Hotline

Your weekly source of fresh takes on news affecting America's passengers. See also the RPA Blog.

Hotline #688

The present highway and transit authorization comes to an end on September 30. Of course, it will be impossible to finish new legislation by then -- it may take until Thanksgiving. Everything depends on the House, because the Senate passed its bill in mid-June. However, House Public Works staff are not worried about the expiration of the current program, saying there is "enough money in the pipeline" for another 60 days. Speaker Tom Foley (D.-Wash.) has told Public Works that he wants a bill on

Hotline #687

Finally, there is some news to report on H.R.2950, the House surface transportation bill. In the colorful words of the Washington Post, on September 18 Speaker Foley (D.-Wash.) performed "last rites on a seven-week-old corpse" by announcing that the controversial five-cent gas tax increase would be taken out of the bill and the bill itself would be rewritten. However, there is not likely to be major, structural changes made to H.R.2950. It is thought that as many of the pork-barrel highway proje

Hotline #686

Congress returned on September 11. Everyone wants to know what is happening with H.R.2950, the House surface transportation bill, but all that can be said is that, officially, it is in limbo while House leadership continue to discuss what is to be done with it. The Senate 1992 DOT appropriations bill was approved yesterday at both the subcommittee and committee levels. The Amtrak numbers compare very favorably with those approved by the full House on July 24 and published in our August newslett

Hotline #685

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

Hotline #684

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

Hotline #683

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

Hotline #682

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

Hotline #681

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

Hotline #680

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.

Hotline #679-A

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.