Breaking News

Opinion

The folly of hearings and fines

Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono, writing about the most recent congressional hearing on Positive Train Control, as well as attempts by some Members of Congress to arm-twist the Federal Railroad Administration on granting exemptions, opined, “I’ve said it before many times, but it’s always worth repeating: Politics should not be involved in safety. Why engage in politics at this stage of the game? What is the agenda here? Who or what is behind this?”

PTC Political Circus, Act (fill in the blank)

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Railroad Subcommittee has scheduled yet another pointless, time-consuming “status review” hearing on PTC. The people actually doing the implementation work—railroads, suppliers, consultants, FRA—get to spend another day getting peppered with pointless questions from clueless politicians who obviously don’t bother reading reports or doing basic research, and delight in wasting valuable people’s valuable time to prop up their huge egos and give the appearance of actually doing something useful.

TWU’s “crappy boxed lunch,” a PTC paper tiger—and silence

I don’t need to write much about how the Transport Worker’s Union looks upon Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson’s purported quest to eliminate dining car service and dismantle the long-distance train national network. The poster below says it all. It’s funny, to be sure, but for thousands of Amtrak customers, the meaning behind it is sad and dehumanizing.