Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by three percent in 2013 from 2012, according to preliminary figures released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Fatalities in all modes of transportation totaled 34,678 in 2013, compared with 35,796 in 2012. Deaths in marine, aviation, highway and pipeline transportation decreased, although there was a rise in rail-related deaths. Railroad deaths increased six percent from 840 to 891, which a vast majority of these fatalities continue to be trespassers struck by trains.
"While this decrease represents a good trend, much more work needs to done, because 35,000 deaths is very troubling," said NTSB Acting Chairman Hart. "NTSB continues to address safety issues in all modes to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads, rails and waterways, as well as in our skies."
U.S. freight railroads plan to spend an estimated $29 billion on the nation's rail network and project to hire about 15,000 people in 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported in its 2015 Outlook. The AAR says these high-paying jobs and record private spending will further strengthen an essential transportation system that is today powering a U.S. economic comeback.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) in California are initiating an environmental study for the proposed construction of an approximately six-mile extension of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from the now under construction Berryessa BART Station in San Jose to Santa Clara. The Project is planned to include four stations: the Alum Rock, Downtown San Jose, Diridon, and Santa Clara Stations.
Kansas City Southern says that implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology is a major, ongoing initiative, especially for the Signal, Mechanical, Telecommunications and IT groups.
Canadian National and members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union Local 2004 have ratified a four-year labor agreement covering approximately 3,000 maintenance-of-way employees who inspect, maintain and repair CN's track, bridges and structures in Canada. The new agreement was reached prior to the expiration of the previous agreement and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.
The Association of American Railroads' (AAR) Senior Vice President of Safety and Operations Robert VanderClute has retired.
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) opened the Mid-Suffolk Train Yard Information Center at Ronkonkoma Station so customers and community residents can learn about the LIRR's proposal for enlarging its train yard in Ronkonkoma.
George Good, Jr., the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) first full-time safety investigator recently began according to a blog post to the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Fast Lane."
Metra has appointed John Milano to deputy executive director for administration, effective Feb. 1.
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) officials, Mayor Mitchell Landrieu and city council members gathered Jan. 28 to kick off the construction on the 1.6-mile North Rampart Street/St. Claude Avenue Streetcar Project, which will connect the French Quarter and Treme to Canal Street and Loyola Avenue via the network of streetcar lines in the city.