Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

FRA Selects Infamous Foreign-Based Corporation for Railroad Engineer Distraction Study

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Washington, D.C. – December 9, 2011)

The U.S. operations of Paris, France-based Veolia Transport will conduct an extensive study into assessing the factors contributing to the distraction of locomotive engineers during passenger rail service operations and to develop a rigorous training program focused on techniques to mitigate distraction, having been selected by the Federal Railroad Administration to perform the contract work this past June.

In case the Veolia Transport name sounds a bit familiar, it was Veolia’s Connex subsidiary which was contracted by Los Angeles, CA-based Metrolink to supply operating personnel for Metrolink’s heavy rail passenger commute operations, and it was a Connex-employed locomotive engineer who was responsible for the tragic Sept. 12, 2008 collision between a Metrolink passenger train and a standing Union Pacific freight train in which 24 Metrolink passengers died and another 135 were seriously injured.

The Connex/Veolia engineer was texting on his cell phone, missed a red “stop” signal, and died in the ensuing collision with the UPRR train on Union Pacific tracks.

The FRA contract for the locomotive engineer distraction study will pay Veolia $250,000 for the study and training course, and Veolia has announced that senior company official George Elsinore will be given charge of the project and “moved from his position heading rail safety for Veolia because of the importance of this work.”

The FRA could not have selected a less appropriate contractor to study and develop a program to prevent distraction of locomotive engineers, given Veolia’s performance at Chatsworth, CA and the ensuing litigation in which the company refused to “do the right thing” and sufficiently compensate victims, hiding instead behind a federal law which severely limits cumulative compensation amounts to victims and their families to barely enough to cover some medical bills.


Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8