Your weekly source of fresh takes on news affecting America's passengers. See also the RPA Blog.
September 6, 1991
There is still no progress on the conversion of the Hotline to a 900 number, so it will be at least another two weeks yet. Congress returns on September 11. We expect the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee to mark up its DOT funding bill on September 11 or 12. The fate of the House surface transportation bill is still very dicey. House and Public Works leadership will be discussing what, if any, changes should be made to the bill, especially whether to keep the controversial gas
August 30, 1991
The earliest that this Hotline service will be converted to a 900 number now is Hotline #686 of September 13. We regret any confusion that may be resulting from the numerous postponements of this service change. Five people were killed in a New York City subway crash the morning of August 28, just after midnight. The southbound #4 IRT night-time Lexington Avenue local was crossing over from an express track to a local track entering the 14th Street-Union Square Station and derailed, causing the
August 23, 1991
The earliest that this Hotline service will be converted to a 900 number is now Hotline #685 of September 6. We regret any confusion that may be resulting from the numerous postponements of this service change. Hurricane Bob battered New England on August 19, affecting the operations of several railroads. Several Amtrak corridor trains were diverted to the Inland route via Worcester, causing delays. Trains that did run via Providence experienced delays of up to six and seven hours, because of e
August 16, 1991
The conversion of this Hotline service to a 900 number is being postponed by another week, until Hotline #684 of August 30, to give callers a chance to call next week's message to hear what the new phone number will be. A tri-weekly extension of the Sunset Limited from New Orleans to Miami may happen in 1993, after recent negotiations between Amtrak and the states along that route. Using the Federal Railroad Administration study as a base, Amtrak has offered to pick up the $1 million annual ope
August 9, 1991
An important message about this service will appear at the end of this message. The National Transportation Safety Board made no additional comment this week on the cause of the July 31 Silver Star wreck at Lugoff, S.C., which killed seven* passengers. A week ago, inspectors said there did not seem to be a problem with the Amtrak rolling stock and that they were concentrating on a switch that the Star split while passing over it, causing the rear section of the train to derail. [*Note -- An ei
August 2, 1991
An important message about this service will appear at the end of this message. Amtrak's northbound Silver Star derailed at Lugoff, S.C., on CSX's former Seaboard Air Line, at 5:00 am on July 31. Of the total 392 passengers and crew on board, seven* passengers were killed and 76 were injured, with 18 of those needed hospitalization. Most of the train passed over a switch leading to an industrial siding, but the last six cars did not and derailed, sideswiping a row of freight cars on the siding.
July 31, 1991
At 5:00 am Eastern Time today, Amtrak's northbound Silver Star, train 82/92, derailed at Lugoff, S.C., near Camden. The number of reported passenger fatalities has varied, with Amtrak reporting at least seven and Associated Press 13. Passengers were bussed from the scene and the southbound Star will run via Charleston. Amtrak has a toll-free number for family inquiries -- 800/424-7960.
July 31, 1991
At 5:00 am today at Lugoff, S.C., Amtrak's northbound Silver Star, train 82/92, derailed. At a 5:00 pm press briefing at Washington Union Station, Amtrak President Graham Claytor said the best current estimate of fatalities is seven,* all passengers. Eighteen people remain hospitalized in the Columbia area; five of them are critically injured. Fifty-eight others were treated and released. A total of 426 passengers and crew were on board. Claytor called it a "terrible tragedy" and said he felt "v
July 26, 1991
The House surface transportation bill, H.R.2950, was marked up by the Surface Transportation Subcommittee on July 23 and by the full Public Works committee yesterday. President Bush has now come out more firmly against the bill, saying he would veto anything with a gas-tax increase. H.R.2950 relies heavily on a nickel increase to pay for all the pork highway projects, which in turn were crafted to get as many Representatives to vote for the bill as possible. In any event, the gas-tax increase it
July 19, 1991
The House surface transportation bill, H.R.2950, will be marked up in the Public Works Transportation Subcommittee on July 23 and in the full Committee on July 25. Public Works leadership still hope to get it to the House floor the week of July 29. As of now, it appears that intercity rail is not covered in H.R.2950, nor is maglev. It calls for another five-cent gas-tax increase that would go toward building pork-barrel highway projects, thinly veiled "demonstration projects" such as the infamou