July 2, 2015

General Chairperson William A. Beebe passes away

Beebe2_Fotor

Amtrak General Chairperson (GO 663) and Connecticut State Legislative Director William A. “Bill” Beebe, 86, died June 29, 2015. Beebe served more than 60 years as a union representative to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT), the United Transportation Union (UTU) and the SMART Transportation Division. In June 2014, at the first convention of the [...]

Senate Commerce Committee approves rail reforms

Senate Commerce Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation June 25, on a voice vote, approved the bipartisan “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act,” sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), with seven amendments. The measure improves rail safety, reauthorizes Amtrak services and improves existing passenger rail infrastructure. It [...]

Long-term disability open enrollment begins June 29

disability-insurance_image

Beginning June 29, 2015 through August 31, 2015, an open enrollment period will be available for Transportation Division members to enroll in the new Voluntary Long-Term Disability (VLTD) Plan.   Members will have two options for enrollment into the VLTD plan. For Rail members, Part “A” allows the member to purchase coverage to protect their [...]

FRA: the state of PTC implementation in the U.S.

Feinberg

Washington, D.C. – Sarah Feinberg, acting director of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), addressed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure concerning the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) June 24, 2015. Her speech follows. “PTC technology is arguably the single-most important railroad safety development in more than a century. The technology is not new [...]

Three new mediators join the NMB

NMB logo; National Mediation Board

Washington, D.C. – The National Mediation Board (NMB) is pleased to announce that in June 2015 three new mediators have joined the NMB: Jane Allen joins the NMB with 22 years of experience in the airline industry. She also practiced law for five years. Ms. Allen worked for five years in a senior executive capacity [...]

TTD statement on Senate Amtrak Reauthorization bill

edward_Wytkind

Washington, DC — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement on the consideration of the Amtrak Reauthorization bill: “We applaud Senators Roger Wicker and Cory Booker for working in a bipartisan fashion to craft a sensible Amtrak Reauthorization bill that will be considered by the Commerce Committee today. The [...]

Will bill fix Amtrak problems that delay commuters?

Amtrak Logo

NJ Transit commuters could see benefits from a bill proposed by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to pump $6.6 billion over four years into Amtrak’s aging infrastructure, which could repair or replace some of the signals, overhead wire and track issues blamed for delays. The bill would add money to Amtrak’s budget [...]

Keep train safety system on deadline

Mass transit car_Fotor

When a passenger boards a Metro-North train, there is every expectation to arrive at the destination safely. Yet Congress is considering easing a year-end deadline for railroads to install a technology — called Positive Train Control — that will prevent accidents like those due to speed on curves. Some of the nation’s railroads, including Metro-North, say they cannot [...]

PTC, two-person crews necessary after Amtrak tragedy

Previsich_150_px

By John Previsich, SMART Transportation Division President We are all aware of the recent incident that occurred on Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia. Three of our conductor Brothers and Sisters from Local 1370 in New York City and the engineer operating the locomotive have had their lives forever changed by a tragedy that could have [...]

NTSB issues second update on Amtrak derailment

NTSB_logo

WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing investigation into the May 12, 2015, derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia, the NTSB today provides this update on the analysis of the engineer’s cell phone and related records. The NTSB is conducting a detailed examination of the engineer’s cell phone calls, texts, data and cell phone [...]