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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C.

Stiffer Tourist Steam Train Rules Urged

November 14, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Better oversight and education for the tourist steam train industry will help prevent operators from compromising safety in the name of nostalgia, federal safety officials said. The National Transportation Safety Board, blaming poor maintenance and training for a 1995 blast in Pennsylvania that seriously burned three crew members, recommended updating federal regulations written more than half a century ago. Officials said many steam locomotives are mom-and-pop operations, and many crew members do not have the knowledge and expertise that the regulations assume. The Pennsylvania accident served as a wake-up call for safety officials and the tourist train industry, which is growing as rail firms merge and get rid of duplicate lines.

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