January 2005 Wreck Roundup

February 5, 2005 The Cross-Tie 0

A 54-year-old woman was killed Jan. 21 in Pickens County, S.C, when her 1997 Ford Escort was struck by the northbound Crescent Amtrak passenger train, the Anderson Independent-Mail newspaper reported. It appears the woman panicked when she realized she was stopped on the tracks, but was unable to move her car, according to the newspaper’s report. A Jan. 20 derailment at Union Station in Washington snarled rail traffic for hours. Two cars from train No. 132 derailed at the northern end of the station, an Amtrak spokesman told Reuters news agency. No one was hurt. Dozens of other trains into

New Year, New Look for The Cross-Tie

January 1, 2005 The Cross-Tie 0

The Cross-Tie, celebrating its third anniversary in 2005 has been redesigned inside out. “I’m very excited about the publication heading into its third year,” Publisher Todd DeFeo said. “We have some great ideas and this redesign is the first of many to come.” The Cross-Tie, published by Railfanning.org, a HarpBlaster.com site, first appeared in January 2003. Ten issues were publised that year and another 12 followed in 2004. The publication has also switched to an eight-page standard issue. In January, The CrossTie will publish its first Railfanning Guide, a free supplement sent to subscribers of the newsletter. “We hope this

Amtrak Says Farewell to Express Mail

October 15, 2004 The Cross-Tie 0

WASHINGTON – Amtrak will discontinue shipping mail for the U.S. Postal Service, saying the decision will improve passenger service. “Mail and express no longer makes business sense for Amtrak and has negatively impacted the quality of our passenger service, so the decision has been made to exit the business,” Amtrak President & CEO David L. Gunn said in a message to employees. “It is my intention to have all mail and express activity concluded by early October.” In addition to a notification given last week to the Postmaster General, Amtrak is advising officials in Florida, Ohio and Indiana that a

To Report or Not to Report? New York Times: Railroads Hamper Federal Investigations

August 10, 2004 The Cross-Tie 0

Railroads, The New York Times reported July 11, have hampered federal investigations by failing to promptly report fatal crashes. The report immediately sparked criticism from Union Pacific and the Federal Railroad Administration. “It’s a systemic failure,” James E. Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told The New York Times. “It’s been something that has just not grabbed the attention, unfortunately, of the public.” The newspaper’s investigation called Union Pacific a “stark example of how some railroads, even as they blame motorists, repeatedly sidestep their own responsibility in grade-crossing fatalities.” “Their actions range from destroying, mishandling or

Safer Crossings: Highway-Rail Fatalities Reach Record Low in ’03

July 15, 2004 The Cross-Tie 0

WASHINGTON – The nation’s rail transportation system achieved a record low number of highway-rail grade crossing fatalities in 2003, statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) show. Preliminary full-year statistics compiled by the FRA also reveal similar improvements for other key measures of industry safety, despite an increase in the overall number of train-miles operated. In 2003, highway-rail grade crossing fatalities declined to a record low of 324, down 9 percent from last year and a more than 47 percent since 1994. There were 862 rail-related fatalities last year, down almost 10 percent from 2002. 96 percent of those fatalities

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