FRA: Nation’s First Freight Train Equipped with New, Safer Brake Technology Begins Operations

October 11, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The first train fully equipped with electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brake technology began hauling coal today in southwestern Pennsylvania under a waiver approved by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), announced Administrator Joseph H. Boardman. Norfolk Southern Railway is the first railroad to operate revenue service trains equipped with ECP brakes under the waiver, Boardman said. BNSF Railway also received waiver approval and is expected to operate trains with the new, safer brake technology before the end of 2007. “These railroads understand using ECP brake technology can bring significant safety and business benefits, and I encourage other railroads to

DOT Grants $12.8 Million to First Responders and Emergency Workers to Improve Hazardous Materials Planning and Training

October 1, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters has announced grants to states, territories and Native American tribes totaling $12.8 million for planning and training to improve the nation’s response to hazardous materials transportation incidents. The grants help train first responders to react to incidents involving hazardous materials and to meet the challenges posed by new chemicals and alternative energy products like ethanol. “This program is a valuable tool that builds upon and enhances the foundation of emergency response capabilities,” Peters said. “The umbrella of hazardous materials safety offered from this DOT-funded specialized training is extensive.” The grants from the

34 States Have Fewer Train Accidents During First Six Months of 2007; Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Collisions and Fatalities Show Significant Declines

September 24, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Railroad safety continued to improve significantly during the first half of 2007 as 34 states experienced fewer train derailments and collisions as compared to the same period last year, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman announced. A review of the preliminary statistics compiled by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for January through June 2007 reveals that railroads had 246 fewer train accidents, or a 16.8 percent reduction, when compared to the first six months of 2006, Boardman said. In addition, highway-rail grade crossing safety improved as collisions between motor vehicles and trains fell by 122, or 8.5 percent;

DOT Digest: FRA Grants to Short Line Railroads and for Rail-Related Research

September 21, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — BTS Releases 2006 Border-Crossing Data. The number of trucks entering the United States from Canada and Mexico was 11.4 million in 2006, 0.5 percent higher than in 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration. More than 6.6 million trucks entered the U.S. from Canada and almost 4.8 million entered from Mexico. Border-crossing data posted on the BTS website includes numbers of incoming trucks, trains, buses, containers, personal vehicles, and pedestrians entering the United States through land ports and ferry crossings on the U.S.-Canada

FRA Proposed Rule Promotes Adoption of Advanced Train Braking Technology To Improve Rail Safety and Efficiency

September 20, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Advanced brake technology will enable locomotive engineers to significantly improve train control and allow trains to safely travel longer distances between required brake tests under new proposed federal rules, announced U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. “Trains with better brakes mean safer railroad operations and improved rail freight service,” said Secretary Peters, explaining that Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes provide improved train control through simultaneous and graduated application and release of the brakes on all rail cars, a significant safety improvement over conventional air brake systems. In addition, Secretary Peters noted that the proposed rule would permit a

Reducing Human Error and Strengthening Hazardous Materials Tank Cars Top Rail Safety Agenda for 2007, says DOT Secretary Peters

WASHINGTON — The Department will issue a final rule to prevent human factor-caused train accidents and complete research for new hazardous materials tank car design standards this year to continue recent improvements in rail safety, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters said as part of a progress report on a Department campaign to improve rail safety. She noted that preliminary data for 2006 shows the number of train accidents declined for the second year in a row and there were fewer highway-rail grade crossing collisions. Last year, train accidents dropped 11.3 percent over 2005 resulting in a train accident rate

FRA Launches Two New Automated Inspection Vehicles to Detect Track Flaws; 100,000 Miles of Track to be Federally Inspected Each Year

WASHINGTON — Two new custom-built inspection vehicles equipped with state of the art technology to help identify track flaws that could lead to train derailments are now in service and will allow the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to triple the amount of track it inspects each year by automated means to nearly 100,000 miles, announced FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman. “Finding track problems and getting them fixed before a train accident occurs is key to safeguarding communities,” Boardman said. Boardman explained that the new automated track inspection vehicles increase the FRA’s fleet to five and are primarily used on high-volume

FRA Issues Grant to Nevada DOT to Complete Evaluation of Proposed Maglev Train

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is issuing a $962,240 grant to the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to complete preliminary environmental and engineering studies for a 35-mile segment of a proposed magnetic levitation (maglev) passenger train corridor between Las Vegas and Primm, Nev. Among the factors to be examined include: regional and local planning goals; current and future demographics and land use, growth and development patterns; as well as existing and planned transportation facilities and services. — Special to News Wire

FRA Releases Results of Track Inspections on CSX and Outlines Next Rail Safety Actions

April 18, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman today announced that 78 track defects and one serious violation were found by Federal Railroad Administration inspectors during a recent audit of CSX tracks in upstate New York. In addition, FRA’s ongoing review of rail safety in New York is being expanded to other railroads. Administrator Boardman added that as a result of the inspections, CSX has committed to strengthen track standards, deploy additional safety technology and develop a stronger safety culture. FRA will be vigilant in making sure CSX undertakes these preventative measures, especially improvements in the way they manage routine

FRA Approves Waiver for New Braking Technology to Improve Train Control and Safety

March 29, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Two railroads will begin equipping and operating trains with new brake technology capable of significantly improving train control, reducing derailments, and shortening stopping distances as a result of a waiver approved by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Administrator Joseph H. Boardman announced March 29. “It is time for the railroad industry to embrace new train braking technology and prevent some of the accidents that are happening now,” Boardman said. “Rail safety can be improved and better brakes are part of the solution,” he stressed, noting that the FRA is considering issuing a proposed rule later this year designed

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