State leaders discuss high-speed rail safety bills in Brevard

Virgin Trains building expansion of light-rail to connect South Florida, Orlando

BREVARD COUNTY – Two state leaders are holding a town hall meeting in Brevard County on Wednesday evening, explaining how they plan to keep residents safe as a high-speed rail is built.

Virgin Trains announced earlier this year they plan to expand its high-speed rail service from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport with a route that takes it through Brevard County.

State Sen. Debbie Mayfield and State Rep. Tyler Sirios have both submitted similar bills in both state houses seeking to establish safeguards for the people who live along any privatized rail route.

According to Mayfield's bill, she is seeking to put up fencing around sections of the tracks, establish remote monitoring of the railroad crossings to make sure warning signals and arms are operational, make the private companies liable for accidents and hazardous materials spills and allow public access of all of the companies inspection records.

Both bills have cleared first hurdles and they’re now being sent to committees.

“I think they’re going to be a great deal,” said Pete Jakubik, a part-time Cape Canaveral resident. “My wife’s a flight attendant, so I go to the airport with her three times a month to get her there. She could just jump on the light rail and leave out of Cocoa.”

Virgin Trains has already begun construction of the $4 billion project along State Road 528.

Company officials said they hope to have the project completed by 2022.

You can read the proposed legislation below.

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