In the wake of the Lac-Megantic oil train disaster, it's important to focus on how to improve rail safety, Styles writes, and not use the tragedy to advance social causes.
High-speed rail plans, announced by the White House in 2009, are back on track after Amtrak commits to upgrades in the Northeast and California approves billions to build new tracks.
A freight train that derailed and exploded Friday in Illinois was carrying ethanol. Though rail transport of ethanol has increased dramatically, accidents involving hazardous materials are down.
As highway funding from the gas tax inevitably declines, revenue sources from high speed rail is being scrutinized. Obama pledged $8 billion in stimulus funds to the technology, of which Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont have received $160 million so far.
The railroad regulation is one of the latest ‘midnight rule changes’ by the outgoing administration.