also feature the most modern, high-quality welded bogies that offer superb 125 mph ride quality.

Coupled with the manufacturing of these new coaches, we have up-skilled our existing workforce and trained both new and potential future employees. For example, we have partnered with the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) on an eight week higher-education training program and 16-week welding boot camp to build the welding skills current and potential employees use in this advanced technology manufacturing.

Once the trains arrive in Florida, we will deploy a dedicated team of Siemens employees to maintain the trainsets over their 30 year lifetime.

Over 30 years ago, we opened our doors for business in Sacramento to build light rail vehicles. Today, we’re thrilled to have added high-tech locomotives and coaches for Florida to our manufacturing portfolio. Just recently, we marked the opening of our new 125,000 square-foot expansion in Sacramento that increases our already significant manufacturing footprint and will help us accommodate manufacturing for these Brightline trainsets. 

The launch of Brightline marks an exciting milestone in realizing the economic and environmental benefits of express rail service in Florida. Monday’s unveiling certainly proves the high level of enthusiasm and promise surrounding the future of mobility. We’re proud to be a part of this groundbreaking project and look forward to enhancing the rail experience for future Brightline riders and operators.