December 18, 2014

Metro-North to screen engineers for sleep apnea

MTA Metro-North Railroad has selected a health care firm that specializes in sleep disorders to screen all locomotive engineers for sleep apnea, railroad officials announced Dec. 15. Under a seven-month pilot project, all 410 Metro-North engineers and about 20 engineers in training will undergo an initial screening by the railroad’s Occupational Health Services Department based [...]

Transit ridership up 1.8 percent in third quarter

More than 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in the third quarter of 2014, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This is a 1.8 percent increase over the same quarter last year, representing an increase of more than 48 million trips and the highest third [...]

BLET, SMART–TD, four others to bargain together

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CLEVELAND, Dec. 17 — Top leaders of the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART–TD) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) announced today that their organizations will be participating with four other rail unions in coordinated bargaining in the upcoming round of national negotiations. [...]

Metro-North violates rights of Connecticut worker

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HARTFORD, Conn. – Metro-North’s actions against an injured worker have resulted in the largest punitive damages ever in a retaliation case under the Federal Railroad Safety Act. A recent investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration uncovered these details and revealed that the worker, who is employed as a coach cleaner [...]

Mental health care and Railroad Medicare coverage

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Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can come at any age and can happen to anyone. They are nothing to be ashamed of. While they can occur at any time, stressful holidays and the let-down after the holidays often make these conditions worse. With that in mind, it’s important to know that Railroad [...]

Metra, railroads push project to untangle rail corridor

Metra and freight railroad industry representatives on Friday called for a $1 billion project intended to untangle a snarl of railroad tracks that causes major problems for Chicago commuters and commerce. The project, known as the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project, would target three rail-to-rail crossings on the South Side that officials call significant choke [...]

Budget bill sets Jan. deadline for rule on oil tank cars

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Hidden away in Congress’ big spending bill, designed to fund the federal government through FY 2015, are stern marching orders to the U.S. Department of Transportation: Deliver a final rule for new, safer oil tank car design standards by Jan. 15, 2015, and require that all rail carriers put in place comprehensive oil spill response [...]

Can oil price declines end railroads’ bull run?

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Crude oil hit its five year low price on Monday, Dec. 8, under pressure from growing production in the U.S. and the unwillingness of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, declined 4.3 percent to $63.05 per barrel and Brent crude, which reflects the global market, [...]

Previsich testifies before senators on passenger rail

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SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Dec. 10 at the Russell Senate Office Building. The hearing focused on the current state of intercity passenger rail in the United States, the need to invest [...]

Oil trains, pipelines and tanker ships

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Everyone nowadays seems to either love or hate “fracking” for oil and natural gas in U.S. shale formations. But fracking enjoys an enviable safety record. After all, a large fraction of it is done a mile underground. Not much, if any, evidence of groundwater contamination has been found at fracking sites. Read the complete story [...]