I guess the first question in this might be, was the bridge incident directly related to a defect or condition that had not been detected or addressed by Conrail? I for one have not seen a summary report of what caused the incident to occur, although it may be out there for reference. When the I 35 bridge collapsed in Minnesota there were many calls for more government oversight of bridges and infrastructure, but the main reason the bridge fell was the fact that four out of the eight lanes were blocked off for construction, had dozens of concrete Jersey walls on them, and heavy construction equipment as well. During peak rush hour traffic when the bridge was full of cars, it fell down from excess loading of structural members. Some reports stated defects but the main reason was the loading conditions. Oversight of that situation would not be the right fix for that problem.
Why did the derailment occur? What were the causal factors? If they were for defects or conditions not managed effectively, that is one thing, but many incidents have other factors that oversight of physical assets may not address.
The government has had oversight in the rail industry for a long time. The National Boiler Inspection Codes and ASME standards for pressurized vessel (boilers, etc.) fabrication and repair were put in place in 1919 partly as a result of a negative trend in locomotive boiler explosions. It is a good thing if it solves a real deficiency in how the railroads manage their risks. I personally find it hard to believe that Conrail leadership would willfully neglect infrastructure, there is such a high risk of litigation, publicity etc.. Management not knowing that the infrastructure IS being neglected is another problem, oversight will certainly improve that situation.
Anyone know where the summary report for the incident might be on the web? If the root causes have been determined, we might have a better idea of what the right solution is, oversight being one of them.