November 30, 2015

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

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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 [...]

PTC coming to Metro North and LIRR

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HARTFORD, Conn. - Federal transportation officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Agency have agreed on a nearly $1 billion federal loan to install technology that could slow trains when necessary on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Railroad. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Wednesday the Federal Railroad Administration and Metropolitan Transit Authority agreed on a $967 million loan [...]

FRA approves $1B loan to N.Y. MTA for PTC system


Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced April 24 that the Federal Railroad Administration has approved a loan of $967.1 million to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the improvement of the safety of the signal systems used by the MTA’s two commuter railroads, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. The loan, which is the largest [...]

N.Y. MTA seeks $1B loan for PTC system


The MTA is close to securing final federal approval of a nearly $1 billion loan to install technology on its commuter trains that could have prevented the 2013 Metro-North derailment in the Bronx in which four people died. Positive train control technology provides a new layer of protection in case of human error, since it [...]

Metra to spend $80 million to launch PTC system


Metra’s board on Wednesday approved two large contracts, including one for $80 million to help implement a high-tech safety system that federal officials said would have prevented two Chicago derailments that killed two people and injured scores of passengers. The other contract, for $707,000, was awarded to a consulting firm that will advise Metra on [...]