Contractors poured concrete Monday morning for a train maintenance facility in West Palm Beach that will support the Brightline passenger rail service scheduled to start in mid-2017.
“This is the launching point for our service. Every day, the trains will come out of here,” Adrian Share, executive vice president of rail infrastructure, told The Real Deal.
He said plans are to have it completed in July and ready for service in August, in anticipation of the Brightline rail service between West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando. The service “will be ready for running by the middle of 2017,” he said.
“This is about a 120 cubic yards of concrete going in today,” Share said, pointing to workers building a below-grade concrete walkway taking shape at the site of the Brightline maintenance facility.
“Basically this will be a maintenance pit. When you work on the trains, you work from underneath,” he said. “If you take your car to a repair shop, they lift the car. We don’t lift the trains.”
The facility is designed to accommodate four 10-car trains in the facility overnight for maintenance. “We won’t be using 10-train cars for a while, but it’s designed with that capacity,” Share said.
The site of the maintenance facility is a 12-acre parcel that includes a vintage set of industrial buildings that will be renovated by All Aboard Florida, the Coral Gables-based company developing the intercity Brightline rail service. “These buildings have been here forever. We’re just rehabbing them,” Share said.
The address of the maintenance facility site, 601 15th Street in West Palm Beach, is about a mile north of the Brightline passenger train station now under construction in the city’s downtown area.
The West Palm Beach maintenance facility is known as the Running Repair Facility because workers there will perform maintenance and minor repair work on trains without taking them out of service.
Brightline trains will undergo heavy maintenance at a second facility planned in Orlando.