Blumenthal to lead rail safety hearing

First responders gather at the derailment of a Metro North passenger train in the Bronx borough of New York, Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
First responders gather at the derailment of a Metro North passenger train in the Bronx borough of New York, Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is overseeing a hearing in Washington, D.C. on ways to improve rail safety in light of recent incidents in Connecticut and elsewhere.

The Senate’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, is scheduled to meet Thursday to hear testimony on the state of safety on the nation’s passenger and freight rail networks.

Blumenthal was named chairman of the subcommittee on Wednesday.

Representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, Association of American Railroads and other groups are scheduled to attend the event.

Blumenthal said recent rail safety trends are encouraging, but contends more needs to be done before “we can say with confidence that people and products transported by American rail systems are as safe as they can be.”

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