Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2008  
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer Calls for Emergency Hearing on Metrolink Crash  

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today sent a letter calling on the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee to hold an emergency hearing on the collision between a Metrolink train and a freight train in Chatsworth, California on Friday, which left 25 dead and more than 130 injured.

The text of the letter follows:

September 15, 2008

Chairman Daniel Inouye                                    Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison

Senate Committee on Commerce,                     Senate Committee on Commerce,

Science, and Transportation                              Science, and Transportation

508 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.                       508 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, DC 20510-6125                          Washington, DC 20510-6125

Dear Chairman Inouye and Ranking Member Hutchison:

On Friday, September 12, 2008, a Metrolink commuter train carrying 225 passengers during the evening rush hour collided with a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth, California. Tragically, 25 people have been confirmed dead in the accident and another 135 were injured, many of those critically. My heart goes out to the victims and their families at this very difficult time.

 As a member of your Committee, I write to request that the Senate Commerce Committee conduct an emergency hearing on the accident. While the National Transportation Safety Board is beginning its own investigation into this terrible tragedy, I believe it is imperative that Congress immediately examine the details of this incident so that we may take appropriate action to prevent another tragedy of this magnitude.

As part of this hearing, I respectfully request we examine recent Senate passed legislation, in particular, S.1889 which requires the implementation of positive train control systems by December 31, 2018. In light of this tragic accident, I believe Congress should move up this timetable and consider additional rail safety measures.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee to craft legislation so that no other community should have to experience such a terrible tragedy.


                                                            Barbara Boxer

                                                            United States Senator