March 30, 2015

Foxx says PTC deadline will not be extended

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A Dec. 31 deadline for railroads to equip all trains with crash-avoidance technology known as “positive train controls” won’t be extended, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Feb. 11. Testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Foxx said his department is “continuing to hold the industry’s feet to the fire in getting PTC done as [...]

The other train accident victims: Rail workers

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In December 2013, after a Metro-North train jumped the rails in the Bronx, killing four and injuring 75, a union leader described the train engineer as “totally traumatized.” The New York accident made national headlines, but other than the union quote, little attention was given to that trauma he faced. A similar description of an [...]

Response to SEPTA’s service hours waiver request

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The Federal Railroad Administration Feb. 10 will hold a public hearing before ruling on a waiver request by Southeastern Pennsylvania Metropolitan Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to extend its current waiver of hours of service provisions for on duty points. SEPTA has asked FRA to renew a waiver that the transit agency has had in effect for the [...]

Foxx unveils Obama’s infrastructure investment plan

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Feb. 2 announced President Obama’s $94.7 billion Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The proposal makes critical investments in infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency, and support jobs for the 21st century. Speaking at a town hall at Google headquarters in [...]

T&I Committee unveils passenger-rail reform bill

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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and other committee leaders yesterday introduced the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA), which would address infrastructure needs, transparency and other issues for Amtrak. “By compelling Amtrak to operate more like a true business, cutting red tape, and opening the door to more [...]

Driver panic, confusion common in path of trains

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Your car is trapped between the crossing gates, and a train is speeding down the tracks, its horn blaring, its lights blazing in your direction. What do you do? Hit the gas pedal and crash through the gate, or ditch your car and start running, experts say. And don’t waste any time deliberating over it. [...]

Anthem says cyberattack stole data of millions

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Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, said Feb. 4 that the personal information of tens of millions of its customers and employees, including its chief executive, was the subject of a “very sophisticated external cyberattack.” The company, which is continuing its investigation into the exact scope of the attack, said hackers were able [...]

Metro North train smashes into SUV, killing six

As the investigation into the deadliest accident in the history of the Metro-North Railroad got underway on Wednesday, officials said they still could not explain how or why a sport-utility vehicle became stranded on the train tracks. A crowded commuter train traveling north through Westchester County slammed into the S.U.V. on Tuesday (Feb. 3) night, [...]

Safety mandate raises passenger rail concerns in Mo.

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ST. LOUIS – The expense of installing mandated train collision avoidance technology is putting passenger service in Missouri at risk, according to the state Department of Transportation. The equipment, which is designed to override human error, is supposed to be in place by Dec. 31, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Read the complete story at the [...]

Student with measles boarded Amtrak train in N.Y.

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A New York college student with measles boarded an Amtrak station from Penn Station earlier this week and may have exposed other passengers to the contagious virus. The student at Bard College in Dutchess County took Amtrak train #283 from Penn Station to Albany, according to state health officials. He got off in Rhinecliff, N.Y. [...]