April 20, 2014

UP plans to restore massive steam engine

CHEYENNE, Wyo.—Union Pacific Railroad says it will try to restore one of the largest steam locomotives ever built to operating condition. The railroad said July 23 it reached an agreement to acquire a “Big Boy” locomotive from the RailGiants Train Museum at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. Read the complete story at San Jose Mercury [...]

RRB labor member announces staff appointments

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Walter A. Barrows, the labor member of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), recently announced two senior-level staff appointments within his immediate office. Michael J. Collins, who has been an assistant to the labor member since April 2003, will assume the position of legislative assistant. In that capacity, he will advise the labor member on [...]

Applying for a Railroad Retirement annuity

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Railroad employees who are planning to retire should be aware of what steps to take and what documents are required when applying for an annuity from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Being prepared can prevent needless delays and ensure that payments from the RRB begin as soon as possible after retirement. The following questions and [...]

Judge frees coal company to eliminate benefits

In a May 29 decision long dreaded by union coal miners, a bankruptcy court in St. Louis agreed that Patriot Coal has the right to void its collective bargaining agreements and cancel its pension and retirement obligations to 20,000 workers and family members. The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) argued in court that Patriot [...]

RRB payments adjusted for spouse, widow annuitants

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Railroad Retirement Act spouse and widow(er)s’ annuities (including divorced spouse, surviving divorced spouse and remarried widow(er)s’ annuities) are subject to reduction when Social Security benefits or dual Railroad Retirement annuities are also payable. Such Railroad Retirement benefits may also be reduced when a spouse or widow(er) is entitled to a public service pension unless certain [...]

Retired member conducts, but with baton in hand

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Retired BNSF conductor and UTU member of Local 311 Art Ingalls, 69, is conducting again. This time, instead of trains, he’s conducting music. Every year the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra of La Crosse, Wis., chooses five people to represent them and go out to the public and collect donations for them in their “Conductor Wannabe” [...]

Tribute to military veterans dedicated on their day

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Retired Norfolk Southern conductor and U.S. Army veteran Kenneth Rospert has always held military personnel in high regard, and an idea he had four years ago to honor local veterans has finally come to fruition. On Veterans’ Day 2012, nearly 1,000 people gathered in Bellevue, Ohio, for the dedication of the city’s Fallen Soldiers Memorial. [...]

Are you eligible for death, dismemberment insurance?

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Active and retired railroad employees covered under The Railroad Employees’ National Health and Welfare Plan or The NRC/UTU Health and Welfare Plan may be eligible for life and accidental death and Dismemberment benefits from MetLife. For eligible active employees, the death benefit is in most cases $20,000, and there may be an additional AD&D benefit [...]

Ethanol safety seminars to be held through July

Two ethanol safety seminars are being held in Ohio this week hosted by The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway. The first safety seminar will be held Wednesday, April 24, at the American Red Cross in Akron, Ohio, and the second is to be held in Canton, Ohio, at the auditorium [...]

Annual FSC Rail Golf Classic is May 6

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All railroaders and their friends and relatives are invited to participate in the 12th Annual FSC Rail Classic golf tournament at 1 p.m. Monday, May 6, at Sierra Lakes Golf Course in Fontana, Calif., according to Local 240 Chairperson Harry J. Garvin Jr. The cost of the four-person scramble, shotgun-start tournament is $75 per person [...]