July 22, 2014

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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 [...]

Videos embody theme of ‘Strong, Proud, United’

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The theme of the SMART Transportation Division’s Convention in San Diego, Calif., June 30-July 2, was “Strong, Proud, United,” and videos were presented to the delegates and attendees each day during the convention that embodied those concepts. SMART Transportation members from around the country appear in the videos and, in their own words, express their [...]

LIRR strike averted, tentative deal reached

A tentative deal has been reached to avoid a strike at the nation’s largest commuter railroad, sparing hundreds of thousands of commuters the headache of finding alternate routes to and from the city, Gov. Cuomo announced Thursday. The agreement, which still must be ratified by union members, settles a four-year contract dispute between the Metropolitan [...]

LIRR unions, MTA end another day of talks

NEW YORK – With a Long Island Rail Road strike potentially set to start Sunday, the unions and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority returned to the bargaining table Wednesday and talked for several hours without reaching a deal. But both sides were set to work through the night remotely as they went off to hotels, and [...]

Blumenthal wants to convene Senate PTC hearing

WASHINGTON – A group of Connecticut lawmakers is calling for action on rail-safety technology that could prevent future train collisions like the fatal “deadman’s curve” crash late last year in the Bronx. The Positive Train Control technology, or PTC would override human error by automatically slowing or stopping trains that are speeding, entering work zones [...]

LIRR union coalition forced to set strike time

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International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Long Island Rail Road General Chairperson Anthony Simon has issued the following statement on the deteriorating labor situation at the commuter railroad: “I regret to report that negotiations have collapsed with New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and all eight unions are now proceeding with strike [...]

Cuomo: LIRR strike is ‘just not an option’

A potential strike by the unions representing Long Island Rail Road workers would be a “terrible failure by both the unions and the MTA,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday. MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast was in Washington on Wednesday to meet with the state’s congressional delegation assessing the chances of Congress intervening and [...]

Benefits for Railroad Retirement employees

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The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administers the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, which provides two kinds of benefits for qualified railroaders: unemployment benefits for those who become unemployed but are ready, willing and able to work; and sickness benefits for those who are unable to work because of sickness or injury. Sickness benefits are also payable [...]

Cuomo could be key to preventing LIRR strike

ALBANY, N.Y. – As the labor dispute at the Long Island Rail Road heads toward its final innings, some officials are beginning to look to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, whom they see as the Mariano Rivera of political closers. “His track record on these matters is very good,” said Lee Miringoff, a political science professor [...]

Former LIRR president Williams remains on payroll

At least one Long Island Rail Road employee has gotten a good deal from the MTA recently. With unionized LIRR workers readying for a possible strike next month, the Daily News has learned that the railroad’s former president, Helena Williams, who was fired two months ago, remains on the payroll under an arrangement designed to [...]