April 19, 2015

Five ways energy is transforming U.S. railroads

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U.S. railroads have not hauled so much crude oil since the short period at the dawn of the petroleum age, when John D. Rockefeller relied on trains to build his Standard Oil empire. But the long, black tanker trains are only the most visible way that the changing U.S. energy picture is transforming railroads. The [...]

NTSB to hold forum on railroad trespassing

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WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public forum March 24-25 on the dangers of trespassing on the railroad right-of-way. While railroad tracks have long held a cultural resonance with Americans, featured in motion pictures, TV shows, music videos and photography, they are private property. And they can be a deadly place. [...]

Former MTA chief expected to head Metrolink

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The Metrolink commuter rail system’s board of directors on Friday is expected to hire Art Leahy, the former head of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as the railroad’s chief executive officer. Leahy, 66, is a veteran transit official who ran three transportation agencies after starting his career as a bus driver for the [...]

Amtrak renames Chicago operations center for Szabo

Amtrak on Tuesday renamed its operations center in Chicago to honor Joseph Szabo, a fifth-generation railroader who headed the Federal Railroad Administration for 51/2 years of the Obama administration. Szabo, 56, left the administration in December to return to Chicago, where he is a senior policy adviser on transportation at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for [...]

Expert: Driver, trooper could have avoided train crash

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RALEIGH, N.C. – A truck with an oversized load and a state trooper escort was stuck in a railroad crossing with time enough to alert approaching trains, but there’s no indication Amtrak was warned before a crash that injured 55 people, officials said. An eyewitness told The Associated Press that the tractor-trailer — which stretched [...]

Amtrak has authority to set on-time performance

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The following release was issued by the Environmental Law & Policy Center: WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court’s March 9 decision affirming Amtrak’s power to create on-time performance standards could get slumping Midwest arrival times back on track. “This is a good Supreme Court decision that should help rail passengers across the country,” said Howard Learner, [...]

Amtrak train, truck collide in N.C.; several hurt

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HALIFAX, N.C. – An Amtrak train hit a tractor-trailer that stalled on railroad tracks in North Carolina, toppling the engine onto its side and injuring several people, officials said Monday. Halifax County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bruce Temple said the accident happened around noon in the town of Halifax. Read the complete story at the Associated [...]

TTD applauds passage of Amtrak reauthorization

Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, issued the following statement about the U.S. House Representatives passage of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA): “Today the House of Representatives took an important step to sustain Amtrak, America’s national passenger railroad. The overwhelming vote today on the floor of the [...]

House passes Passenger Rail Reform, Investment Act

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The United States House of Representatives March 4 overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that will provide critical investments in our nation’s passenger rail system. H.R. 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA) will ensure that our national passenger rail system continues its mission to connect communities – both large and small – [...]

Contact your U.S. rep. now for passenger rail funding

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SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director John Risch has sent a message to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives seeking their support of a “clean” Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA) bill, which would authorize and fund Amtrak. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved this bipartisan legislation (H.R. [...]