July 1, 2016

Leadership Messages

Members make all the difference!

Dear  Member: Recently, Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas – one of the most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives – cosponsored our two-person crew legislation, H.R. 1763, the Safe Freight Act. This show of support follows cosponsorship from Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Both are […]

SMART TD, BLET: Federal regulators must prohibit one-person freight train crews

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) President Dennis Pierce, issued a joint statement, following their submission of their comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on train crew size. “Operating freight trains with one-person train crews is unsafe and must be prohibited. That is the message we […]

SMART TD to Washington state: DEIS will set “troubling precedent”

John Risch, National Legislative Director with SMART TD, submitted comments to Cowlitz County and the Washington State Department  of Ecology, in concern over the state’s possible efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from major construction projects, and the negative impact on rail that would follow.  “The release of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for […]

CP withdraws NS merger bid; SMART TD reacts

In a press release dated April 11, 2016, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) announced that it has terminated its efforts to merge with Norfolk Southern (NS). CP has also withdrawn its resolution asking NS shareholders to vote in favor of good-faith negotiations between the two companies. “No further financial offers or overtures to meet with the […]

Risch: RSAC assigns working group to review industry speed signs

When is the best time to plant a tree? A good answer is 20 years ago, because if you had planted it then, you could be sitting under it now. The second best time to plant a tree is today. That kind of sums up the way our legislative department work goes. For several years […]

SMART TD & TTD, AFL-CIO joint Op-Ed on FRA Ruling

The Hill published an op-ed article co-written by John Previsich, President of SMART TD, and Ed Wytkind, President of TTD, AFL-CIO, that underscores the importance of the FRA’s recent ruling, and the vital need for a minimum of two crew members on all freight and passenger trains. The article also shows that a majority of […]

SMART TD Press Release: FRA issues notice of proposed rulemaking requiring two-person crews

FRA issues notice of proposed rulemaking requiring two-person crews WASHINGTON –Today the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a proposed rule that sets forth the requirements and exceptions for a minimum crew of at least two people on America’s trains. The proposed rule is a major step forward in SMART Transportation Division’s campaign to bring about this […]

Do you want more passenger rail service in Alabama?

By John Previsich, president of SMART Transportation Division and Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (www.ttd.org). Alabamians sure love their college football, but what we’ve just recently learned is that they also like their passenger trains — and they’re willing to pay for them. A recent state-wide poll by DFM Research shows that passenger trains don’t only thrive in the […]

SMART TD supports FRA’s efforts to clarify vision standards

On Monday, January 25, John Previsich, president of SMART Transportation Division, filed a letter with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in strong support of the FRA’s efforts to clarify vision standards and testing for locomotive engineers and conductors.  Read the complete article here.

SMART TD opposes auto control systems in FRA letter

In a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Associate Administrator for Safety Robert Lauby, SMART Transportation Division’s National Legislative Director John Risch called on the FRA to issue an emergency order prohibiting the use of auto control systems. In his letter, Risch maintained that the FRA should regulate these systems, just as cell phones […]