Railroad Construction / Brightline / FECR

Flagler RailroadHigh-Speed Tests

Brightline began testing trains at maximum speeds of 110 miles-per-hour in Martin and St. Lucie Counties the week of October 17, 2022. Residents should continue to be alert and follow the law around active railroad tracks and railroad crossings.  To sign up for Brightline text alerts on high-speed testing schedules in our area: Text “RR110” to 888-304-0037.


Brightline continues active construction of a new rail line from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to Orlando, crews continue to upgrade crossings, resulting in temporary street closures. Motorists and watercraft should proceed with extra caution through work zones and adhere to posted detour signs, speed limits and other signage. 

Brightline's lane closures, work zone, railroad crossings and bridge work information is currently available for areas from Orlando to West Palm Beach.


Brightline and the Florida East Coast Railway have announced the launch of the St. Lucie Bridge Schedule App and Website for mariners. The tech platforms communicate real-time schedule information providing the community with predictability and reliability of bridge openings. To download the bridge app, search for “Bridge Schedule” in the Apple and Android app stores or visit http://www.bridgeschedule.com/. The app and website went live in coordination with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) temporary deviation on August 15.

In addition to the bridge app and website, Brightline installed variable message signs on each side of the bridge, which are interconnected to the railroad signal system. The signs display a countdown to each bridge closure and opening. Brightline also recently constructed a bridge monitor house, and a bridge monitor is located on site between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day. The bridge monitor is the main point of contact for daily waterway usage and can be reached via VHF Channel 9 or by phone at 772-403-1005. More information can be found online at gobrightline.com/railroad-construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the City of Stuart Establish Quiet Zones?

Train Horn Rule and Quiet Zones

Under the Train Horn Rule (49 CFR Part 222, issued on August 17, 2006), locomotive engineers must begin to sound train horns at least 15 seconds, and no more than 20 seconds, in advance of all public grade crossings. If a train is traveling faster than 60 mph, engineers will not sound the horn until it is within 1/4 mile of the crossing, even if the advance warning is less than 15 seconds. There is a "good faith" exception for locations where engineers cannot precisely estimate their arrival at a crossing and may begin to sound the horn no more than 25 seconds before arriving at the crossing.

Train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of 2 long, 1 short, and 1 long blasts. The pattern must be repeated or prolonged until the lead locomotive or lead cab car occupies the grade crossing. The rule does not stipulate the durations of long and short blasts. The maximum volume level for the train horn is 110 decibels, and the minimum sound level is 96 decibels.

Quiet Zones

When the rule established the requirement for routine sounding of the locomotive horn, a procedure was also established whereby localities that could meet certain safety requirements might designate as a “quiet zone” a segment of a rail line with one or more consecutive public highway-rail grade crossings. Upon satisfying the regulation’s technical requirements, locomotive horns would not be routinely sounded within this quiet zone. 

Only a public authority may establish quiet zones. “Public authority” means the public entity (such as a city or county) responsible for traffic control or law enforcement at the public highway-rail grade crossings under consideration.

Localities that want to establish a quiet zone are first required to mitigate the increased risk caused by the absence of a horn. In a quiet zone, train horns may still be used in emergency situations or to comply with other Federal regulations or railroad operating rules. Additionally, a “no horn” restriction that may have existed prior to the establishment of the rule may have been duly qualified to be a “pre-rule quiet zone.”

The City of Stuart's Stance on Applying for Quiet Zones

In addition to the freight trains on the Florida East Coast Railway, Brightline is also providing regular passenger service from Miami to Orlando. While a Quiet Zone designation can reduce noise pollution from train horns, there are still concerns related to the operation of trains that have pedestrian and automobile crossings.  The primary consideration is that the entire corridor is owned by the FEC and the City of Stuart has been granted limited easements for the intersections that cross the tracks.  In order to qualify, a minimum standard has been set by the Federal Rail Administration but that does not mean every intersection is immune from the dangers associated with trains.  The City of Stuart only qualifies for quiet zones based on a scoring system that evaluates all of the crossings in Martin County and therefore the City will only apply for the designation when the County applies for same.  The County has decided to wait for the passenger trains to operate for several months before making application to ensure that all safety precautions are being followed.  Both the City and the County are actively evaluating the designation and will pursue quiet zones at such time as sufficient information has been gathered from the actual operation of passenger rail in tandem with the freight trains.

Quiet Zone Regulation Links

Other Links

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration Train Horn Rule and Quiet Zones website

Click here to add content...