Rail Safety, Funding Keeps UT Experts in National Spotlight

David Clarke

David Clarke

As attention on the tragic Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia turns from recovery to questions of what happened and what comes next, Center for Transportation rail experts David Clarke and Mark Burton have continued to play a national role for media in addressing those questions.

Clarke, director of the center and research associate professor of civil engineering at UT, spoke with the Washington Post concerning issues rail safety in general.

Clarke said it was easy to be a “Monday-morning quarterback” about what should have been done to prevent the accident, but said that attention would be better served on avoiding such incidents in the future.

He also spoke to Take Two, a show that airs in California and Nevada about the issues, noting that accidents like the Philadelphia one are fairly rare.

Clarke discussed some of the issues that most often lead to train-related incidents, specific history related to previous accidents on the same stretch of track in Philadelphia, and some of the safety measures currently in place.

Mark Burton

Mark Burton

Burton, Director of Transportation Economics at the center and professor of economics, appeared on National Public Radio’s nationally-syndicated Morning Edition, the second consecutive day that UT’s expertise was featured on the show.

He talked to the show about Amtrak funding, pointing out that public transportation of any kind, anywhere, is dependent on public funding, by default.

Clarke’s interview with the Washington Post can be read here 

His interview with Take Two can be heard here

Burton’s interview with NPR can be heard here