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11/21/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. transit officials study European passenger-rail safety initiatives


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Last month, 12 managers from U.S. transit agencies traveled to Europe to study passenger-rail safety initiatives as part of the International Transit Studies Program. Sponsored by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), the two-week mission is held twice a year.

During the trip, participants met with officials from transit agencies, research institutes, train manufacturers and control system developers in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. U.S. transit officials examined European vehicle designs, automatic train-control systems, grade crossing technologies, crash energy management systems and push-pull operations.

Led by Bay Area Rapid Transit General Manager Tom Margro, the mission team is preparing a summary report, which will be published next year by TCRP. Among the findings: The European Union actively promotes transit agencies’ efforts to integrate various European transit systems and standardize safety approaches for passenger service operations, and vehicle and infrastructure design. In addition, national railroads, such as Germany’s Deutsche Bahn AG and France’s SNCF, are working to develop freight business. Until recently, European cross-country good moves had been handled almost exclusively by truck.


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