May 2, 2016

Ill. county passes resolution supporting proposed two-person crew rule

The following is an article written by SMART Transportation Division Illinois State Legislative Director Bob Guy and was originally published on the Illinois State Legislative Board website, www.illini.utu.org. Upon the urging of SMART, the Will County Board passed a resolution supporting the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) proposed two-person crew rule. The deadline to submit comments […]

Amtrak’s ‘Trails and Rails’ adding NYC to D.C. route

Railway Age reported that The National Park Service, in partnership with Amtrak, added to its Saturday morning Trails and Rails program a New York to Washington, D.C. route. Read the entire story here.

THUD allocates $56.5 billion to fund transportation

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) passed $56.5 billion legislation to fund its programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The bill includes several positive allocations for rail: $1.7 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration –  $76 million above FY 2016 enacted level $525 million for TIGER Grants – $25 million […]

Rail members – your comments on 2-person crews are needed!

On March 15th, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a long overdue proposed regulation requiring that most trains in America have a minimum of two crewmembers. While SMART TD supports the core requirements of the rule, we believe that it can be strengthened and improved before this proposed regulation becomes final. We also expect the […]

RRB announces change in service hours for field offices

Effective at noon on June 1, 2016, U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) field offices around the country will be closed to the public on Wednesday afternoons. Field office representatives will not be available to assist walk-in customers or to answer the phones during Wednesday afternoons only. All RRB offices will remain open from 9 a.m. […]

Amtrak, BNSF sue feed company after derailment

On Friday, April 8, Amtrak filed a lawsuit against Cimarron Crossing Feeders, LLC, claiming “gross negligence” as the alleged cause of a derailment last month that left 32 passengers injured. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found in their investigation that one of the feed company’s trucks had struck the side of the railroad trucks, […]

Q&A: buy-outs and Railroad Retirement Benefits

Railroad employees frequently ask the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) how the acceptance of a buy-out from a railroad employer affects their future eligibility for benefits under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. The following questions and answers provide information on this subject. 1. Would leaving railroad work and accepting a buy-out mean that […]

Risch: RSAC assigns working group to review industry speed signs

When is the best time to plant a tree? A good answer is 20 years ago, because if you had planted it then, you could be sitting under it now. The second best time to plant a tree is today. That kind of sums up the way our legislative department work goes. For several years […]

FRA orders Amtrak to retrain workers in wake of crash

The Associated Press reports that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has ordered Amtrak to retrain employees on basic safety rules after an Amtrak train slammed into a backhoe last week, killing two maintenance-of-way (MOW) employees and injuring dozens of passengers. Loram Maintenance of Way spokesman Tom DeJoseph told reporters that the MOW workers on the […]

Amtrak crash in Pa., two dead, many injured

Amtrak train 89 struck a backhoe this morning in Chester, Pa., just south of Philadelphia. Of the 341 passengers on board around 35 were injured. The two that died were the backhoe operator and a supervisor. Family members of those on board can call 800-523-9101 to inquire about their loved ones. Travel along the Northeast Corridor has […]