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Analysts, legal and financial experts weigh in on DOT’s HHFT NPRM
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. DOT for HHFTs (High-Hazard Flammable Trains) hauling crude oil and other commodities the DOT deems hazardous in tank cars has produced…
CBR obstacles vary, but multiply
Pushback against crude-by-rail (CBR) oil shipments continues to develop in a variety of ways, from local protests to looming action from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Pipeline and…
Amtrak, FRA, NS, INDOT kick off $71 million Indiana Gateway
Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, Norfolk Southern, and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) have embarked on constructing the $71.4 million Indiana Gateway project, which will upgrade the right-of-way between…
Data-phobic FRA’s “Book of Mormon”
Rail labor’s sabots are showing. It’s not a pleasant sight. “Sabots”—French for wooden shoes and the etymological root of “sabotage”—were thrown into the gears of textile looms by 15th century…
FRA's Szabo views Siemens plant PTC work
Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo on Friday, May 30, 2014 toured a Siemens rail automation plant in Louisville, Ky., which is producing components for new Positive Train Control (PTC)…
DOT: Report Bakken CBR moves; upgrade gear
State and local emergency responders won the right to know about individual movements of Bakken crude oil in an emergency order issued late Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by U.S. Transportation…
Dear NTSB . . . . .
The National Transportation Safety Board recently released an open letter to MTA Metro-North Railroad containing its initial safety recommendations derived from the ongoing investigation into the Dec. 1, 2013 derailment…
Data drought haunts FRA crew-size mandate
By the Federal Railroad Administration’s own congressional testimony, the years 2012 and 2013 were among the railroads’ safest on record, while the relatively few train crashes were mostly the result…
FRA to issue proposed rule on minimum train crew size
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) revealed its intention to issue a proposed rule requiring two-person train crews on crude oil trains and establishing minimum crew size standards for most main…
FRA slams lax Metro-North safety concerns
Stressing to the hilt its longstanding public emphasis on safety as a pinnacle industry goal, the Federal Railroad Administration slammed Metro-North Railroad Thursday, March 13, 2014 for a "deficient safety…
Most Bakken crude can move under FRA Emergency Order
The most onerous burdens under the Emergency Order issued by the Federal Railroad Administration Feb. 25 fall upon crude shippers and transloaders. The earlier regulatory vagueness concerning the classification of…
FRA amends track inspection regulations
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Jan. 24, 2014 issued amended regulations contained within its Federal Track Safety Standards that govern rail inspections. The amended regulations “will help identify rail…
NTSB, TSB issue joint CBR safety recommendations
The National Transportation Safety Board, in coordination with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, on Jan. 23, 2014 issued a series of recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and…
Senators push FRA order for locomotive cameras
Two U.S. Senators are urging the Federal Railroad Administration to mandate cameras on board passenger locomotives and operating cab cars in order to provide detailed information on potential derailments.
Virginia/N.C. reps meet to advance HSR
Virginia and North Carolina officials pursuing high speed rail development were scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, to advance HSR between the nation's capital and Charlotte,…
Will safety investments to protect railroads, public increase CBR costs?
A sell-off of shares in companies engaged in extracting oil from the mid-continent Bakken formation was the first indication from investors that they expect government scrutiny of the potentially explosive…
Canada cracking down on CBR shippers
Canada’s government has ordered Transport Canada to crack down hard on crude oil shippers who they say continue to evade a directive that they test the contents of tank cars…
FRA diving deeper into Metro-North
The Federal Railroad Administration will launch a 60-day comprehensive safety assessment of MTA Metro-North Railroad in response to the December 1st crash that killed four and injured 63. Operation Deep…
FRA issues Safety Advisory on speed restriction compliance
The Federal Railroad Administration on Dec. 11, 2013 issued an industry-wide Safety Advisory (2013-08) “to help ensure railroads adhere to federal regulations regarding maximum authorized train speed limits.”
Emergency Order 29: Where’s the consistency?
When we investigate accidents and injuries, when we analyze failures of any sort on any railroad, we are searching for a root cause—that determining factor, or factors, that drive the…
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