19 Stories

Driver Gets Stuck on Tracks After GPS Gaffe

Pennsylvania police have a little fun posting about it

(Newser) - A woman learned the limits of GPS Wednesday when she turned off a road onto railway tracks and got stuck there—parallel to the tracks, USA Today reports. To make matters worse, cops gave her a ticket. "The GPS told me to do it..." quipped the City of... More »

Amtrak Blames Freight Firm for Deadly Crash

NTSB says safety system would have stopped SC crash

(Newser) - The crash that killed two Amtrak crew members and injured more than 100 other people wouldn't have happened under a safety system the National Transportation Safety Board has been seeking for decades, says NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt. He said Sunday that "Positive Train Control," which slows trains... More »

Teen Saves Man Stuck on Tracks Just in Time

'I look up, and the train's literally right there'

(Newser) - Ashley Aldridge was at home in Auburn, Illinois, last week when she heard a man screaming. The 19-year-old ran outside to the railroad tracks near her house, heard a train blaring its horn, and saw 75-year-old Earl Moorman, whose wheelchair had gotten stuck on the tracks. "She came over... More »

Railroad Police Exist, and There Are Issues

Alleged harassment, racial profiling, and assault are among them

(Newser) - Heard of railroad police? Don't worry, neither had we. But they exist, they operate with little government oversight, and they've been accused of various offences ranging from harassment to racial profiling to physical assault, the New York Times reports. "There needs to be better oversight of these... More »

Desperate, Sick Indonesians Turn to Railroad 'Therapy'

Rumored to cure everything from paralysis to high-blood pressure

(Newser) - Ignoring the red-and-white danger sign, Sri Mulyati walks slowly to the train tracks outside Indonesia's bustling capital, lies down, and stretches her body across the rails. Like the nearly dozen others lined up along the track, the 50-year-old diabetes patient has given up on doctors and can't afford... More »

Swiss Finish World's Longest Tunnel

Train will connect Switzerland to Italy

(Newser) - Switzerland is expected to break through the last few inches of rock to complete the world’s largest tunnel today. The 35.4-mile Gotthard Base rail burrows under the Gotthard massif on the route connecting Switzerland to Italy, the AP reports. The trains running through the tunnel will one day... More »

Holocaust Victims Sue Hungarian Railroad

Survivors, heirs seek $240 million for stolen property

(Newser) - Hungarian survivors of the Holocaust and the heirs of those killed are suing the state railroad for complicity in the Nazi genocide. The suit, which seeks class-action status, seeks $240 million for the theft of the victims' property and $1 billion in punitive damages. It's being filed by a Northwestern... More »

Federal Study Tries to Derail Train Suicides

Railroad Administration looks into ways to block tracks

(Newser) - The Federal Railroad Administration is out to challenge the notion that suicide-by-train is an unfortunate but unavoidable phenomenon. The agency is four years into a study that will look into whether improved fences or other barriers could deter potential suicides, the Boston Globe reports. “When you reduce access to... More »

Buffett's Railroad Buy Is a (Smart) Bet on Coal

Growth in US economy will boost electricity demand

(Newser) - Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of railroad operator Burlington North Santa Fe is really a "huge bet" by Warren Buffett on the coal industry, writes Steve Gelsi . Burlington hauls more coal than anything else, and the material accounted for a quarter of its third-quarter revenue. Buffett already is heavily invested... More »

Buffett Bets on Recovery, Buys Burlington for $26B

Deal will be Berkshire Hathaway's largest ever

(Newser) - Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy up the 77.4% of railroad operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe it didn’t already own for $26 billion, in what would be Warren Buffett’s largest acquisition ever. “It’s an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States,”... More »

Famed Man-Eating Lions Not That Hungry: Scientists

Kenyan duo credited with 135 kills ate just 35 humans

(Newser) - The Tsavo lions, reputed to have consumed 135 railroad workers in Africa at the turn of the last century, were not quite as ravenous as legend would have it. The lions—whose stuffed carcasses are enshrined at Chicago ’s Field Museum —actually dispatched a mere 35 souls,... More »

Obama: We Need High-Speed Rail, Fast

System would fight congestion, save energy, clean air: Prez

(Newser) - President Obama is calling for the country to move swiftly to a system of high-speed rail travel, saying it will relieve congestion, help clean the air, and save on energy. "This is not some fanciful, pie-in-the-sky vision of the future. It's happening now," he said today in... More »

Engineer Sometimes Let Rail Buffs Take Controls: Feds

(Newser) - The engineer of the passenger train involved in the September collision that killed 25 people near Los Angeles sometimes allowed amateur rail buffs to ride with him and take the controls, the Times reports. Federal investigators today released evidence, including a text from the day of the crash: “I’... More »

Boxcars Idled by Recession Become Residential Blight

Residents who have gained a new town wall aren't pleased

(Newser) - Miles of boxcars that used to rumble through rural US communities now sit idle—and though quieter, towns are finding them much more obtrusive, reports the Wall Street Journal. With shipping down across the world, 30% of America’s boxcars have nothing to transport, and rail yards just can’t... More »

Obama Gets Rail Rolling With $8B Stimulus

Prez plots $8b high-speed train network

(Newser) - America's railways are about to get a huge handout: At today's signing of the stimulus package, $8 billion will be allocated to high-speed rail. Though the money will be divvied up according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's master plan, the expansion is truly President Obama's pet project, reports Politico. "... More »

Slowdown Stalls Nation's Freight Carriers

Haulers are hunkering down for a 'nuclear winter' in 2009

(Newser) - With freight carriers predicting 2009 could be the worst year in three decades, some haulers  say they’re “settling in for nuclear winter,” holding off on making capital expenditures, mothballing equipment and laying off employees, reports the Wall Street Journal. From truckers to railroads to ocean shipping, companies... More »

Amtrak Sees Boom in Riders as Fuel Costs Soar

But shrunken rail service is nearing capacity

(Newser) - With fuel prices soaring, travelers are increasingly turning to Amtrak, which posted a record for passengers in May—not usually a big travel month, reports the New York Times. But the struggling rail service has shrunk so drastically since it was created in the '70s that it won't be able... More »

Railroads Hopping Aboard Green Marketing Trend

Train pushed as eco-friendlier option—and environmentalists are conceding the point

(Newser) - Often maligned as noxious-fume-spewing bad citizens, railroad companies are hopping the green train, the Wall Street Journal reports. Campaigns by Norfolk Southern and CSX tout clean-burning diesel engines that "can move a ton of freight 423 miles on a single gallon," and Union Pacific claims diverting 25% of... More »

India Train Bomb Kills 5

Adivasi militants claim responsibility

(Newser) - At least five passengers were killed early today when a bomb exploded beneath a packed passenger train in trouble-wracked northeast India, AP reports. The bomb tore through the luggage car of the Rajdhani Express traveling to New Delhi from Assam state.  A little known militant group claimed responsibility for... More »

19 Stories