August 31, 2016

Critics say Senate bill would weaken rail safety

Washington, D.C. — A transportation bill introduced by a Senate committee chairman would allow car rental companies to rent recalled vehicles that haven’t been repaired and eliminate any hard deadline for railroads to start using long-sought technology that automatically stops trains to prevent crashes, safety advocates say. The bill was introduced Thursday by Sen. John […]

Peter Neffenger sworn in as sixth TSA administrator

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson welcomed Peter Neffenger Monday, July 6, as the sixth administrator of the Transportation Security Administration in a ceremony held at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Neffenger was confirmed by the U.S. Senate June 22, 2015, following his nomination by President Barack Obama. He now leads a workforce of […]

Senate Commerce Committee approves rail reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation June 25, on a voice vote, approved the bipartisan “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act,” sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), with seven amendments. The measure improves rail safety, reauthorizes Amtrak services and improves existing passenger rail infrastructure. It […]

FRA: the state of PTC implementation in the U.S.

Washington, D.C. – Sarah Feinberg, acting director of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), addressed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure concerning the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) June 24, 2015. Her speech follows. “PTC technology is arguably the single-most important railroad safety development in more than a century. The technology is not new […]

Keep train safety system on deadline

When a passenger boards a Metro-North train, there is every expectation to arrive at the destination safely. Yet Congress is considering easing a year-end deadline for railroads to install a technology — called Positive Train Control — that will prevent accidents like those due to speed on curves. Some of the nation’s railroads, including Metro-North, say they cannot […]

FRA recommends actions to prevent speeding

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a safety advisory recommending actions that passenger railroads take to prevent trains from speeding.  The advisory is the latest in a series of steps FRA has taken to keep passenger railroads safe for the traveling public. “Today the FRA is taking a smart and targeted approach to […]

BLET/SMART TD statement on Positive Train Control, crew size following fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia

(The following is a joint statement by Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and John Previsich, President, SMART Transportation Division, regarding questions that have arisen since the fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015.) CLEVELAND, May 19 — Members of BLET’s Safety Task Force and SMART […]

PTC coming to Metro North and LIRR

HARTFORD, Conn. – Federal transportation officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Agency have agreed on a nearly $1 billion federal loan to install technology that could slow trains when necessary on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Railroad. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Wednesday the Federal Railroad Administration and Metropolitan Transit Authority agreed on a $967 million loan […]

Metra to spend $80 million to launch PTC system

Metra’s board on Wednesday approved two large contracts, including one for $80 million to help implement a high-tech safety system that federal officials said would have prevented two Chicago derailments that killed two people and injured scores of passengers. The other contract, for $707,000, was awarded to a consulting firm that will advise Metra on […]

Senators seek to extend PTC deadline to 2020’s end

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) yesterday introduced a bill (S. 650) that proposes to extend the federally mandated deadline for positive train control (PTC) implementation by five years from 2015’s end to Dec. 31, 2020. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, […]