May 24, 2015

Memorial Day: remembering the fallen

Veterans

While Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial start to summer, it is more importantly a time to remember those soldiers we have lost in service to our country. “The brave men and women in our armed forces sacrifice every day; some make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Cherri Senders, Labor 411 founder. “While we spend [...]

Retired former UTU GS&T Dan Johnson dies

Johnson, Dan

Retired former United Transportation Union (UTU) General Secretary & Treasurer Daniel E. Johnson III, 67, passed away early May 21, 2015, according to reports received by the SMART Transportation Division. Johnson, who retired in August 2007 and was living in Lincoln, Cal., had been battling a number of health issues. Funeral arrangements have not been [...]

With rail traffic down, BNSF furloughs employees

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BNSF Railway is furloughing employees in Northwest Montana and across its 32,000-mile system as freight traffic on America’s rails declines. According to the Association of American Railroads, the number of freight car loads moved during the first full-week of May was down 7.9 percent from the same week last year. Freight traffic on America’s railroads [...]

ND crude train service resumes but questions remain

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Bakken Shale crude oil shipments via train have resumed in North Dakota, but there remain unanswered questions about what caused 10 tanker cars to derail and ignite in Heimdal, ND, earlier this month. A spokesperson for BNSF, the railroad involved in the derailment, told NGI‘s Shale Daily on Tuesday that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to [...]

Rare civil war and railroad currency on display

Old RR Currency

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Sam Harmison has been collecting rare coins and currency since he was 12. He’ll be 99 this month and is celebrating by displaying his collection of civil war and railroad currency. A friend found it and gave it to him. “They were tearing down an old farm house between Front [...]

STB approves NS acquisition of D&H lines

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The Surface Transportation Board today approved Norfolk Southern Railway Company’s (NSR) acquisition of approximately 283 miles of rail line in Pennsylvania and New York from the Delaware & Hudson Railway Company, Inc. (D&H), subject to certain conditions. The lines at issue, known as D&H’s South Lines, consist of approximately 267 miles of the main line [...]

BLET/SMART TD statement on Positive Train Control, crew size following fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia

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(The following is a joint statement by Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and John Previsich, President, SMART Transportation Division, regarding questions that have arisen since the fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015.) CLEVELAND, May 19 — Members of BLET’s Safety Task Force and SMART [...]

The price we pay for conservative scorn of Amtrak

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On Tuesday night, an Amtrak train spectacularly derailed on its way through Philadelphia, killing at least seven people. On Wednesday morning, a House appropriations subcommittee voted to cut federal funding for Amtrak by about 20 percent. Those are two dots Republicans don’t want you to connect. “Don’t use this tragedy in that way,” Rep. Mike [...]

Phoenix regional meeting offers membership training

Front Shot 2011

If you’ve never been to the Arizona Biltmore before, now is your chance. The Smart Transportation Division Western Regional Meeting is going to be held at this historic union hotel June 28 – July 1, 2015. This hotel is not only famous for its design. It is also known nationally as a union hotel with [...]

Pa. SLD promotes two-person crew bill

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Transportation Division Pennsylvania State Legislative Director Paul Pokrowka asks that all members from the state call their Republican house representatives and ask them to support the state’s two-person crew bill. Representative Jim Marshall (R-Dist. 14) is the prime sponsor of the bill. Marshall serves on the Pa. House Transportation Committee and is chairman of its [...]