November 22, 2014

NTSB recommends better sleep disorder screening

Federal regulators who concluded that an engineer’s sleep apnea caused a deadly train derailment in New York adopted several recommendations Wednesday for better screening of such disorders, including a call for improved physician training. The National Transportation Safety Board, meeting in Washington, approved all the conclusions and recommendations in a staff report that examined five [...]

Two MTA railroads to acquire video cameras

Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road won approval from a committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board of Directors on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 to award contracts totaling $34.6 million for the purchase of inward- and outward-facing cameras in the cabs of their rail fleets. A total of 2,064 rail cars and locomotives [...]

Amtrak asks STB to investigate, NS, CSX

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WASHINGTON – Amtrak is taking action to improve the on-time performance (OTP) of its trains that operate over tracks controlled by other railroads. In a complaint filed on Nov. 17, Amtrak is asking the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to investigate Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation for causing unacceptable delays for passengers traveling between Chicago [...]

Ill. SLD Guy’s letter supporting Amtrak published

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SMART Transportation Division’s Illinois State Legislative Director Bob Guy responded to a “letter to the editor” published in the Nov. 5 issue of the The News-Gazette and Guy’s letter was published by the newspaper Nov. 13. The original letter by Corrine Ann Williams of the Heritage Foundation was a call to stop increased funding for [...]

Union leaders vow push for infrastructure solutions

Transportation union leaders vowed to “redouble their efforts” to push for bipartisan solutions to the growing transportation infrastructure investment crisis that is undermining the economy and idling millions of jobs, said AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind following the 2014 Fall TTD Executive Committee meeting Nov. 13. “We had an important conversation today about [...]

Operation Lifesaver co-founder Sam Grayson dies

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Sam Grayson, who co-founded the Operation Lifesaver program in 1972, died Nov. 2 at his Boise, Idaho, residence, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) announced last week. He was 93. Grayson and Ed Schafer of Union Pacific Railroad, along with Idaho Peace Officers and then-Gov. Cecil Andrus, started Operation Lifesaver as a six-week public awareness demonstration program [...]

FRA strengthens rail training requirements

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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Nov. 7 issued a final rule that strengthens training requirements for railroad employees and contractors who perform safety-related work. The rule, which was mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) of 2008, ensures safety-related employees are trained and qualified to comply with any relevant federal railroad safety laws, regulations, [...]

Risch: The election is over, let’s get to work

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By John Risch, National Legislative Director –  Thanks to all of you who helped in our Get Out the Vote Campaign. Your generosity with your PAC contributions, emails and direct mail efforts, volunteer phone calling, door knocking, and your conversations with friends and fellow members made a difference in many races. Even where our endorsed candidates [...]

Amtrak: Loss of Hudson tunnel would harm economy

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Construction of new Amtrak tunnels and several allied projects to New York could cost an estimated $16 billion and under the most optimistic scenario could take up to a decade to build. “It could be done in seven years if we put some incentives on it,” Amtrak president Joseph Boardman said during an interview with [...]

Rail retiree earnings limits to rise in 2015

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Railroad retirement annuitants subject to earnings restrictions can earn more in 2015 without having their benefits reduced as a result of increases in earnings limits indexed to average national wage increases. Like Social Security benefits, some railroad retirement benefit payments are subject to deductions if an annuitant’s earnings exceed certain exempt amounts. These earnings restrictions [...]