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September 2013
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High Hopes for Billion-Dollar Train Accident-Halting Technology

Transportation officials and railroad executives tout huge growth in the use of rail transportation in the U.S. According to the Washington-based chairman of Veolia Transportation, a major multinational player in the transportation field, highways and aviation are “capacity constrained [and] capital starved, [with] not much in the way of optimism about either of them,” Conversely, Read More

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Will Coal Trains Roll On?

As the second largest coal producer in the world, the United States provides the world with massive amounts of this natural resource. In fact, coal serves as fuel for over 30 percent of global primary energy needs and generates 42 percent of the world’s electricity. Coal produced in American mines is shipped all over the Read More

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Off the Rails: Train Operators and Substance Abuse

Dating back to the 1980s, drug and alcohol abuse by train operators has been at the center of a number of preventable train accidents. A 1987 Conrail crash put the issue in the spotlight, after an investigation revealed traces of marijuana in workers’ urine and blood samples. After speeding through three signals, the train Conrail Read More

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Could Additional Safety Training Have Prevented the Quebec Train Disaster?

Reeling from the deadly Lac-Mégantic train crash, many are still seeking answers as to how the accident could have been avoided. While a good deal of media coverage has focused on the role of human error and brake failure, a particularly disturbing item recently emerged that points to the corporate culture of Montreal, Maine and Read More

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Looking for Answers in Commuter Rail Accidents

In response to two major rail accidents this year involving Metro-North commuter trains, federal investigators will hold hearings in October. The hearings’ purpose is to gather information about the Bridgeport, Connecticut derailment that injured 76 people and the subsequent death of a track foreman near West Haven that occurred only a week and a half Read More

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What Makes Certain Railroad Crossings More Dangerous Than Others?

With over 210,005 railroad crossings, of which close to 130,000 intersect with public roads in the 49 continental states, most drivers in the United States encounter crossings on a regular basis. While this adds up to hundreds of thousands of vehicles crossing train tracks each day, the number of fatalities and injuries has steadily declined Read More

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U.S. Citizen among Victims of Harrowing Spanish Train Accident

As the death toll from the deadly train crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain approaches 80 people, American Myrta Fariza has been identified as the latest victim to perish as a result of this devastating accident. Fariza, who was accompanied on the train by her surviving husband, spent several days in critical condition before succumbing Read More

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Collateral Damage: Train Accidents also Traumatize Railroad Workers

While the primary victims in most railway accidents are the unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians with whom trains collide, railroad employee representatives are bringing to light the trauma and stress experienced by railroad workers involved. The experience of seeing another human being maimed or killed before their very eyes leaves many railroad workers unable to simply Read More

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Chlorine Represents a Major Safety Risk on the Rails

When many people think about hazardous materials on rail cars, their first thought involves petroleum products and the raging infernos that explode when cars carrying these materials crash. Few people realize the dangers posed by train accidents involving chlorine, a highly toxic substance that can cause severe injuries and even death with exposure. With a Read More

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Am insurance bad faith verdict. A man and his wife were sitting in their parked pickup truck when they were struck and injured by a taxicab.
NPR Podcast

Federal Whistleblower Laws for Employee Protections

APR 5, 2017

originally broadcast on KALW
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