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NATIONAL
September 28, 2013 | By Richard Simon and Dan Weikel
WASHINGTON - Spurred by a deadly train crash in Los Angeles, Congress in 2008 passed with great fanfare legislation requiring the nation's railroads to install a sophisticated collision-avoidance system by the end of 2015. Five years later, an industry move to extend the deadline to 2020 is picking up steam on Capitol Hill. Southern California's Metrolink is on schedule to complete the high-tech project by next spring along 512 miles of track. But many railroad industry officials cite the complexity of the effort and the cost of at least $10 billion to implement "positive train control," known in industry circles as PTC, on about 60,000 miles of track nationwide.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | By Bradley Zint
The railroad buffs who operate Goat Hill Junction just can't seem to catch a break. Just weeks after thieves broke into the model railroad grounds and stole $9,000 in aluminum tracks and other material, vandals broke into the 40-acre Costa Mesa attraction and caused $4,000 in damage by smashing six picnic tables and prying open an irrigation box. "This is the first time we've seen wholesale destruction like that," said Hank Castignetti, spokesman...
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NEWS
October 14, 1989
Railroads paid the government $4.46 million in fines for safety violations during the last year, the Federal Railroad Administration has announced. The fines covered problems with track, locomotives, freight cars, signals and operating practices.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 | By Bradley Zint
The Orange County Model Engineers are seeking the public's help after 2,000 feet of aluminum train tracks and other materials -- valued in all at $7,000 to $9,000 -- were stolen from the nonprofit organization's storage facility. Thieves cut their way through a gate at the facility housing the small, ridable trains in Costa Mesa's Fairview Park sometime between noon March 1 and 8 a.m. March 2,  Dixon Sheldon, vice president of operations for the Model Engineers told Times Community News.
BUSINESS
July 27, 2002 | Bloomberg News
The union representing 40,000 engineers at Union Pacific Corp. and other railroads tentatively agreed to merge with the Teamsters, the largest transportation union, to raise bargaining power. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Teamsters this week set up committees that in the next six months will work out details such as dues, Teamsters spokesman Rob Black said. Members of the Cleveland-based engineers union still have to vote on the merger, said BLE spokesman John Bentley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1997 | DADE HAYES
A plan to ease the north-south traffic flow in the San Fernando Valley by connecting two dead-end segments of Mason Avenue got City Council approval Wednesday. Metropolitan Transportation Authority approval, a necessary step before the proposed railroad crossing at Mason between Nordhoff and Plummer streets can proceed, has been a stumbling block in the past.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 1996 | HUGO MARTIN
Los Angeles City Councilman Hal Bernson announced an agreement Wednesday with Southern Pacific Railroad to repair two railroad crossings that have generated dozens of complaints from motorists in Canoga Park. Later this month, city workers will make improvements to railroad crossings on Parthenia Street and Nordhoff Street near Canoga Avenue, Bernson said.
WORLD
March 25, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A railroad worker found a bomb with seven detonators buried in the bed of a commuter line between France and Switzerland, touching off a massive inspection of the French railroad network. It was the second bomb found in slightly more than a month on a railroad track in France. Bomb disposal experts defused the device, which was in the village of Montieramey, on a train line that runs from Paris to Basel, Switzerland. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Federal regulators banned excessive fuel surcharges by railroads and imposed strict rules on the fees that many companies this week credited with bolstering their quarterly earnings, although the savings were unlikely to trickle down to consumers. In its decision, the Surface Transportation Board said the railroads must link the surcharges directly with the actual fuel costs for specific rail shipments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 1997 | DEBRA CANO
A proposal from county transportation and railroad officials to increase train traffic through Placentia and build several underpasses or overpasses is raising concern at City Hall. "We're concerned about displacing people and property; these are the two big issues," Mayor Norman Z. Eckenrode said. On Tuesday, the City Council will discuss alternatives, which include lowering railroad tracks about 20 feet to eliminate the need for underpasses or overpasses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Sacramento authorities are investigating what looks to be a failed attempt to steal the Golden Spike from the California State Railroad Museum late Wednesday. The case housing the spike, which is actually a twin of the ceremonial one used by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the First Continental Railroad, was damaged, said Steve Van Etten, California parks peace officers supervisor. “There's no evidence that any artifact in the museum was stolen or damaged,” Van Etten said.
NATIONAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
After a spate of high-profile accidents, the railroad industry agreed with government regulators Friday to reduce speeds on trains carrying crude, conduct more frequent track inspections and improve braking by July. The measures come on top of an effort by the Department of Transportation to upgrade tank car safety and an emergency order last year to tighten operating procedures on trains that can haul about 100 tank cars at a time across long stretches. The response comes after a handful of major North American crashes of oil trains that set off fires and explosions, the worst one killing 47 people in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada, last summer.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The routes American railroads follow were laid out almost exclusively in the 19th and 20th centuries, when trains were symbols of modernity and industrial power. And today, riding a train - especially in the United States - can feel like stepping into a time machine. Tom Zoellner enters this time machine again and again in his highly entertaining, lucid and perceptive travelogue "Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World - From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2013 | By Bob Pool
It's been sitting around in Pomona for nearly 53 years, but now the beast they call Big Boy is making tracks for Wyoming. Officially known as Union Pacific steam engine No. 4014, the locomotive has been parked at the RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona since 1962, a displaced piece of the past. Now Union Pacific has reacquired the behemoth and has begun inching Big Boy No. 4014 toward mainline rail tracks that will take it to Cheyenne, where it will be rebuilt and begin life afresh as a rolling museum on steel wheels.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
After a series of fiery crashes involving trains hauling crude oil, the railroad industry called on the federal government Thursday to significantly strengthen safety standards for new tank cars and require retrofitting of the nation's huge fleet of existing tankers. Tank car safety has taken on greater urgency as the oil industry turns to rail to ship the massive increases in oil production that are occurring in shale fields not served by major pipelines, including North Dakota, Colorado and south Texas.
NEWS
October 9, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
San Luis Obispo on Saturday is marking the grand opening of a new railroad museum that's housed in a Southern Pacific freight house built around 1894. The museum tells the story of the city's important 19th century link in the coastal rail line that joined San Francisco and Los Angeles. Exhibits and displays detail the old narrow-gauge Pacific Coast Railway that ran between Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo, the difficult tunnel and track work along the Cuesta Grade (a route Amtrak's Coast Starlight still chugs along today)
BUSINESS
June 11, 2001 | Reuters
Federal regulators today are expected to issue new rules governing railroad mergers that industry experts say will make it more difficult for North America's remaining major rail carriers to merge, but will likely prompt more marketing alliances. The Surface Transportation Board rules are expected to follow closely a draft proposal that would hold future mergers to better guarantees of uninterrupted service and new requirements to enhance competition.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Organizers of a weekend fete commemorating the Yosemite Valley Railroad have put out the call for an elusive artifact -- folks who actually rode the train before it shut down in 1945. The event Saturday in El Portal will feature memorabilia from the days of the railroad, which made its first journey across 78 mountainous miles on May 15, 1907, providing a link to the park before the era of highways. Former passengers can contact event organizer Sunshine Goodmorning at (209) 379-2577.
NATIONAL
September 28, 2013 | By Richard Simon and Dan Weikel
WASHINGTON - Spurred by a deadly train crash in Los Angeles, Congress in 2008 passed with great fanfare legislation requiring the nation's railroads to install a sophisticated collision-avoidance system by the end of 2015. Five years later, an industry move to extend the deadline to 2020 is picking up steam on Capitol Hill. Southern California's Metrolink is on schedule to complete the high-tech project by next spring along 512 miles of track. But many railroad industry officials cite the complexity of the effort and the cost of at least $10 billion to implement "positive train control," known in industry circles as PTC, on about 60,000 miles of track nationwide.
OPINION
September 18, 2013
Re "Off track on safer trains," Opinion, Sept. 13 Robert Sumwalt, a National Transportation Safety Board member, is right that implementing positive train control, or PTC, is a daunting task. The Class I freight railroads have spent almost $3 billion to develop and begin deploying PTC, and will spend another $5 billion before it can be safely used across the country. But significant obstacles make meeting the 2015 implementation deadline impossible. And contrary to what Sumwalt stated, the nation's railroads have been specific and public about this.
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