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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metrolink board establishes post-accident assistance funds, reimburses Ventura line passengers


The Southern California Regional Rail Authority Board, which oversees Metrolink, has taken several measures in response to last Friday's Metrolink/Union Pacific Railroad collision in Chatsworth, Calif., that killed 25 people and injured 138.

The board approved the creation of a Victims Assistance Fund that will solicit public and private donations, and help mitigate expenses incurred by immediate family members of those involved in the accident. In addition, board members approved the formation of a Temporary Assistance Fund — with a $200,000 appropriation — to expedite advance payment of certain costs incurred by victims' families, such as funeral expenses, that typically are reimbursed through a claim process.

The board also agreed to reimburse Ventura County Line passengers who choose not to continue riding the train for tickets or passes they already have purchased.

Finally, board members approved a motion to support the Rail Collision Prevention Act (S. 3493), which was introduced this week by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). The legislation would require railroads and transit agencies to implement positive train control on all major lines by 2014.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/19/2008