Brightline, the express train service that will run between West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, recently announced its partnership with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) to provide clean biodiesel to fuel the trains. FPL, which has used clean, high-quality biodiesel as a fuel for its trucks for nearly two decades, will supply Brightline with 2 million gallons of biodiesel-blended fuel annually under a two-year contract.
“This fueling partnership with FPL is a great example of two Florida-based companies working together to create jobs and utilize local resources,” said Tom Rutkowski, Brightline’s Chief Mechanical Officer. “Brightline is investing in the nation’s economy, from the trainsets to the rail infrastructure, all of which are manufactured in America. I’ve visited with many of the manufacturing plants supplying the components of our trainsets, and there is always a strong sense of pride from the teams who are creating the products.”
FPL uses biodiesel as the primary fuel source for more than 1,750 vehicles in its fleet. Now, Brightline’s American-made trains will be running on this similar fuel. Biodiesel fuel is a cleaner-burning replacement produced from renewable sources like corn, soybeans and used cooking oil. It is cost-competitive and reduces engine wear, and can lower operations and maintenance costs.
“FPL has long been committed to energy independence as well as environmental stewardship,” said Sam Forrest, Vice President of Energy Marketing and Trading for FPL. “We’ve been tearing down old power plants to make way for new energy centers that run on clean, low-cost natural gas, and building new emissions-free solar energy centers that use 100 percent Florida sunshine. That’s why we’re proud to partner with Brightline to provide them with a cleaner, biodiesel-blended fuel for their trains.”
Brightline trains are powered by Siemens Charger locomotives and equipped with fuel tanks designed to contain up to 2,200 gallons of fuel. Each trainset includes two locomotives and four passenger cars (‘Select’ and ‘Smart’ coaches). Projected consumption of the trains is 2 gallons of fuel per mile, which means the 67-mile one-way trip from Miami to West Palm Beach consumes 134 gallons.
FPL’s fleet has used an estimated 18 million gallons of biodiesel and driven more than 120 million miles without any fuel-related engine issues. Last year, FPL’s biodiesel consumption led to a CO2 reduction of 3,625 tons – the equivalent of taking more than 600 passenger vehicles off the road in one year.