Uphill Slow, Downhill Fast, Profits First, Safety Last

Written by William C. Keppen, Jr.

Having worked in the industry for 50 years, if you consider my postretirement involvement, I will be the first to admit that today’s railroads are, in many respects, much safer than they were when I was first employed as a locomotive fireman in 1970. Credit for that goes to railroad management, employees and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). However, in my opinion, greater progress has been impeded for economic reasons or organization priorities—more simply put, the pursuit of self interests. Having said that, it’s time to move to the point of this article.

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