May 29, 2016

FRA stepped-up enforcement to collect fines

Enforcement push is part of broader effort to increase overall rail safety WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that its stepped-up enforcement of railroad safety regulations led to the highest-ever civil penalty collection rate in the agency’s 50-year history.  For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the agency will collect 75 percent of all civil penalties […]

State inspectors take on rail safety program

Both inspectors for a state rail safety program — aimed to prevent such fiery derailments involving crude oil as happened this year near Weimdal, N.D. — have been hired and are training with federal inspectors. In July, an agreement was approved by the Public Service Commission with the Federal Railroad Administration to begin a pilot rail safety […]

House to probe rail security after Paris attack

A pair of House committees is planning to hold a hearing on U.S. rail security after a thwarted attack by a heavily armed gunman on a high-speed train in Europe. The House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittees on intelligence and on transportation security and counterterrorism will meet Thursday, September 17, 2015, to discuss protections for U.S. […]

Senators urge TSA to implement rail security measures

Senators urge TSA to immediately complete measures required in 2007 legislation.  “Tens of millions of riders use our country’s public transportation and passenger rail systems every day, and these networks serve as the backbone of economic activity throughout the country…While aviation security is a vital focus of the TSA, your agency also has a critical […]

Safer rail not just a ‘pipe dream’

Railroads and other industry stakeholders must deploy new technology to combat rail safety accidents, according to a report released today by the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure. Titled “Back on Track: Bringing Rail Safety into the 21st Century,” the report examines the nation’s aging rail infrastructure and highlights current deficiencies in the rail system. Using government data, […]

Rail conductor, engineer discuss train safety

MPR news interviewed Vice General Chairperson of Union Pacific GO 225 Randy Raskin and Minnesota State Legislative Director Phil Qualy, both of Local 650 (Minneapolis), during an ongoing series of conversations about rail safety in Minnesota. MPR News’ Tom Weber interviewed Raskin and Qualy for their expertise on trains from the inside out. They talked about […]

FRA’s Szabo testifies on rail safety before STB

Federal Railroad Administration chief Joseph Szabo testified April 10 before members of the Surface Transportation Board regarding the negative impact service degradation on the nation’s railroad network could have on rail safety and Amtrak on-time performance. His prepared oral testimony follows: Chairman Elliott and Vice Chairman Begeman, on behalf of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, thank […]

GAO issues report on rail safety

Railroad accidents pose significant safety risks to railroads, their employees, passengers, and the public. FRA oversees safety of the nation’s railroads. In light of three high profile accidents in 2012 involving fatalities or hazardous materials, GAO was asked to review FRA’s oversight processes and the challenges to railroad safety. This report examines (1) the overall […]

Senators seek review of rail safety

WASHINGTON – Three senior Democratic senators have asked the General Accountability Office – informally known as the congressional watchdog – to review the state of railroad safety and how the Federal Railroad Administration, state rail safety agencies and other stakeholders cooperate to ensure the safe transportation of rail freight and passengers. The review as requested by […]

These thefts can derail, kill and maim

As the recession takes its toll, an increased rail safety threat is emerging – the theft of rail spikes and tie plates from active railroad lines. In Woodbine, N.J., last week, police arrested four men suspected of stealing spikes and tie plates from five miles of New Jersey Transit track — used by Cape May […]