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Is FRA’s Szabo headed to the STB?
Joe Szabo, the former union boss and now embattled Federal Railroad Administrator, may be on his way out—to another federal railroad regulatory agency, actually, if rumors involving his former Chicago…
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…
FRA releases All Aboard Florida DEIS for public comment
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Orlando to West Palm Beach section (Phase II) of All Aboard Florida LLC’s (AAF) passenger…
North Dakota seizes initiative in CBR degasification
The vital other shoe in crude by rail reform will drop not in Ottawa or Washington, but in Bismark, N.Dak., where, in the void created by federal inaction, officials are…
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…
B&P tunnel study moves forward
With a goal of addressing a longstanding bottleneck along the Northeast Corridor, the Federal Railroad Administration, Maryland Department of Transportation, and Amtrak are advancing an engineering and environmental study to…
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…
CSX CBR train derails in Virginia; no injuries reported
CSX workers and others on Thursday, May 1, 2014, continued to assess the damage caused by a crude-by-rail (CBR) consist that derailed near downtown Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday afternoon, resulting in…
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…
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…
DOT issues CBR Emergency Order
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Feb. 25, 2014 issued an Emergency Order requiring crude oil shippers to test product from the Bakken region to ensure the proper classification…
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…
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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