Railway Age Blogs

amtrak-we-must-do-something-transformational-now
June 30, 2015
Amtrak’s May 12th Philadelphia train derailment has renewed focus on funding Amtrak. With more than 200 people injured and eight fatalities, the debate has shifted from “Can we agree to do anything for Amtrak?” to “How much can we agree to do for Amtrak?”
unemployed-no-more-elliott-returns-to-stb
June 23, 2015
Following almost six months of unemployment, and nearly a year of dining on the gristle of uncertainty, Dan Elliott is returning to the Surface Transportation Board following voice-vote Senate confirmation June 22. President Obama previously said he would rename Elliott as agency chairman upon confirmation....
when-vanishing-vistas-=-vaporized-students
June 19, 2015
High school graduation. Time for friends, family, celebration, and taking senior photos and videos. Lots of young people seek the perfect artistic backdrop: a “vanishing vista.” What better, more artistic vanishing vista is there than railroad tracks diminishing into the distance, right?
ptc-for-the-masses
June 18, 2015
A large percentage of the general public, specifically, the passenger-train-riding public, does not understand Positive Train Control—if they’ve even heard of it. For that matter, neither do many of the legislators that imposed the year-end PTC implementation deadline, but that’s another story. And neither do...
control-the-speed-of-the-train-period
June 15, 2015
The National Transportation Safety Board, in a second update of the May 12 fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, announced that it found no indication that the locomotive engineer of train no. 188 was using his cell phone to talk or text while operating the train....

liability-shouldn’t-threaten-survival
June 09, 2015
Violent clashes often occur at the intersection of liability, ability to pay and the law. They follow train accidents that send victims and railroads to court as adversaries.
house-ti-hearing-a-litany-of-embarrassments
June 03, 2015
I watched the webcast of the June 2, 2015 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure oversight hearing of the Amtrak accident in Philadelphia.
is-there-a-plot-against-passenger-trains?
June 02, 2015
Following Amtrak’s tragic wreck of Northeast Regional train 188, the news media, as expected, sprung into action, filling the airwaves and cyberspace and newspapers with speculation, analysis, sensationalism—and even some accurate, straight and unbiased reporting, which doesn’t occur too often where railroads are involved. The...
a-fine-kettle-of-fish-for-fras-feinberg
June 01, 2015
It’s no surprise that Federal Railroad Administration Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg, a Democratic political operative—and a darn good one by all accounts—is President Obama’s choice to become the agency’s permanent chief. Politics generally determines executive branch appointments and it’s a shrewd wager the Senate will...
a-labor-leader-who-understood-economics
May 26, 2015
Dan Johnson died last week. He was 67. You probably neither knew him nor recognize his name. Yet if you are a railroader, he touched your life in meaningful ways.