Rail

Sen. Boxer, Rockefeller request $50M for rail safety

Posted on June 23, 2009

On Monday, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) wrote to a key Senate Committee and requested at least $50 million in funding for a new railroad safety technology grant program, created by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act, which was signed into law in October 2008, also includes a provision championed by Boxer requiring the installation of anti-collision technology – positive train control (PTC) – on railways shared by passenger and freight trains. Facts revealed by the National Transportation Safety Board investigation indicate that PTC could have prevented the tragic crash of a Metrolink commuter train and a freight train in Chatsworth, Calif. last year.

This grant program provides funding for necessary safety improvements, including the installation of PTC.

The full text of the Senators’ letter follows:

June 22, 2009


The Honorable Patty Murray
Chairman
Transportation, Housing and Urban
Development Appropriations Subcommittee
142 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Christopher Bond
Ranking Member
Transportation, Housing and
Urban Development
Appropriations Subcommittee
128 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Madam Chairman Murray and Ranking Member Bond:

We respectfully request that the railroad safety technology grants program authorized in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) (P.L. 110-432) be fully funded, at a minimum, in the Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. These grants were authorized at $50 million for FY10. This new program will provide critical funding for the implementation of positive train control and other necessary safety improvements.

Last October, Congress passed the RSIA following the tragic collision of a commuter rail train and a freight train in Southern California that killed 25 people and left 138 injured. Based on the facts revealed in the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) initial accident investigation, if positive train control had been installed on the tracks that are shared by commuter and freight rail trains, the accident could have been prevented. RSIA requires that positive train control be implemented on main lines where intercity passenger rail and commuter rail trains operate and over which poison-or toxic-by-inhalation hazardous materials are transported.

More commuters are turning to commuter rail today than ever before. In these tough economic times, with many commuter rail agencies facing budget cuts, funding for the railroad safety technology grants is vital to ensure that important safety measures continue to be implemented.

We cannot afford to delay the implementation of positive train control and other life saving safety measures on our nation’s busiest commuter-freight rail corridors. We respectfully request you fully fund the railroad safety technology grants for FY10, at a minimum, at the authorized amount. Thank you for your consideration of this important request.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

John D. Rockefeller IV
United States Senator

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Metra receives final Electric Highliners

Completes 2010's 160-car purchase to outfit the line with a completely new and modern fleet.

Amtrak's microgrid to serve as backup during power outages

In the aftermath of the 2012 Superstorm Sandy, half of the Sunnyside Yard had to rely on portable backup generators for a month due to a damaged transmission line.

Detroit's M-1 begins testing streetcar line

The slow-moving "speeder" vehicle will travel the rail line as part of a testing regimen that ensures the route is free of obstructions.

Honolulu's rail executive director/CEO resigns

Dan Grabauskas will be paid the final year of contract as part of the separation agreement, a total of $282,250. The board appointed HART board member Mike Formby as acting CEO, effective immediately.

Sound Transit adding cell service in light rail tunnels

Cell service providers in Seattle can access the system through license agreements with Mobilitie, which is funding and maintaining the network under an agreement with Sound Transit.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close