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Metra flirts with fixed seating
Throughout its three decades of existence, Chicagoland’s Metra regional rail service has resisted the widespread adaptation of “fixed-seat” consists by other North American transit agencies, arguing that its customers prefer…
FRA’s Szabo headed back to Chicago
Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo will be stepping down from the post he has held since April 2009 and, effective Jan. 1, 2015, will be on staff at the…
NTSB, Metro-North, and politicians, Part 3
Let’s continue with my comments from Part 1 and Part 2 on the Oct. 28, 2014 National Transportation Safety Board press conference regarding NTSB’s determination of the causes of five…
Why NTSB got it wrong
I forced myself to review every miserable second of the Oct. 28, 2014 NTSB press conference regarding NTSB’s determination of the causes of five accidents on Metro-North Railway (MNR), for…
UP’s new mobile classroom for emergency responder training
Union Pacific, in collaboration with The Firefighters Education and Training Foundation, has converted a boxcar into a mobile classroom, expanding its fleet of training equipment used to educate emergency responders.
“Schumenthal” at their self-serving best and worst
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…
NTSB, others savage Metro-North, FRA on safety
The National Transporation Safety Board (NTSB) on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, publicly identified several recurring safety issues plaguing Metro-North Railroad in past years, including inadequate and ineffective track inspection and…
Transport Canada resumes modest rail safety regulation
After a train crash of criticism by Canada's Transportation Safety Board and the country's auditor-general, Transport Canada is softly moderating its three-wise-monkeys approach to railway regulation.
MTA taps NTSB for new safety czar
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has named National Transportation Safety Board Managing Director David L. Mayer as the agency’s new Chief Safety Officer.
Myles joins Marsh Global Rail Practice
Kevin B. Myles has joined Marsh, a global provider insurance brokering and risk management, as a Vice President in its Global Rail Practice.
Greenbrier calls for no delays on PHMSA rulemaking, legacy tank car retrofits
Greenbrier on Oct. 10, 2014 reiterated its support for the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) proposed Option 2 design for new tank cars in flammable service built after…
Improving safety on North America’s “122-inch pipeline”
Are corrosion protection strategies for rail “all hat and no cattle?” (all talk, no substance?). James McDonald, Terry Aben P.E., and Douglas Mittlesteadt of Hempel USA examine this subject for…
No injuries reported in Saskatchewan derailment
Canadian officials reported no injuries Wednesday morning, Oct. 8, 2014, in the aftermath of a CN train derailment occurring Tuesday near Wadena, Saskatchewan that generated smoke and some fears of…
Cap screw clamping challenge
Sometimes, a new railroad product that’s a bit different from “business as usual” will encounter resistance. Here’s how one supplier stayed the course and earned acceptance.
RSI-CTC to PHMSA: “One size fits all” won’t work
In comments sent to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Dept. 30, 2014, the Railway Supply Institute Committee on Tank Cars (RSI-CTC) warned of “significant disruption to…
Railcar builder stocks tumble following PHMSA NPRM comment period
Shares of The Greenbrier Companies and Trinity Industries fell 10.2% and 7.7%, respectively, in afternoon trading on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, one day after the deadline for final comments on…
AAR comments to PHMSA stress efficiency as well as safety
The Association of American Railroads on Sept. 30, 2014 submitted its comments on the U.S. Department of Transportation-Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) on…
Greenbrier responds to PHMSA tank car NPRM
The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. on Sept. 30, 2014, filed comments to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on HHFTs (High Hazard Flammable Trains)—hazmat tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol—issued…
CSX hosts first-responder CBR training at SERTC
Forty first-responders representing 30 communities around CSX’s railroad network have undergone crude-by-rail (CBR) incident response training at the Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) in Pueblo, Colo.
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…
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