August 27, 2016

NTSB releases probable cause of Amtrak 188 crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a board meeting (webcasted live) yesterday, detailing the probable cause of the May 2015 Amtrak train 188 derailment outside of Philadelphia. The derailment caused eight people to lose their lives and over 200 injuries. The NTSB found that “the probable cause of the accident was the engineer’s acceleration […]

NTSB unveils 2016 most wanted list

​WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unveiled its 2016 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements Wednesday, calling it a “road map from lessons learned to lives saved.” The list focuses on 10 broad safety improvements on which the NTSB has made recommendations that have not yet been implemented. Several items on the […]

Amtrak activates PTC, SEPTA not far behind

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Amtrak activated its Positive Train Control system (PTC) this past weekend from Philadelphia to Washington. SEPTA has reported they are not far behind and will have PTC online sometime in the new year. Since the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) mandated in 2008 that all railroads operating in the U.S.install PTC […]

SMART TD praises passage of FAST Act

On December 3, 2015, Congress passed H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST ACT) by overwhelming bipartisan votes of 83 to 16 and 359 to 65 in the Senate and House respectively. The legislation is the first long-term surface transportation reauthorization in a decade and provides funding and policy changes for our nation’s […]

Feinberg tells railroads: ‘No more breaks on PTC’

The nation’s rail safety chief told a group of railroad officials she expects them to complete a long-delayed collision-avoidance system by the end of 2018 and to not count on Congress to give them an additional reprieve. Recent legislation approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama gives them a three-year extension to complete positive […]

Get PTC done ASAP, FRA’s Feinberg advises

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will soon unveil its expectations for railroads to meet the newly extended Dec. 31, 2018, deadline for positive train control (PTC) implementation, FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg told members of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) last week. Feinberg urged railroads not to make the extension their primary focus, but to focus on […]

Rail industry had safety technology decades ago

WASHINGTON — In 1981, while traveling on a corporate jet, Richard M. Bressler, the chairman of the Burlington Northern Railroad, hit on an idea: What if the technology used by airlines to track the location of planes and help prevent accidents was applied to the rail industry? Mr. Bressler, an engineer by training and a […]

Senate passes PTC extension, confirms Feinberg as FRA administrator

The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a short-term surface transportation funding extension that includes a long-term extension of the positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline. The Senate’s action followed the House’s approval of the bill on Tuesday, and President Obama is expected to sign it. The legislation reauthorizes funding of transportation programs through Nov. 20, and […]

Amtrak, SEPTA on schedule for PTC

PHILADELPHIA — Of the 41 railroads required to meet a federal mandate for implementing Positive Train Control (PTC), SEPTA and Amtrak are among the 11 expected to complete the project by the end of this year. According to a report from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) required by Congress, safety advocates started calling for the nation-wide implementation seven […]

Most railroads won’t meet PTC deadline

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sent its Status of Positive Train Control Implementation report to Congress. The report is mandated by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee and shows that after seven years and significant assistance from FRA, most railroads will miss the Dec. 31, 2015 positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline that Congress established […]