August 31, 2015

Corridor chosen for proposed Texas high-speed rail

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The Federal Railroad Administration has decided on a preferred route for the proposed high-speed rail that would run from Houston to Dallas and through the eastern counties of the Texas Brazos Valley. The line approved for the proposed train would get people from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes. It cuts right through Grimes, Madison [...]

FRA issues advisory on ballast defects

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FRA is issuing this safety advisory to emphasize the importance of timely repairing ballast defects and conditions on main tracks. FRA notes that ballast defects and ballast conditions that are not repaired in a timely manner can lead to future defects. FRA believes it is important for track inspectors to be aware that ballast defects [...]

Oil train safety must remain a priority

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MINNESOTA – Lack of action during this year’s legislative session doesn’t mean nothing’s being done regarding rail safety as oil trains keep passing through the state and region. About 3,000 firefighters and other emergency responders from 80 departments throughout the state have been trained to respond quickly to oil-train-related disasters, and the Minnesota Pollution Control [...]

Feds to study daily passenger rail service in Midwest

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CINCINNATI — The Federal Railroad Administration will soon take a good, hard look at how Amtrak could better serve the Midwest with interstate passenger rail transit, and local leaders are saying it will take Cincinnati one step closer toward daily rail service to Chicago. In an announcement sent to Congressional leaders last week, the FRA [...]

FRA announces final rule to prevent runaway trains

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a final rule to prevent unattended trains that carry crude, ethanol, poisonous by inhalation (PIH), toxic by inhalation (TIH), and other highly flammable contents from rolling away.  Railroad employees who are responsible for securing a train will now be permanently required to communicate with another qualified individual [...]

Latest tank car, rail inspections turn up 62 defects

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Another round of targeted tank car and rail inspections in New York found 62 defects, including one “critical” safety defect that required immediate corrective action, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The inspections are part of the governor’s efforts to address the safety of crude-by-rail shipments. State and federal teams examined 524 tank cars and [...]

Feds say rule on oil train reporting permanent

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The Federal Railroad Administration said Wednesday that train companies must continue reporting crude oil routes and volumes to state authorities concerned about derailments and fires. The interim regulation requiring notification will become permanent. Oil-hauling railroads include Omaha-based Union Pacific and Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF Railway. Read more from Omaha.com.

Freight rail accidents fall, despite recent derailments

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Despite high-profile train derailments in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, railroads remain relatively safe transportation for people and freight, federal statistics show. A derailment late Wednesday near Maryville, Tenn., of a CSX freight train carrying acrylonitrile, a hazardous material used to make plastics, rekindled attention in rail safety. So did the derailment May 12 of an Amtrak [...]

Google, FRA team up for rail safety

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The following is a written statement by FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg. Can one of the nation’s newest, fastest-moving industries help to solve one of transportation’s oldest problems? At the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), we think the answer is yes. That is why we are proud to announce that Google has agreed to partner with [...]

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

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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 [...]