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New, Modern Regulations May Speed Trains
American regulations have long been blamed for American trains being slower and more expensive than they are in other countries around the world. Angie Schmitt writes for Streetsblog that regulations are about to change and the Federal Railroad Administration, which "…expects the new rules will enable railroads to use trains that are safer, more energy efficient, and cheaper to operate." This is because U.S. Regulations are out of step with those of the other major train markets. "Building trains to unusual U.S. safety standards for the small American passenger rail market made rolling stock purchases needlessly expensive. Opening the door to standardized European train specifications will significantly lower prices," Schmitt reports.
These lower costs would translate to large savings, "Rail operators are expected to save hundreds of millions of dollars a year as a result," Schmitt writes. This leads some to hope that this cash infusion could go along way toward making passenger rail faster and less costly.