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House T&I hearing a litany of embarrassments
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.
RSI-CTC launches litigation intervention effort
The Railway Supply Institute Committee on Tank Cars (RSI-CTC) says it has moved to intervene in pending litigation in three federal courts to support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recently…
If only . . . but wait . . .
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.…
STB starts on-time performance NPRM; approves NS acquisition
The Surface Transportation Board announced on May 15, 2015 that it will begin a proceeding to define intercity passenger railroad on-time performance for purposes of Section 213 of the Passenger…
Shippers hoist by own petard at House hearing
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…
Rails to Congress, STB: “If in doubt, don’t”
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…
Railroads free, leave us be!
Freedom from excessive regulation helped transform the freight railroads into the most cost effective of all transportation modes. There’s no reason to change that.
STB nominee reflects a shipper tilt
Paint former Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliott a darling of the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), a shipper organization asking the STB to require—through so-called open access—that two…
Keystone boosters turfed from office in bitumen’s homeland
Prospects for the contentious Keystone XL pipeline proposed to connect Alberta’s northern tar sands with U.S. Gulf Coast refiners has endured another brutal body check, this time from the home…
Fiery crude oil train wreck in North Dakota
A BNSF crude oil unit train derailed near the small North Dakota town of Heimdal, at 7:30 a.m. CDT on May 6, 2015, resulting in explosions and fire.
Zarembski advising Pennsylvania on CBR risk mitigation
The State of Pennsylvania has hired Dr. Allan M. Zarembski to a three-month contract to assess the state freight rail network, which hosts 60-70 crude oil trains per week.
Industrial Railway Conference deemed a "huge success"
More than 170 delegates gathered on April 28-29, 2015 to listen to regulators, operators and business leaders discuss ways to collectively enhance safety within the industrial rail community.
DOT-117 tank car rule debuts with controversy
The final spec for the now-official DOT-117 (TC-117 in Canada) non-pressurized tank car adopts the most demanding of the technical requirements first offered for comment in the notice of rulemaking:…
Siskiyou rail line set to reopen
Construction is under way on the first of three phases to upgrade the CORP (Central Oregon & Pacific) Siskiyou rail line; work will begin this spring and summer to reopen…
Carolina Worrell joins Railway Age as Managing Editor
Carolina Worrell has joined Railway Age as Managing Editor, based at Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp.’s headquarters in New York City.
Dan Elliott’s STB renomination hearing: May 6
Former Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliott, whose renomination to a second five-year term has been on ice since November, will have a Senate Commerce Committee confirmation hearing May…
FRA freezes on tank car sloshing; DOE oil volatility bombshell drops like a dud
How crude oil sloshing inside moving tank cars affects train stability was under close scrutiny by the Federal Railroad Administration, the regulator’s Acting Administrator told reporters back on March 13.…
UP grade crossing safety rate improves 27%
Union Pacific’s grade crossing safety rate, which measures the total number of Federal Railroad Administration-reportable grade crossing accidents per million train-miles, improved to 1.88 in 2015’s first quarter, compared to…
Shippers sound off at NEARS meeting
Shippers are upbeat on the economy, feel rail pricing is definitely going higher, and vehemently oppose any Class I consolidation, according to responses to questions posed by Cowen and Company…
SANDAG releases 35-year regional plan
The San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) Board of Directors released the draft version of San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, which provides the big-picture vision of how the region…
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