July 23, 2014

DOT announces proposed rules for crude transport

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today released the details of its comprehensive rulemaking proposal to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail – particularly crude oil and ethanol – in the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and a companion Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). [...]

Simon’s direction at LIRR leads to win-win deal

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After over four years of battling with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority during a difficult and highly publicized contract dispute, SMART Transportation Division members have prevailed on Long Island. The MTA was seeking net zero wage increases, major pension reform, large health care contributions, work rule give-backs and excessive concessions for new hires, but SMART [...]

Conductor makes special delivery boy will never forget

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CLINTON, Utah – A simple act of kindness is something a 12-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder is going to remember for the rest of his life. Matthew Mancil loves trains. “I don’t know how it started, but he just absolutely loves them,” Aaron Mancil, Matthew’s father, said. Read the complete story at the [...]

UP conductor shares Operation Lifesaver tips

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Union Pacific Railroad’s Operation Lifesaver is a rail safety program that’s been in place for 42 years, but railroad officials are hoping to broaden their outreach to more than just city council presentations. Israel Maldonado, a Union Pacific risk management representative, told Lodi City Council on Tuesday morning that he would like to visit local [...]

Local 1701 takes labor dispute to city council

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MONTEBELLO, Calif. – SMART Transportation Division Local 1701 bus members here July 9 picketed outside Montebello City Hall prior to and during a meeting of city council to bring attention to their dispute with city over wages, rest periods, meal periods and payment of pension contributions. Approximately 30 members attended the picket that was organized [...]

Class I railroads report 2nd quarter earnings

CSX Corporation announced record second quarter results with earnings coming in at $529 million or $0.53 per share. The second quarter of 2013 only saw $521 million or $0.51 per share. Revenue increased this quarter by seven percent to an all-time record of $3.2 billion. On the same token, the railroad saw record operating income [...]

Oil trains face test in new safety rules

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North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch has thrived thanks in large part to the once-niche business of hauling fuel on U.S. rail tracks. New safety rules may now test the oil train model. Within weeks, the Obama Administration is due to unveil a suite of reforms that will rewrite standards conceived long before the rise of [...]

Will U.S. railroad service ever get better?

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“I just returned from a trip to Europe, and really enjoyed riding the high-speed Eurostar and TGV. Why can’t we have something like that here in the U.S.?” So asked a reader, and the fundamental answer is simple: The United States, as a nation, does not and will not enjoy a robust passenger rail system [...]

Train collision at Slinger, Wis., injures two

SLINGER, Wis. – A southbound Canadian National freight train was rounding a curve in Slinger when it struck the cars of another train Sunday night shortly after 9:00 p.m. The incident happened where CN and Wisconsin and Southern Railroad tracks cross. Two people in the train were injured, and one of them taken to Aurora [...]

Safe, secure rail operations require two-person crews

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A message from President John Previsich, SMART Transportation Division: This office is receiving numerous inquiries regarding two tentative agreements recently proposed by a general committee for its members on a portion of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. One of the agreements addresses crew consist issues and the other is a wage proposal contingent upon successful [...]