November 30, 2015

Can ECP brakes stop train disasters in suburbs?


CHICAGO – As a former railroad brakeman, the region’s top planner Joe Szabo knows how to stop a train. So it’s significant he backs a controversial new federal rule requiring freight railroads to install electronic braking systems on trains carrying crude oil and ethanol. Shiploads of volatile fuel are increasing in the Chicago region with [...]

Szabo stepping down as head of FRA


After nearly six years serving as chief of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration, Joe Szabo is stepping down in January. In a statement to FRA staff, Szabo said, “I will head home to accept a position as a senior fellow for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. In my new capacity, I’ll [...]

FRA’s Szabo addresses SMART Convention delegates


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’s Szabo challenges southeast states on rail


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 [...]

FRA’s Szabo discusses concerns on crude by rail


Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo was interviewed Platts Energy Week host Boll Lovelace May 25 to discuss ongoing concerns about transporting crude oil by rail. Platts Energy Week is an independent energy news and information program that airs weekly. The program provides a forum where prominent decision makers in government, industry and markets gather to [...]

A message from FRA chief Joe Szabo


The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo Friends: The winners of TIGER 2013 grants were announced last week, and rail was again a big winner. Of the $474 million in funding awarded to 52 projects in 37 states, $146 million – roughly 30 percent of [...]

Szabo: ‘Rail is the transportation mode of opportunity’


On July 30, Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo addressed attendees of the SMART Transportation Division’s regional meeting in Anaheim, Calif., speaking about future endeavors the FRA has for the rail industry and about safety enhancements moving forward. “Rail is the transportation mode of opportunity, and we have to ensure continuous safety improvements, building upon the safest [...]

Szabo: Build more integrated rail systems


The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo: Friends: We know well the population growth, mobility, and environmental challenges revealing a clear need to invest in passenger rail, and of passenger rail’s skyrocketing ridership – be it intercity, commuter, light, or heavy. But rail is not [...]

Passenger rail essential as population grows


By Joe Szabo – Federal Railroad Administrator It seems like just yesterday, as UTU Illinois state legislative director and mayor of Riverdale, Ill., that I joined other mayors to successfully advocate for more frequent rail service from Chicago to downstate Illinois communities.  At the time, even that modest goal seemed daunting, as conventional wisdom said Americans [...]

Rail safety concerns? Questions? FRA all ears

FRA logo

CHICAGO — Here is an opportunity to voice your rail safety concerns directly to the administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. A 90-minute town hall meeting on rail safety will be held Tuesday, Oct. 11, in Chicago. FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo will take questions and hear concerns as part of the agency’s outreach to rail [...]