NTSB: Key tank car part melted after Ohio train derailment
The fire that erupted after last month's train derailment in Ohio melted a key part of the tank cars filled with toxic chemicals, so federal officials warned railcar owners Thursday to check their fleets for similar flaws. The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that investigators determined the aluminum covers over the pressure relief valves on three of the five tank cars carrying vinyl chloride melted and that some of the metal was found around the valves. The NTSB said melted aluminum may have degraded the performance of the valves and kept them from releasing some of the flammable gas to relieve pressure inside the tank cars.news.yahoo.com
Ohio senators introduce rail safety bill after fiery crash
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has proposed legislation that would make railroads, like the one involved in last month’s fiery crash and toxic chemical release in Ohio, subject to a series of new federal safety regulations and financial consequences.
Railroads urged to examine track detectors after Ohio crash
Federal regulators are urging freight railroads to reexamine the way they use and maintain the detectors along the tracks that are supposed to spot overheating bearings in the wake of the fiery Ohio derailment and several other recent crashes where faulty bearings are suspected to be the cause.
New rule to thwart railroad efforts to cut train crews to 1
The Federal Railroad Administration said in a rule published in the Federal Register that railroads will be required to continue using two-person crews in most circumstances as they haul all kinds of cargo, including hazardous materials, across the country. It has been a key issue in deadlocked contract talks between freight railroads and their 12 unions, currently being reviewed by a special board of arbitrators appointed this month by President Joe Biden. “This proposed rule acknowledges that crew size is fundamentally a safety issue at its core,” said Greg Regan, president of the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department coalition that represents rail unions.news.yahoo.com
Federal government allots $30M for improvements to Michigan railroads
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) made the announcement Thursday, June 2. MDOT and the Great Lakes Central Railroad will provide a 50% match the funding of this project, per federal authorities. The West Michigan Railroad Co. will receive up to $8.7 million to fund infrastructure improvements on roughly 10 miles of West Michigan Railroad in Southwest Michigan. The West Michigan Railroad Co. and MDOT will match funding for this project by 35%. Washtenaw, Oakland, Wayne see big case drop: Michigan COVID data for Thursday, June 2Ford’s $2 billion investment will bring 3,200 jobs to Michiganmlive.com
Biden administration announces $30 million to improve Michigan railways
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced $30 million in rail infrastructure funding for Michigan. The Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program awarded $368 million to 46 projects across 32 states and Michigan’s projects were selected.
Ann Arbor tells feds it’s willing to scale back $171M vision for new train station
ANN ARBOR, MI — Ann Arbor officials are again lobbying the federal government to support a new Amtrak train station in the city, now suggesting it could cost considerably less than the $171 million estimate that caused feds to balk. Trains could stop at both the Fuller Road commuter platform and the Amtrak station on Depot Street, she said. The railroad tracks and passenger waiting area outside Ann Arbor's Amtrak station on Depot Street on April 19, 2020. The Depot Street site also provides strong connections to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, he said. MORE FROM THE ANN ARBOR NEWS:Ann Arbor puts $30K toward designing new pedestrian path by Michigan MedicineAnn Arbor Fire Department drives increase in city OT costs, chief cites pandemicOrganizers unveil plans for 50th anniversary of Ann Arbor Hash BashAnn Arbor human rights group calls for transparency in police traffic stops23 sidewalk projects on Ann Arbor’s construction list this yearmlive.com
Dingell calls on feds to explain path forward for new Ann Arbor train station
ANN ARBOR, MI — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is going to bat for Ann Arbor in hopes of resurrecting a project to build a new Amtrak train station in the city. “This letter is to request a meeting with you, city officials of Ann Arbor and myself in response to your recent decision to discontinue the environmental review process for the Ann Arbor Station project,” Dingell wrote. Feds deal blow to Ann Arbor train station plan, citing high costs, too much parkingAs the city’s vision for a new Amtrak station grew bigger over the years, expecting it to be largely federally funded, so did cost estimates. How Ann Arbor’s train station project cost ballooned to $171MThe railroad tracks and passenger waiting area outside Ann Arbor's Amtrak station on Depot Street on April 19, 2020. And since Ann Arbor serves two times as many Amtrak passengers as Dearborn, not including intercity bus passengers using the Ann Arbor station, correcting for passenger loads would justify the $88 million phase-one cost for a new Ann Arbor station, he maintains.mlive.com
Feds deal blow to Ann Arbor train station plan, citing high costs, too much parking
ANN ARBOR, MI — Ann Arbor officials have been hoping for over a decade to get federal clearance to build a new Amtrak train station in Fuller Park, but they’ve been dealt a new blow by the Federal Railroad Administration. High cost estimates, too much parking for cars and lack of need are among the reasons the FRA cited for the decision. “In addition, the city’s preferred station design exceeds intercity passenger rail needs. Ann Arbor is typically a major stop on the Amtrak line between Detroit and Chicago.Ryan Stanton | The Ann Arbor NewsTaylor maintains Fuller Park is an optimal location for a new station because it’s near Michigan Medicine, a major employment center that also attracts many visitors to Ann Arbor, and it’s a good connection point for last-mile transit, such as buses to shuttle people to other parts of Ann Arbor. MORE FROM THE ANN ARBOR NEWS:Traffic pattern changes create confusion on First Street in Ann ArborAnn Arbor psychedelic shroom fest organizers announce entertainment lineupDTE Energy hopes Ann Arbor nixes idea of creating its own electric utilitySome University of Michigan students forced to start fall semester in hotelsHow they voted: Ann Arbor City Council vote breakdown for August 2021mlive.com
Trapped on the tracks
They were trapped on railroad tracks. Government officials have known the safety equipment is prone to malfunction since before it was widely adopted in the 1980s and ’90s. More safety equipment and increased oversight costs money, which the FRA can find hard to come by, said George Gavalla, a former FRA safety official. (In 1965 alone, more than 1,500 people were killed at crossings, federal data shows.) Railroads now are required to provide fresh information on how many trains run on the tracks, how fast they go and what safety equipment is in place.mlive.com
Police: 11-year-old robbery suspect was driving stolen car
An 11-year-old and a 17-year-old were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of robbing an 80-year-old California man, and police said the 11-year-old was driving a stolen car. The robbery victim, an Asian man, was walking in a residential area of San Leandro when he was attacked and robbed by the two juveniles, KRON-TV reported. “We are thankful that we were able to capture these juveniles safely and expeditiously,” police Lieutenant Ali Khan said.news.yahoo.com
Metro-North train crash: Did pressure to be on time trump safety?
Metro-North train crash: Did pressure to be on time trump safety? The Federal Railroad Administration released a review of three deadly accidents including the Metro-North train derailment. The report said there was pressure at Metro-North to set aside safety to advance on-time performance. Terrell Brown reports.cbsnews.com