Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Federal Railroad Administration" ...

  • Cross at Your Own Risk: Rails pose deadly threat

    This investigation reveals a number of statistics from "nearly 3,000 public rail crossings" in Louisiana. Along with these statistics, it also reveals the people behind the numbers and how it has impacted dozens of lives. Some of the major statistics found are "nearly 1,500 defects statewide, some rail crossings haven’t been inspected over the 10-year period studied, few safety violations resulted in a fine or other penalty, and despite the denials drivers were not always responsible for the accidents."
  • Terror on the Tracks

    Prine investigated the reality of how secure rail shipments of poisons and explosives were. The investigation " uncovered shoddy security at facilities and rail lines previously inspected - and found wanting= by the Federal Railroad Administration." Prine created a database and shared it.
  • They Failed to Act

    The nation's largest commuter railroad system failed to address a major public safety hazard that it had known about for years. Through tenacious shoe-leather reporting, the staff of Newsday documented a danger long ignored by the Long Island Railroad and by state and federal regulators. Armed with Stanley tape measures, they found dangerous gaps between the platform and trains at the railroad's busiest stations, holes large enough for passengers to fall through.
  • CSX Investigation

    This series of stories investigated the railroad service CSX and found the company had extensive problems concerning maintenance and staffing. These problems caused accidents and often claimed lives. The series further found that the Federal Railroad Administration had possible shortcomings in their regulation of crossing safety.
  • Death on the Tracks: How Railroads Sidestep Blame

    These stories exposed how the railroad industry shirk the responsibility for fatal accidents. It destroys evidence, neglects to report accidents, and finances a public relations campaign that blames drivers for crashes. The investigation also shows how the industry often has a close relationship with its regulators, and how faulty warning signals are more common than previously thought.
  • For Railroads and the Safety Overseer, Close Ties

    This story is a continued analysis of the United States' railroads with a look at the close relationship between the industry and its regulator. The article examines the longtime friendship between Betty Monro, the Federal Railroad Administration's deputy administrator, and Mary E. McAuliffe, Union Pacific's chief lobbyist. In another instance, CPX, a major railroad company offered one F.R.A. chief safety official a $324,000 per year position with the company while he was at the railroad's headquarters discussing safety problems.
  • Railroaded

    The American Press sheds light on how railroads in Southwest Louisiana have become a threat to public safety, and have raised concerns about devaluation of local residents' properties. Union Pacific has planned on building a storage-in-transit station in spite of the objections of the homeowners in the vicinity. "Public officials on the state and local level ... have battled for years to toughen regulations governing the rail industry," the Press reports.
  • Slow track of progress

    The Fresno Bee looks at dangerous crossings in California, which need improvements. The story depicts fatalities, which could have been avoided, were there gates and lights at the spots. The reporter reveals that railroad crossings in California have been neglected "due to chronic funding shortfalls and bureaucratic inertia." Some major findings are that Fresno city lacks funding to match grants for improving the hazardous crossings, and that the neighboring city of Selma has missed multiple opportunities to go after state and federal funding. Even though numbers of accidents, injuries and fatalities have dropped sharply since the 1970s, the decline is attributed mostly to industry consolidation and track abandonment, the Bee reports. The article includes a map of a four-county area with locations of accidents recorded on railroad crossings from 1996 to 2000.
  • Cross At Your Own Risk

    Reporters looking into railroad crossings in Lehigh Valley found that, of the 750 crossings found, less than half are marked with signs. From 1989 to 1998, there were 76 accidents and 23 deaths at these unmarked crossings. The state transportation agency keeps no priority list of dangerous crossings and frequently spends money earmarked for such improvements on other projects.
  • The Case for More Regulation

    Serious accidents involving the transport of hazardous materials on trucks and trains have become an almost daily occurrence. Hazardous material transporters are dangerously overworked and often not trained properly. The Federal Railroad Administration does not have enough inspectors and regulations are not obeyed. With the increasing volume of hazardous material, environmental catastrophe is a real possibility.