Railway Age Blogs

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.
meg-baker-and-her-trusty-speed-o-meter-to-the-rescue
May 19, 2015
CBS News legends Edward R. Murrow, Fred Friendly, Charles Kuralt and Walter Cronkite must be turning over and hurling in their graves.
if-only-but-wait
May 18, 2015
I’ve been in France. I love being in France, a country that in the past 20 years has spent twice on its railways what it has spent on its roads. What am I missing? Another fatal overspeed derailment? At Frankford Junction?
shippers-hoist-by-own-petard-at-house-hearing
May 14, 2015
Poor Mr. Dooley—Calvin, that is, president of the American Chemistry Council and not the fictional Mr. Dooley created during the late 19th century by humorist Finley Peter Dunne. The latter gained library space in Teddy Roosevelt’s White House; the former seemed to hoist himself by...
rails-to-congress-stb-“if-in-doubt-don’t”
May 11, 2015
Successful baseball pitchers learn to throw first-pitch strikes and stay aggressive in the strike zone when their team is in the lead. Life imitates baseball, meaning railroad spokespersons will serve their industry well over the next 10 weeks if they similarly perform—first before a congressional...