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Most of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor has installed accident-avoiding PTC equipment, apparently with the rare (possibly the only) exception right on the outside-Philly track where it was needed. If that is the case, that is another matter worthy of FBI interest. That surely does not call for rash conclusions. It’s just that if you’re going to have an investi- gation worthy of the name, you can’t slam the door on any possibility, no matter how seem- ingly improbable or nasty.

Adding Insult to Injury ttx1007companystore_ttx1007companystore.qxd 5/5/2014 1:46 PM Page 1

The federal DOT, meanwhile, wants the railroads to install a new braking system on trains hauling more than 70 cars of crude oil, and have them in place by 2021. In the run-up to that date, they will be phased in during the intervening years.

Industry Ready For a Fight

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Enter outgoing Norfolk Southern CEO Charles W. “Wick” Moorman, who says the railroad industry will “challenge” the rules, and that there is a limit to the burden you can pile on the backs of the railroad industry before it makes the crude-by-rail operations “prohibitively expensive.” Moorman’s prom- ised “challenge” is a nice way of saying “Hey, we’ve got some friends on the Hill — we’re not going to roll over,” or we’ll protest at hearings within DOT itself, or if it comes to that, “See you in court.”

Next: Too Close For Comfort

It wasn’t five days after DOT “laid down the law” so to speak before — you guessed it — yet another train derailed and burst into flames (according to the Washington Post).

This accident (on the freight side) occurred

in the town of Heimdal, N.D., the state where the oil boom that is widely credited as a sig- nificant oil gusher phenomenon has, in turn, led to the high volume of oil trains that have been involved in much higher-than-usual number of oil train accidents. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York noted

irony in the fact that the industry is pushing back against the rules and declared, “Now is not the time to delay a solution — it’s time to speed it up.” The senator said and his legisla- tion aims to accomplish that end. The oil prosperity has led some environ- mentalists to complain that this is a nega- tive, given that the oil boom (only moderately curbed by the recent downturn in oil prices) has added considerable impetus to the U.S.’s quest for oil and other fossil fuels which the greenies would like to discourage. Ah, but we are all entitled to dream aren’t we? Others believe if the energy industry takes the deep dive, there goes the economy of the United States.

A Potential Busy Corridor? Maybe — In the Long Run? Indianapolis to Chicago? Now there’s a cor- ridor of the future — ideally as a future pas- senger train operation. Maybe even someday it would rival D.C.-N.Y.-Boston’s passenger train success on the Northeast Corridor. If only! All that’s required would be to add double-track along a good part of the way. Then it would help to have fewer multiple ownerships. You know, all that stuff about too many cooks spoiling the broth? As it is, Amtrak just got off another battle

to rescue the four-day-per-week Indiana-Chi- cago Hoosier State on that route. On the other

Some Things are Just Beter Together!

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