FRA: First-Ever Freight Locomotive Crashworthiness Standards to Improve Protection for Train Crews

WASHINGTON – Train crews involved in a locomotive collision will have a better chance of survival with reduced injuries as a result of the first-ever federal freight locomotive crashworthiness standards, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman said. The regulation published June 28 is intended to prevent the locomotive cab from being crushed during a head-on collision with another locomotive, or when it strikes the rear of another train, a shifted load on a train on an adjacent track, or a vehicle at a highway-rail grade crossing, Boardman said. “This regulation will give engineers and conductors a better chance to walk

New FRA Study Re-Affirms Safety of Push-Pull Passenger Rail Operations

WASHINGTON – A comprehensive federal study of accident data found that push-pull passenger rail service has an excellent safety record and that a train being pushed has virtually no greater likelihood of derailing after a highway-rail grade crossing collision than one with a locomotive in the lead, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman announced. “Preventing accidents and protecting passengers have much more to do with improving safety than whether the locomotive is in the front or rear of a train,” Boardman said of the report’s findings. The study re-affirms the conclusions of a previous report issued in July 2005 by

Amtrak: Service to Return to Normal

WASHINGTON – Amtrak train service in the east is scheduled to return to normal operation on June 27, after heavy rains caused delays and cancellations in the Washington area. Service to and from points north of Washington resumed at 6:30 a.m. June 26 after high water caused some train cancellations, the railroad said. Most service south of Washington was canceled June 26, but is slated to resume normal operation on June 27, barring further weather-related problems. Meanwhile, Virginia Railway Express cancelled service on both lines June 26 due to flooded conditions, washouts and trees down. Service for June 27 was

CTA’s Pink Line Service Begins

CHICAGO – The Chicago Transit Authority’s new Pink Line rail service begins June 25 at 4 a.m., providing more frequent service between Cicero’s 54th/Cermak station and the Chicago Loop. More frequent service on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line also will begin on Sunday. CTA created the rail enhancements as part of a package of service improvements focused on the West Side and near west suburbs. The Pink Line will operate seven days a week from the 54th/Cermak station in Cicero to the Loop. Pink Line hours of operation are from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. from 54th/Cermak

Attention Railfans, BNSF Wants You

June 24, 2006 0

This is pretty interesting. I must admit, though, I’m surprised more railroads haven’t already offered something like this: BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) is recruiting rail fans to help keep BNSF properties safe by reporting suspicious activities and to help prevent possible security breaches. “Keeping America’s rail transportation network safe from crime and terrorist activity is a high priority for the railroad industry,” says William Heileman, BNSF general director, Police and Protection Solutions. “Every day across the country, rail fans photograph and watch trains as they pass through communities. It seems natural to harness their interest to help keep America’s rail

BLET: Delegates Warned of Radioactive Rail Shipments

LAS VEGAS – Delegates attending the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen’s (BLET) First Quadrennial Convention were warned of the dangers of transporting spent nuclear waste and discussed ways of ensuring their safety as well as the safety of the general public. Scott Palmer, the BLET’s Oregon State Legislative Board Chairman, told delegates that rail workers do not receive proper training to handle spent nuclear fuel and do not receive the same protections that are afforded other nuclear industry workers. In addition, there are no plans to record, monitor or track rail worker exposure levels, he said. "It’s our goal

Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Resumes Service After Bridge Fire

ROCHESTER, N.Y. –  The Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad (B&P) on June 22 announced that its freight rail service has resumed to three companies in Butler County, Pa., following a fire last month that destroyed a wooden railroad bridge on that line. With the cooperation of local, state and federal officials and regulatory agencies to expedite the permitting process, the B&P was able to replace the damaged bridge with new track on culverts and earthen fill in about six weeks. The branch line runs from East Butler to Bruin and was out of service since the fire on May 10, 2006.

That Wasn’t a … Was It?

June 22, 2006 0

It never fails. There I was standing inside a building no more than 50 feet away from the railroad tracks when the sound of a freight train breaks the evening silence. I wait patiently, looking out the window in anticipation. Lo and behold, here comes the mixed with a Southern Pacific engine among the motive power. Figures, I don’t have my camera handy (Actually, my camera was out in my car). OK, so it’s only one train. And besides, it’s not like I’ve never seen a Southern Pacific locomotive in action. Fifteen minutes passed and the sound of another freight

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