“…you can mitigate a problem, but if you prevent it in the first place, you don’t have to mitigate. And so it’s a matter of looking at track integrity. It’s a matter of looking at human factors, which those two are the biggest causes of derailments.” (David Friedman, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers)

Fixing the nation’s rail infrastructure was the main topic of a  recent rail safety event by The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) called, “Diverting Derailments: Working Together for Rail Safety” on September 3rd in Washington, D.C. The event featured panelists with a wide range of perspectives on the current rail industry and status of the safety of the network.

Argus Rail Business Editor, Jason Fordney, facilitated the discussion and the panel included:

• David Friedman – Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

• Sean Jeans-Gail – Vice President of the National Association of Railroad Passengers

• Joseph Kane – Researcher at the Brookings Institution

• Elizabeth Treseder – Policy Advisor at the American Petroleum Institute

• David Willauer – Manager of Transportation Technological Hazards at IEM, Vice Chair of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Transportation of Hazardous Materials, Chair of the TRB Subcommittee on Crude Oil Transportation

Panelists discussed the need for greater rail infrastructure to keep up with the growing demands on the rail network.

Topics included:

• Positive Train Control

• Transporting crude oil by rail

• Concerns for passenger safety

• Rail safety technologies

• Infrastructure investments for rail safety

•First responder training

Safety concerns of transporting crude-oil-by-rail was main a topic of the event and the discussion highlighted everything from the new tank car standards to first-responder training, and the implications of Positive Train Control on hazardous materials transportation.

Click here to watch the full panel.

For more information on the work of Aii, please contact us at Info@Aiiwire.org.