June 25, 2016

SMART TD, BLET: Federal regulators must prohibit one-person freight train crews

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) President Dennis Pierce, issued a joint statement, following their submission of their comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on train crew size. “Operating freight trains with one-person train crews is unsafe and must be prohibited. That is the message we […]

SMART TD, BLET submit joint comments on FRA proposed two-person crew rule

On Wednesday, June 15, SMART Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) submitted their joint comments on the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) proposed two-person crew rule. While both unions strongly support the proposed rule, they suggested in their comments that the rule be made stronger before being made final. “We firmly […]

RRB issues statements of service

Each year, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) prepares a “Certificate of Service Months and Compensation” (Form BA-6) for every railroad employee who had creditable railroad compensation in the previous calendar year. The RRB will mail the forms to employees during the first half of June. While every effort has been made to maintain current […]

FRA clarifies “Smartwatch” Rule – Fitbits restricted

The question? May an employee wear a device like a “Garmin Vivofit” or “Fitbit” wristband that acts like a watch, and counts the steps that an individual takes each day?  The devices are not searching for the internet, or Wifi, to do this and must be synchronized with Bluetooth on a separate device. The devices […]

NARP urges FRA, NJ Transit to expedite tunnel project

Progressive Railroading reported that the president of the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) recently urged federal leaders to fast-track the requisite approvals for replacing the Hudson River rail tunnels. Read the entire story here.

New FRA rules strengthen protections for MOW workers, expands drug & alcohol testing

Separate rules increase protections, add Maintenance of Way workers to drug and alcohol testing policy WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced it has issued two final rules to better protect railroad employees working on or near railroad tracks. One rule amends the existing Roadway Worker Protection regulation. The […]

SMART TD contests radio distractions to FRA

In a letter dated May 26, 2016, to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch brought attention to the fact that some railroads are requiring needless radio broadcasts to the already-congested radio airways, which caused a derailment and loss of life in the case of the May 2015 Amtrak crash. […]

In honor and memory of our fallen heroes

During this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, let’s take an opportunity to remember that the simple freedoms we take for granted exist because of our brothers and sisters of the United States Armed Forces, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Learn more about the history of Memorial Day.

Legislation would make Amtrak spend NEC profits on corridor

Progressive Railroading reported that a bill passed by the Senate last week includes provisions requiring Amtrak to spend its profits from Acela and Northeast Regional service on projects in the Northeast Corridor (NEC). Read the entire story here.

NTSB releases probable cause of Amtrak 188 crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a board meeting (webcasted live) yesterday, detailing the probable cause of the May 2015 Amtrak train 188 derailment outside of Philadelphia. The derailment caused eight people to lose their lives and over 200 injuries. The NTSB found that “the probable cause of the accident was the engineer’s acceleration […]