April 23, 2014

Szabo offers oversight of passenger, freight rail safety

Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo addressed members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Feb. 26, providing them with oversight of passenger and freight rail safety and responding to questions. Also addressing the subcommittee were Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Cynthia Quarterman, [...]

Szabo: Moving in right direction thanks to SOFA

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The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo. Friends, I wanted to share with you a rail safety achievement from 2013 that really meant a lot to me. Last year, only one railroad employee died during switching operations. As I wrote on the DOT blog, this [...]

FRA’s Szabo addresses 50th meeting of RSAC

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The following are Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo’s opening remarks to those attending the 50th meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) in Washington on Oct. 31, 2013. Today marks the end of a stressful month. The government shutdown forced us to put a lot of important work on hold. And since it ended, we’ve [...]

Szabo ‘shocked’ at MM&A’s one-person train crews

The nation’s top railroad administrator has told the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway that he is “shocked” that the company has not adopted a policy of using two-person crews on its trains in the United States. In a letter to the Maine-based company, Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Joseph Szabo said he expects the railroad to [...]

Szabo: ‘Rail is the transportation mode of opportunity’

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On July 30, Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo addressed attendees of the SMART Transportation Division’s regional meeting in Anaheim, Calif., speaking about future endeavors the FRA has for the rail industry and about safety enhancements moving forward. “Rail is the transportation mode of opportunity, and we have to ensure continuous safety improvements, building upon the safest [...]

FRA issues emergency order on train car movement

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) August 2 issued an emergency order and safety advisory to help prevent trains operating on mainline tracks or sidings from moving unintentionally. The FRA’s announcement was made in response to the July 6, 2013, derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, as it awaits additional data [...]

Szabo: Our vision for high speed rail in America

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The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo: Whenever one is discussing an ambitious, long-term program, like our high speed and intercity passenger rail program, it is helpful to remind ourselves – and others – about the original vision we committed to in 2009. Since the [...]

Szabo: Rail investment spurs manufacturers

The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo: In his State of the Union Address last week, President Obama spoke about the importance of investing in our infrastructure as a path to create new jobs and lay a foundation for America’s economic success. In the last [...]

2012 safest year in railroad history

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Last year was the safest year in the history of the railroad industry, based on performance measures tracked by the Federal Railroad Administration. For the fifth fiscal year in a row, the industry has improved on all six of the FRA’s official safety performance measures, including the rate of grade crossing incidents, human factor-caused train [...]

Conductor cert, passenger HOS regs on tap

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration will soon publish final rules instituting conductor certification and imposing new hours-of-service limitations on intercity passenger-train and commuter employees in safety sensitive positions. FRA Associate Administrator for Safety Jo Strang made the announcement at the UTU’s regional meeting June 21 in San Antonio, Texas. She observed that since former [...]