With Tragedy Comes Change

How we will learn from the Tacoma Amtrak crash and how technology can further prevent accidents with improved data management, monitoring, and communication

Our condolences to those who have been affected by the deadly Amtrak train crash on December 19. We are heartbroken that lives were lost and over a hundred people were injured by this tragic event.

As the investigation reveals the cause of the train derailment and what could have been done to prevent this event, our industry will learn from these insights and create improvements through technology. This creates an opportunity for those of us in the rail technology sector to evaluate current safety standards and make improvements while increasing efficiencies.

For example, in 2013 Congress and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration mandated an acceleration of phasing out DOT 111 tanker cars after an oil train explosion that took lives in North Dakota.

Oftentimes, monitoring and communications can identify root causes and track performance thresholds so that problems can be mitigated before catastrophe strikes. In the upcoming days, we at Commtrex will be closely watching for all possible accident root causes, and we will work to implement changes that promote safety and security.

In the railroad industry, there are on-going initiatives to improve cargo safety with technology such as implementing positive train control which is designed to help prevent train-to-train collisions and derailments caused by excessive train speed. Additionally, the industry keeps extensive records on the history and ownership of every freight car.

It is our goal to maintain consistent and accurate data for the rail industry, and Commtrex continues to pursue transparency and full disclosure of each rail asset that is represented in our system. We constantly work to acquire detailed technical data pertaining to all rail assets across North America, and we apply this data to offer rail asset insight to all Members. As a result, shippers, providers, lessees, and buyers can make fully educated connections and decisions when pursuing transactions.

The Commtrex Exchange lists 270 safety inspection companies across the US and Canada,  providing further assurances of asset safety and certifications. Viewing the Commtrex Exchange Service Directory is free for all Exchange Members.

 Snapshot of the Commtrex Exchange Service Directory and the listed 270 rail safety providers.

Snapshot of the Commtrex Exchange Service Directory and the listed 270 rail safety providers.

And this is just the beginning. As Commtrex continues to keep pace with developing safety regulations, our Exchange will continue to prove itself as an essential element of the rail industry.

If you have any comments or suggestions for us, please let us know.