April 19, 2014

SMART TD, UTUIA offices closed

The offices of the SMART Transportation Division and the UTU Insurance Association are closed Friday, April 18, in observance of the Good Friday holiday. The offices will reopen on Monday, April 21.

AAR issues safety alert: Razor blade on appliance

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The Association of American Railroads issued a a safety alert for all railroads in North America after the recent discovery of a razor blade wedged into a safety appliance handhold on a covered hopper car. The condition was discovered by a shop worker from the Anderson’s Inc. at the car repair shop located in Bay St. Louis, [...]

Previsch, TTD inform lawmakers about Amtrak

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A column by SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind informing lawmakers about the public’s support for Amtrak was published April 16 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In response to the column, Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges told Previsich and Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem, [...]

AAR: FCC policies delaying PTC

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WASHINGTON – In a new report updating the industry’s progress on installing positive train control, the nation’s freight railroads said that a year-long moratorium on installing 20,000 communication antennas imposed by the Federal Communications Commission, followed by a lengthy federal approval process mandated by the agency, has seriously delayed the implementation of nationwide interoperable PTC. [...]

Class I railroads report first quarter earnings

CSX reported to the public its first quarter 2014 earnings and dividend increase. The railroad announced net earnings of $398 million or $.040 per share. This is a decrease from last year’s first quarter reports of $462 million or $0.45 per share. However, revenue for the quarter grew two percent to $3 billion on volume [...]

Ex-NJT rail chief lands job with N.Y. MTA

NJ Transit’s former railroad chief, who was pushed out in March following two tumultuous years that included the flooding of nearly 400 rail cars and locomotives during Superstorm Sandy, has landed a job within New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Kevin O’Connor, the former vice-president of rail at NJ Transit, started April 10 as Metro-North Railroad’s [...]

Rail companies to report fertilizer delivery plans

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A federal oversight board told Canadian Pacific Railway and BNSF Railway that they have until Friday to report their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring planting of U.S. crops. The Surface Transportation Board’s decision Tuesday comes in response to a hearing it held last week on recent service [...]

Hazardous cargo rides rails in secret

Jodi Ross, town manager in Westford, Mass., did not expect she would be threatened with arrest after she and her fire chief went onto the railroad tracks to find out why a train carrying liquid petroleum gas derailed on a bridge in February. But as they reached the accident site northwest of Boston, a manager [...]

Oil traffic may delay fertilizer shipments, farmers warn

Increasing use of railroads to ship crude oil could disrupt fertilizer cargo this spring as Midwest farmers prepare for planting, U.S. agriculture leaders warn, even as one railroad said on Monday (April 14) it will take steps to ensure timely deliveries. The planting season is nearly at hand in states such as the Dakotas and [...]

OSHA orders WC to pay $350,000 to conductor

OSHA logo; OSHA

MANITOWOC, Wis. – A federal agency has ordered a subsidiary of Canadian National to pay $350,000 to a Wisconsin conductor who was terminated after reporting he’d been hurt on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the fine Thursday against Wisconsin Central Limited railway. Read the complete story at the Star Tribune.