September 3, 2015

Safety mandate raises passenger rail concerns in Mo.

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ST. LOUIS – The expense of installing mandated train collision avoidance technology is putting passenger service in Missouri at risk, according to the state Department of Transportation. The equipment, which is designed to override human error, is supposed to be in place by Dec. 31, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Read the complete story at the [...]

Committee holds hearing on freight rail challenges

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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today held his second hearing as chairman entitled, “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce.” The hearing focused on challenges facing our nation’s freight rail network created by higher demand, pending and proposed rules and regulations, and infrastructure needs. [...]

NTSB increases pressure for automatic train braking

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The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday issued its annual tally of Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements, adding to the list for the first time the issue of the safety of railroad tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol. The safety board also urged the railroad industry to adopt a technology known as “Positive Train [...]

KCSR starts training, data surveying of PTC

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Kansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR) has begun employee training and data surveying as part of its effort to implement positive train control (PTC) by year’s end. Last week, employees began to receive training on PTC track and wayside data management at KCSR’s TEaM Training Center in Shreveport, La. About 160 workers were trained and [...]

NTSB: Crash wiped out signal that could hold clues

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A federal investigator said Tuesday (Aug. 19) that a signal that would have given a final instruction to the crew of a railroad train involved in a fatal head-on collision was damaged in the accident but could still hold clues as to what happened. Crews are hopeful they can recover data [...]

Blumenthal wants to convene Senate PTC hearing

WASHINGTON – A group of Connecticut lawmakers is calling for action on rail-safety technology that could prevent future train collisions like the fatal “deadman’s curve” crash late last year in the Bronx. The Positive Train Control technology, or PTC would override human error by automatically slowing or stopping trains that are speeding, entering work zones [...]

FCC, rails deal addresses tribal PTC concerns

The railroad industry took a step toward resolving a dispute with American Indian tribes that has stalled the biggest rail-safety project in U.S. history. The $13.2 billion build-out of networks of sensors, which automatically slow or stop trains if a crash seems probable, has been held up as some tribes exercised their rights to review [...]

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. [...]

Wabtec signs $16.6M contract with Alaska Railroad

Wabtec Corp. has signed contracts valued at $16.6 million with Alaska Railroad Corp. to provide Positive Train Control equipment and services, the Wilmerding-based company announced Wednesday (April 2). The systems will be installed on the railroad’s 525 miles of controlled track, which are used for both freight and passenger service. Under the contract, Wabtec said [...]

Rails tell Congress they won’t meet PTC deadline

WASHINGTON – Railroads warned Congress again Wednesday they wouldn’t meet a 2015 deadline for automatic braking on trains, but engineers and safety officials urged adoption of the technology that might have prevented the fatal Metro North crash in New York this past December. Freight railroads have spent $4 billion for braking equipment for trains to [...]