New Rules Could Allow Sleek Foreign Trains to Operate in America
"For decades, the Federal Railroad Administration had effectively banned modern European trains from American mainline rail networks," writes Stephen J. Smith. "European and Asian manufacturers have been slimming down their rolling stock for years to improve performance — energy efficiency, braking and acceleration, even track and train maintenance — while U.S. transit agencies were stuck with bulked-up versions of sleek European cars, weighted down and otherwise modified to meet FRA regulations."
"But not for much longer," he continues. "Beginning in 2015, regulators and manufacturers expect the FRA to allow modern European designs on tracks throughout the country, running side by side with heavy freight at all times of day."