The clock is running on untreated OSA

Timely accident investigations are critical to the future of safe transportation operations, for a number of reasons. First, they must begin expeditiously. As the clock runs, evidence can deteriorate or become corrupted. Witness memories of events fade, sometimes to the detriment of actual fact-finding. Second, the search for cause factors and efforts to remediate are delayed, leaving people and property at risk of more accidents and incidents caused by the same risk factors. Third, as time passes, other accidents and incidents demand investigation, putting a strain on investigatory resources.

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?”

derailment crude oil Iowa

NTSB cites retrofit tank cars in preliminary report on Iowa derailment

A June derailment that spilled crude oil in Iowa involved older tank cars retrofitted to newer safety standards, federal investigators found.

Asking the difficult question

You know what? I kind of like National Transportation Safety Board member Earl F. Weener, who has been an NTSB member since 2010.

More than just a glorified truck driver

The late Louis W. Menk once said that locomotive engineers were “nothing more than glorified truck drivers.” Those words stuck in my head throughout my 35-year railroad career—mostly spent as a locomotive engineer. To be quite honest, the thought of them angered me every time I climbed into the cab of my locomotive. I was determined to prove him wrong—to be the best damn engineer in the world.

Amtrak 91 Cayce wreck with CSX

The only way to be sure

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a Draft Safety Advisory, 2018-01, Related to Temporary Signal Suspensions. For the first time I can recall, FRA is soliciting public comment “on all aspects of the Draft Safety Advisory.”

National Transportation Safety Board

Trump nominates Homendy for NTSB

President Trump announced his intention to nominate Jennifer L. Homendy to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board.

David Schanoes

Safety won’t improve with incomplete, inaccurate data

What a world. FRA is on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube. NTSB is on Twitter and YouTube, and might be on Facebook, but I don’t know since the NTSB website doesn’t say one way or another, and I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, and not, to my knowledge on YouTube, or if I am, it’s not my doing, I promise.

The ongoing crew consist size debate

The battle between labor and the management over mandatory two-person crews is far from over and will heat up if a new Democratic-controlled Congress takes charge in 2019. Hoping for big Democratic wins in the U.S. House and Senate later this year, railroad labor quietly continues to set the stage to push for mandatory two-person train crew legislation.

Amtrak 501 wreck: Engineer “missed” approach sign

The engineer of Amtrak Cascades 501, which derailed on Dec. 18, 2017 in DuPont, Wash., has told the National Transportation Safety Board that he does not recall seeing an approach sign with a speed restriction placed two miles before the 30-mph curve upon which the derailment occurred.