TRANSPORTATION: All Aboard? Not Quite

All Aboard? Not Quite

Though long-haul passenger trains in the U.S. have been equipped with toilets since before the Civil War, they went on dumping effluent right onto the tracks until states passed laws in recent years forcing them to clean up their act. Amtrak, however, was given a federal exemption from such regulations. The practice has irked railway workers and bystanders, who have sometimes fallen afoul of the raw waste from speeding trains.

In the first criminal case stemming from Amtrak's dumping, a jury in a Florida state court convicted the railroad on four felony counts of commercial littering. When sentencing takes place, Amtrak...

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