FRA Publishes Collision Hazard Analysis Guide for Passenger Rail Operators

November 25, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration has published a step-by-step guidebook on how to identify and analyze potential hazards along a rail corridor for use in developing effective risk reduction strategies that will improve the safety of commuter and intercity passenger rail operations. The analysis provides a foundation for ensuring that hazards such as highway-rail grade crossings, overhead and trackside structures, or bridge abutments are evaluated and addressed. The FRA publication supports the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) ongoing Commuter Rail System Safety Program Plan initiative, officials said.

Safe Crossing Week 2007 Teaches Kids How to Behave Safely Around Trains

November 12, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — To encourage educators, parents and caregivers to teach children that trains and railroad tracks may be dangerous places, Safe Kids USA and Canadian National are launching Safe Crossing Week, which begins today and runs through Nov. 18. Each year in the United States, an average of 916 people are killed and 8,300 are seriously injured in collisions with trains in the United States. In 2005, a total of 39 children aged 15 and under were killed in an incident involving a train. According to the two safety partners, education is key to preventing these injuries. CN created the

AAR: Warner Bros urged to take action to prevent rail suicides; Hotline number should be included on movie, DVD

November 2, 2007 News Wire 0

America’s freight railroads have joined with one of the nation’s leading suicide prevention groups in urging Warner Bros. to help prevent suicides on the railroad tracks. A new movie scheduled for release by the studio, “Rails and Ties,” portrays the story of a woman who dies by suicide on railroad tracks. Tragically, incidents like the one portrayed in the movie occur all too often. The leading cause of railroad accidents occurs simply because many people don’t understand the inherent dangers of being on or around railroad tracks, including the fact that it takes a freight train more than a mile

Union Pacific Urges Motorists and Pedestrians to Travel Safely This Halloween

October 25, 2007 News Wire 0

OMAHA, Neb. — Millions of miniature witches, princesses and superheroes will canvass neighborhoods Halloween night in search of tricks-or-treats. During this spooky time, Union Pacific urges travelers – motorists and pedestrians alike – to take extra time when crossing railroad tracks and at grade crossings. It is essential always to practice safety at highway-rail grade crossings and to heed the warnings of automated crossing gates, flashing signals, stop signs, yield signs and crossbuck signs. When traveling near the railroad, please remember these important safety guidelines: Never walk along tracks and only cross tracks at designated pedestrian roadway crossings when on

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

Union Pacific Urges Hunters to Avoid Railroad Right Of Way

October 9, 2007 News Wire 0

OMAHA, Neb. – Union Pacific Railroad is urging hunters to avoid the railroad’s right of way this hunting season. “Last year, 517 people died while trespassing on the property of railroads throughout the United States,” said Dennis Jenson, assistant vice president-chief of police. “As hunters head outdoors this year, we want to remind them that walking on the railroad’s right of way is extremely dangerous because you never know when a train will come along. It is also against the law.” Through August 2007, 26,461 people have been caught trespassing on Union Pacific Railroad property. Trespassers on the railroad’s right

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;

Oberstar, Cummings Release Findings of GAO Report: Railroad Bridges and Tunnels May Also Be at Risk

September 23, 2007 News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis Aug. 1 focused attention on the condition of the nation’s highway bridges, but a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released last month warns that many of the nation’s railroad bridges and tunnels may also be at risk. While most highway bridges are built and maintained by states and local governments, railroad bridges and tunnels are the property of the railroads themselves and do not receive regular inspections by federal safety officials. Railroads own and maintain some 76,000 bridges and 800 tunnels in the United States. “We just

Norfolk Southern Whistle-Stop Train Delivers Safety Training to Emergency Responders in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi

September 17, 2007 News Wire 0

NORFOLK, Va. — A special train will travel to Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi Sept. 17-21 to provide emergency preparedness training to first responders as part of the 2007 Norfolk Southern TRANSCAER Whistle-Stop Tour. TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a nationwide program that assists communities in preparing for and responding to a possible hazardous material transportation incident. “The Whistle-Stop Tour brings emergency preparedness training to response organizations and educates communities near major rail routes about rail equipment, chemical transportation and the importance of planning for potential hazardous material transportation emergencies,” said Chuck Wehrmeister, Norfolk Southern’s vice president safety

Norfolk Southern Graduates 113 Students from Emergency Response Training School

NORFOLK, Va. — First responders from across the United States sharpened their skills at responding to hazardous materials incidents during Norfolk Southern-sponsored tank car safety classes this year at the Transportation Technology Center Inc., near Pueblo, Colo. One hundred thirteen students attended the five-day, 40-hour courses at TTCI’s Emergency Response Training Center, which provides training in classes that simulate train, truck and barge accidents. Located on 52 square miles of isolated high desert, the TTCI campus includes 48 miles of specialized tracks to test locomotives, vehicles, track components and signal devices. Some 80 rail cars, intermodal and highway vehicles, and

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