August 27, 2016

Senate votes to delay speed control system

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to delay a year-end deadline for railroads to install automatic speed control equipment that would have averted a fatal Amtrak crash several months ago.  The Senate passed $350 billion legislation to renew federal highway and rail programs for six years, 65-34, but the measure gives railroads another three years […]

Rail safety upgrades stalled on Capitol Hill

Two months after a deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia thrust the issue back into the spotlight, frustrated legislators in the Northeast are seemingly no closer to getting the rail-safety upgrades they want. The transportation measure sitting on the floor of the Senate would seem the best vehicle for them, even as it faces an […]

Senate to debate 3-year delay for rail safety system

Washington, D.C. — Two months after the high-speed derailment of an Amtrak train killed eight people and injured hundreds more in Philadelphia, a Senate transportation bill headed for debate this week calls for a three-year delay of the deadline for installing a rail safety system that experts say would have almost certainly prevented the Pennsylvania […]

GOP bill would undermine auto, rail safety regulations

Washington, D.C. – At a time of record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, Republicans are working on legislation to roll back safety regulation of the auto and railroad industries. A bill approved this week on a party-line vote by a Senate committee brims with industry-sought provisions that would block, delay or roll back safety […]

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 […]

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 […]

PTC, two-person crews necessary after Amtrak tragedy

By John Previsich, SMART Transportation Division President We are all aware of the recent incident that occurred on Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia. Three of our conductor Brothers and Sisters from Local 1370 in New York City and the engineer operating the locomotive have had their lives forever changed by a tragedy that could have […]

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 […]

White House backs 2015 PTC installation deadline

WASHINGTON – The White House on Thursday, June 4, endorsed a requirement that U.S. railroads install new safety equipment by the end of 2015, despite bipartisan efforts in Congress to give passenger and freight rail companies extra time to comply. Administration support for the deadline could lead to a showdown with lawmakers in Congress over […]