July 31, 2014

FRA’s Szabo addresses SMART Convention delegates

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Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo spoke to attendees at the First Transportation Division Convention of the International Association of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers in San Diego, Calif., July 1, 2014. His speech, as prepared, is below. Good morning, everyone. It is great to be here with you today. I am [...]

FRA issues ROD for Calif. high-speed train section

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WASHINGTON – The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) June 27 issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the 114-mile Fresno to Bakersfield Section of the California High-Speed Train System. The ROD is the last step in the National Environmental Policy Act process and clears the way to break ground on the [...]

Supreme Court to hear Amtrak dispute

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The Supreme Court said June 23 it will consider whether Amtrak can partner with a government agency to create rules that other private railroads must follow. The justices agreed to hear the Obama administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling that said Congress unconstitutionally gave regulatory power to the passenger railroad company. Read the complete [...]

FRA’s Szabo challenges southeast states on rail

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RICHMOND, Va. – Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo today called on elected officials and transportation planners in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to develop a shared vision of rail service along the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR) between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. Administrator Szabo’s challenge came as he addressed members and supporters [...]

Feds say oil train details not security sensitive

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BILLINGS, Mont. – U.S. transportation officials said Wednesday that details about volatile oil train shipments are not sensitive security information, after railroads have sought to keep the material from the public following a string of fiery accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered railroads to give state officials specifics on oil-train routes and volumes [...]

Blumenthal calls Metro-North fines ‘a mockery’

WASHINGTON — The nation’s top railroad regulator drew withering criticism Tuesday for his agency’s record of safety enforcement against Metro-North Railroad. The Federal Railroad Administration’s use of its power to fine railroads for safety violations “is a mockery of justice,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal with some heat in an interview after tangling with FRA Administrator [...]

Amtrak, FRA, NS 
kick off $71M Indiana Gateway

Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, Norfolk Southern, and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) have embarked on constructing the $71.4 million Indiana Gateway project, which will upgrade the right-of-way between Porter, Ind., and the Illinois state line shared by Amtrak and NS trains. The Indiana Gateway project will improve seven locations on NS’s Chicago Line [...]

Grow America: Federal Railroad Administration

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The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) mission is to ensure the safe, reliable, and efficient rail transportation of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future. Unfortunately, the growth of our economy and population is outpacing our level of investment in the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure, creating a situation that, if left [...]

DOT takes emergency action for safe crude shipments

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation May 7 issued an emergency order requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) about the operation of these trains through their states. Additionally, DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a [...]

AAR: FCC policies delaying PTC

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WASHINGTON – In a new report updating the industry’s progress on installing positive train control, the nation’s freight railroads said that a year-long moratorium on installing 20,000 communication antennas imposed by the Federal Communications Commission, followed by a lengthy federal approval process mandated by the agency, has seriously delayed the implementation of nationwide interoperable PTC. [...]