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How Will the Government Shutdown Affect U.S. Rail System?

The federal government shutdown has opened up a Pandora’s box of fear, anger, and suspicion across the nation, with no end in sight for the finger-pointing and fault-finding that has accompanied it. One thing is certain. The shutdown is inconveniencing Americans in a number of unexpected and frustrating ways. While Minnesotans recently weathered their own Read More

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Accident Predictions May Help Drivers Avoid Train Crashes

In many states, drivers transverse train crossings on an almost daily basis. While few enjoy confronting the possibility of train-motor vehicle crossing collisions, statistics indicate that there are close to 2,000 such collisions each year. For some drivers, passing through train crossings is a necessity, as the only way to reach their destination involves a Read More

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With High Speed Rail, the Future is Now

As its name implies, high-speed rail involves trains traveling at significantly greater speeds than traditional trains. Since the launch of Japan’s “bullet train” in 1964, many countries have adopted this technology, which carries passengers at speeds well over 180 miles per hour. In 2000, Amtrak introduced the first high-speed rail service in the U.S., Acela Read More

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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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