Federal Railroad Administrator Releases Results of Track Inspections on CSX and Outlines Next Rail Safety Actions during Visit to Rochester, New York
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 (Washington, DC) Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman today announced that 78 track defects and one serious violation were found by Federal Railroad Administration inspectors during a recent audit of CSX tracks in upstate New York. In addition, FRA’s ongoing review of rail safety in New York is being expanded to other railroads.
Administrator Boardman added that as a result of the inspections, CSX has committed to strengthen track standards, deploy additional safety technology and develop a stronger safety culture. FRA will be vigilant in making sure CSX undertakes these preventative measures, especially improvements in the way they manage routine track inspections, and in fostering safety awareness among employees.
“CSX can’t talk its way into a safer railroad,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Boardman. “This company has to be ready to take the steps needed to improve operations and better protect nearby communities.”
Boardman said that between March 19 to 28, the FRA has used a specialized track inspection vehicle, known as the T-16, to check over 1,085 miles of CSX track in upstate New York. Boardman said FRA is recommending assessing a civil penalty against the railroad for the single failure to comply with a safety regulation. Boardman said that most of the defects found did not pose an imminent safety hazard to the public.
Boardman’s announcement came as the FRA today launched another inspection of the same CSX track to identify weaknesses in the track structure, such as the connections between the rail and crossties. This inspection will be conducted using the agency’s T-18 gage restraint measurement vehicle
He added that among the other rail lines in New York FRA will be inspecting are those of Norfolk Southern Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, the New York Susquehanna & Western, and others. The T-19 will inspect for track geometry issues like rail alignment and track surface flaws.
As part of the agency’s National Rail Safety Action Plan, FRA will triple the number of track miles inspected each year to about 100,000 miles.