Editor’s note: The following is David Schanoes’s presentation, “Better, Safer Railroading: 10% Planning, 90% Execution,” at Railway Age’s 2015 Passenger Trains on Freight Railroads Conference.
Last week, the FRA released its most recent report to Congress on the status of PTC implementation. As these things go, it’s not a bad report. It touches on all the big issues; says all the right things; and almost pleads with Congress to do something, but not just anything, the right something re: the approaching deadline.
You know the kind I mean: the ones where nobody gets hurt, nothing blows up, and nobody shows up, except you.
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. In response to questions posed separately, NTSB confirmed that indeed the cell phone records support the engineer’s statement that he utilized the cell phone to call 911 after the accident.
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.
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?
I never thought I would find myself in the position of defending the Federal Railroad Administration, at least from anyone other than the Ayn Rand-Alan Greenspan-Phil Gramm-Rush Limbaugh types out there, but life is a funny thing.