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September 26, 2014
Federal hazmat regulator AWOL from North Dakota oilfields
Whatever the unrevealed reasons for Cynthia Quarterman’s (pictured) Oct. 3, 2014 departure as head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a change at the top may reverse the federal regulator’s much-criticized lethargy in fixing the core cause of exploding oil trains.
Frank N. Wilner
September 17, 2014
Senate odd fellows unite to pack STB
An Iraqi proverb reads, “Show them death and they will accept a fever.”
September 14, 2014
So, you want to know my opinion?
Somebody asked me my opinion, and you know how dangerous that can be...
September 11, 2014
Rockefeller’s last stand; RSIA Déjà vu, Volume Two; PRIIA Redux
Congress is about to adjourn for its single-most-important function these days as mid-term elections loom: getting re-elected. That means it’s time to get down to some serious last-minute, constituent-coddling activities, like proposing legislation beating down the big, bad, monopolistic freight railroads, which, along with their...
September 04, 2014
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s massive World Trade Center PATH transportation hub in Lower Manhattan, designed by famed architect Santiago Calatrava, is about one year away from completion—eight years behind schedule and, at a cost of up to $4 billion by...
Frank N. Wilner
September 03, 2014
Rail revenue adequacy? Well, sort of
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) ruled Sept. 2 that five Class I railroads—BNSF, U.S. affiliates of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific—are revenue adequate. That is, they achieved a rate of return on investments used to provide railroad service that is...
Frank N. Wilner
August 18, 2014
BLET in catbird seat over crew consist
News item: Vouchsafed to work jointly in gaining legislation or regulation mandating two crew members on every freight train are the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union (SMART) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET).
August 12, 2014
High (higher) speed rail, “the real story”
“Don’t believe the New York Times or the train haters who cite it: High speed rail is not an $11 billion failure.”
August 08, 2014
Streetcars belong. Yes, still on the street
More than two years ago, this rail advocate held to the belief that "Streetcars belong. Even on the street." I maintain this belief now more than ever, in the face of a rising tide of streetcar critics intent on scuttling the mode as it regains...
July 30, 2014
What history can tell us about things to come
In February 1882, Joseph Osgood allowed shortsightedness to steer him wrong. As newly-appointed chief engineer for the California Southern Railroad (which would later become part of the Santa Fe Railway), he was tasked with constructing a new rail line that would link the seaport city...
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