McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 26, 2013

Federal agency: Train signal violations on decline

TULSA, Okla. (AP)
Associated Press

McALESTER — TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Union Pacific Corp. representative says the railroad logged 95 signal violations last year — with the only collision a double-train crash in the Oklahoma Panhandle last June that killed three people.

A hearing is under way Tuesday in Washington on the June 24, 2012 crash in Goodwell.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the eastbound train didn’t slow or stop for signals before colliding with another train in the head-on crash. The eastbound train was supposed to slow to 40 mph as it approached Goodwell. Investigators found the train was traveling 68 mph as it passed the signal.

A Federal Railroad Administration representative says the number of signal violations on America’s railway system has slowly declined since 2007, but says that downward trend isn’t fast enough.