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Speeches

Closing Statement, Passenger Train Derailment, Dupont, WA
Robert L. Sumwalt
Washington, DC
5/21/2019

In closing, I would like to thank the staff for your hard work. I also want to thank my colleagues for their preparation going into the board meeting, and for the good debate and discussion.
My special thanks to Ted Turpin and Mike Hiller, who served as investigators-in-charge. But nothing gets done around here by one person; everything happens through team effort. On behalf of the Board, a sincere “thank you” not only to the investigative staff but to the support and program staff as well.

Today’s new and reiterated recommendations, if acted upon, will make railroad transportation safer for passengers and train crews. But they will require action by several parties, including the regulator.

The repeated postponement of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 270, System Safety Program, has delayed needed safety improvements for passenger rail. It quite simply puts the traveling public at unnecessary risk.

There is no other way to put it: it is time for the FRA to act. As we have seen today, lives depend on the issuance of this rule.

We stand adjourned.