March 27, 2015

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. [...]

Metrolink train engineer injured in crash dies

LOS ANGELES – One week after being gravely injured in a collision between a Metrolink train and a pickup truck, the train’s engineer has died. Glenn Steele, 62, died early Tuesday of injuries suffered in the Feb. 24 crash in Oxnard, the Los Angeles County coroner said. Read the complete story at the Los Angeles Times.

FRA campaigns to enhance grade crossing safety

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WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing effort to improve safety at railroad grade crossings, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Feb. 27 announced the first step in a new, multi-faceted campaign aimed at strengthening enforcement and safety awareness at grade crossings. The first phase of this effort calls upon local law enforcement agencies to show [...]

Life-saving train design is rarely used

LOS ANGELES – Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the collision between a Southern California commuter train and a truck abandoned on the tracks was this: No one died and only eight people on board were admitted to hospitals. Officials with the Metrolink train system credit cars designed to blunt the tremendous force of a [...]

Southwest Chief rail bill passes first committee

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DENVER – A bipartisan bill designed to help grow economic opportunity and expand transportation options in southern Colorado cleared its first hurdle Feb. 24, passing the Senate Local Government Committee by a vote of 5-2. The bill, S.B. 15-176, would continue to provide needed transportation options so vital to southeastern Colorado in places like Lamar, [...]

Safety Team member assisting NTSB in Calif.

The SMART Transportation Division’s National Safety Team has assigned one of its members to assist the National Transportation Safety Board in its investigation of the crash and derailment of a Metrolink commuter train in Ventura County in California Feb. 24. Twenty-eight people were injured, four of them critically, when the five-car Metrolink commuter train traveling [...]

Metrolink train hits truck, derails in Calif.

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A Metrolink train derailed early Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Oxnard, Calif., after slamming into a truck that was in flames. Twenty-eight people were injured, four critically. The driver of the truck fled the scene and was taken into custody, officials said. The train was going 79 mph near the crossing at 5th Street and Rice [...]

House committee approves Amtrak funding legislation

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The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Feb. 12 unanimously approved bipartisan legislation that improves the infrastructure, reduces costs, creates greater accountability and transparency, leverages private sector resources, and accelerates project delivery for Amtrak and the nation’s passenger rail transportation system. The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, or PRRIA (H.R. 749), was introduced by [...]