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July 12, 2012
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Daily news coverage of the railroad industry

  Industry Update 
  • AAR, coalition praise $105B highway bill
    The Association of American Railroads and the Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors lauded President Barack Obama's signing of a $105 billion transportation funding plan. CAGTC said the bill put an "unprecedented emphasis on freight movement and its importance to the United States economy." A heavier-truck provision was not included and will be subject to a two-year study by the Transportation Research Board, and "such a thorough review and assessment of the impact and associated costs of heavier trucks operating on our nation's roads and bridges is long overdue," AAR said. DC Velocity online (7/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Economic Spotlight  
  • Ill. Gov. Quinn signs bill for $800M for rail, transit projects
    Nearly $800 million in rail and transit projects in Illinois, including those under the Chicago-area CREATE program, will be part of the state's 2013 fiscal budget now that Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law. "These investments will lead to faster service, more efficient operations and more capacity for future expansion," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "CREATE is a great reminder that when we invest in our transportation infrastructure, we can put Americans back to work today, and help our economy grow for years to come." (7/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. high-speed rail projects "off to a great start," says LaHood
    California's plans to proceed with a bullet train project reflects the success of the Obama administration's push for high-speed rail in the U.S., according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Despite criticism from some Republican lawmakers, LaHood said a "bright future" awaits high-speed rail. "We're learning from our colleagues around the world ... and I know we can do it here," he added. "High-speed rail is alive and well in America." The Hill/Transportation blog (7/11), The Philadelphia Inquirer (7/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Safety & Security 
  • Derailment causes concern, hazmat shipments are safe, says AAR
     train derails
    Source: ABC News
    Neighborhoods were evacuated after a freight train derailed outside of Columbus, Ohio, resulting in an explosion of three cars carrying ethanol, a hazardous material. There were no major injuries, although concern over hazardous material shipments was clear. AAR says the "fear is largely unfounded" and notes that "99.997% of all hazmat shipments reach their destination safely." ABC News (7/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 99.997% of hazardous materials carried by rail arrive safely: On Tuesday, three Norfolk Southern tanker cars carrying ethanol derailed and then exploded in Ohio. Such events are "extremely rare," according to Patti Reilly, spokeswoman for the Association of American Railroads. She says that of 1.8 million carloads of hazardous materials, 99.997% are delivered safely. "We cannot turn down the shipment of hazardous materials," she added. "Congress mandates that we haul hazardous materials because we are the safest mode of transport." The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (7/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UP hosts train safety ride for Denton, Texas, police
    Police in Denton, Texas, were given a new outlook on railroad safety through Union Pacific's sponsorship of a train safety ride. The campaign was done as part of Operation Lifesaver, and officers looked for violators of rail-crossing rules and regulations. "To put it in perspective, a train hitting a car is equivalent to a car running over a tin can," said Roger Rhoderick, UP police officer. KXAS-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (7/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The height of cleverness is being able to conceal it."
--François de La Rochefoucauld,
French writer

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