Is Railroad Safety in a State of Crisis?

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Thirteen cars of a Union Pacific freight train went off the rails last night in San Bernardino, between a housing tract and mobile home park. Though no one was hurt, 300 people were evacuated, because the train was carrying propane and chlorine gas. Just a month ago, 21 cars jumped the tracks in Industry, disrupting the Metrolink. Last night's was the fourth derailment in just over a month. Are new regulations required? Are officials enforcing what-s already on the books? With the railroad industry in financial trouble, what will it take to establish higher standards of safety? We hear what-s needed for railroad safety from a spokesman for Union Pacific and a civil engineer who he examined the site of the 2003 Metrolink crash in Burbank.
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Warren Olney


Frances Anderton