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"Synbit" culprit in CN's second Gogama conflagration
At first sight, the March 7, 2015 Reuters bulletin looked like an accidental re-filing of a three-weeks-old news flash: “A Canadian National Railway train carrying crude oil has derailed near…
PTC relief on the way?
The U.S. railroad industry has been scrambling since 2008 to meet the requirements of an unfunded federal government mandate—namely, having Positive Train Control installed and fully operational by Dec. 31,…
Supreme Court sends tax dispute back home to Alabama
In a case involving CSX Transportation, the United States Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, March 4, 2015 that the State of Alabama should be given the chance to justify a fuel…
Why bitumen isn’t necessarily safer than Bakken
The chain reaction fireballs that attended the Feb. 16, 2015 derailment of a CSX unit oil train in populated West Virginia probably blinded observers to the significance of the concurrent…
Foxx proposes rail transit state safety oversight
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 a proposed rule "to increase oversight responsibilities of State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOAs) by replacing the existing outdated regulatory framework with…
Better rail safety? Buck stops with the Senate
Railroads live at the intersection of necessity and disaster—the disaster substantial when dangerous cargo goes boom, is accompanied by a highly visible fireball, or threatens human life through inhalation or…
Oil train mishaps reveal tank car strengths and limitations
Two same-day derailments of crude oil trains in Canada and a third in West Virginia two days later illustrate the strengths and limitations of the newest general-purpose tank cars plying…
Delaware green groups target CBR activity
Two environmental groups on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 sought legal advice from a Delaware Superior Court judge on a forum to appeal state action expanding crude-by-rail (CBR) activity in the…
Foxx talks tough on PTC
Testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Feb. 11, 2015, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the DOT is “continuing to hold the industry’s feet to the fire…
Votes, media time, press clippings—or safety?
I never get tired of explaining the simple mathematics that govern safe train operations. The more thorough our grasp of the simple mathematics of time, distance, velocity, acceleration, coefficient of…
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