September 16, 2014

APTA: 2/3 want increased public transit funding

WASHINGTON – As Congress gets into full swing after the August recess, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a survey Sept. 15 that shows the numbers of Americans that support increasing federal public transportation investment grew to nearly 68 percent. This represents a nearly two point increase over last year. The survey, which was [...]

2015 Regional Meetings

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The SMART Transportation Division will resume its regional meetings in 2015. Transportation Division officers and staff are currently working on securing locations for the summer of 2015. The regional meetings provide valuable educational opportunities to members and officers at all levels of the organization, as well as a fraternal experience that creates lasting friendships. No [...]

House bill would cut Amtrak funding

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The House is proposing a 40 percent funding cut for new Amtrak construction in a new passenger rail bill that was unveiled on Thursday by the chamber’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Amtrak has received about $1 billion per year from the federal government since its inception in 1971. Read the complete story at The Hill.

SMART TD supports Senate rail crew provision

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced railroad safety legislation Sept. 10 that continues dialogue on the nation’s rail safety laws. S. 2784, the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2014, contains language that requires freight trains be crewed with at least one federally [...]

Senators propose Rail Safety Improvement Act, 2014

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Sept. announced a comprehensive overhaul of rail safety laws and protocols to enforce and enhance safety and reliability following a series of high profile rail catastrophes in New York, Connecticut and nationwide that has undermined public trust in rail infrastructure, safety protocols, management and [...]

Treasurers’ workshop scheduled for October

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The SMART Transportation Division is conducting a local treasurers’ workshop at the Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport North Oct. 6-8, 2014. Attendance is limited to 25 registrants. Those interested in attending the workshop should contact the office of the SMART Transportation Division Updating/Auditing department. Call (216) 228-9400, or email Karen Cashin at kcashin@smart-union.org. While [...]

Members defeat BNSF proposal to cut train crew size

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A tentative agreement to reduce train crew size on one of the nation’s largest rail carriers has failed, according to the labor union whose members voted on it this week. The pact would have eliminated on-board conductors on 60 percent of BNSF Railway, which spans the western two-thirds of the country. Read the complete story [...]

Teen gets a look at railroad life

John Wilson, a student from Howell High School, joined two dozen teens from across the nation to spend a week riding the rails. They weren’t trying out the hobo life; they were participating in Michigan Technological University Rail and Intermodal Transportation Program, part of the university’s popular summer youth programs. Read the complete story at [...]

Chicago wants tighter rules on crude oil trains

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Warning that the frequent railroad trains loaded with crude oil passing through the Chicago area are a “serious risk to public safety,” the City Council is calling for tighter restrictions on the shipments than federal officials proposed in July. Council members on Tuesday also asked that the city and other municipalities be given the authority [...]

FRA issues proposal on unintended train movement

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that will help protect communities from crude oil and hazardous materials incidents by strengthening requirements for securing unattended freight trains. The proposed rule codifies many of the requirements included in Emergency Order 28, which the [...]