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11/07/2004

Federal Railroad Administration

Union Pacific is getting favorable treatment from the Federal Railroad Administration because of personal ties between the agency head and UP's chief Washington lobbyist, industry donations to Republicans, and a "partnership" approach to safety.

The "partnership" approach has no deterrence value, providing an incentive for corporations to sacrifice safety for profits; for example:

In another memo, from November 2002, F.R.A. inspectors said that because Union Pacific had done a poor job of fixing track defects near Shreveport, La., trains should not have been allowed to go faster than 10 to 15 miles per hour. Even so, the inspector said, the railroad raised the speed of the track back up to 75 m.p.h. for passenger trains and 70 m.p.h. for freight trains.
Democrats should buy newspaper ads in every market where UP has had an accident - including LA for the special elections.

George Gavalla is the whistleblower. He was explicitly warned to back off UP.

 

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