July 24, 2014

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 [...]

Illinois, UP announce Metra improvements

metra_logo

BELLWOOD, Ill. — Governor Pat Quinn June 27 was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Union Pacific Railroad President and COO Lance Fritz to announce that the Union Pacific (UP) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are making a significant investment in Metra’s West Line. Each will invest $45 million for the [...]

FRA issues ROD for Calif. high-speed train section

FRA_logo_words

WASHINGTON – The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) June 27 issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the 114-mile Fresno to Bakersfield Section of the California High-Speed Train System. The ROD is the last step in the National Environmental Policy Act process and clears the way to break ground on the [...]

Thousands turn out for LIRR labor rally

lirr_rally_image_web

On Saturday June 21, more than 3,000 unionized Long Island Rail Road workers and their supporters rallied for a new contract Saturday, June 21, demonstrating their resolve in achieving the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board 245. Union officials from a variety of crafts, as well as local, state and national political figures joined them. SMART’s [...]

LIRR union negotiations end abruptly Friday

A hostile bargaining session between the MTA and Long Island Rail Road labor leaders broke off in less than two hours early Friday with no deal in place and union officials saying a July 20 strike is more likely than ever. “Here we go,” Christopher Natale, general chairman of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, said [...]

Charlotte commuter train price jumps by $215M

Charlotte_CATS_logo

The Charlotte Area Transit System projects that building a commuter train to Lake Norman would cost $215 million more than expected – a price hike that will likely make it too costly to build. CATS had long planned to use Norfolk Southern freight tracks that parallel Interstate 77 for the Red Line passenger train. It [...]

TD’s June paper to be published after convention

The June 2014 issue of the SMART Transportation Division News will be published following the proceedings of the First SMART Transportation Division Convention June 30-July 2. Publishing the newspaper after the convention will allow the Transportation Division to provide its members and readers with fresh and updated coverage of the convention proceedings. The combined July/August [...]

Supreme Court to hear Amtrak dispute

Amtrak Logo

The Supreme Court said June 23 it will consider whether Amtrak can partner with a government agency to create rules that other private railroads must follow. The justices agreed to hear the Obama administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling that said Congress unconstitutionally gave regulatory power to the passenger railroad company. Read the complete [...]

Year begins July 1 for RRB unemployment benefits

RRB_seal_150px

A new benefit year under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act begins July 1, 2014. The maximum daily benefit rate payable for claims under this Act increases to $70 in the new benefit year. Benefits are normally paid for the number of days of unemployment or sickness over four in 14-day registration periods, so maximum benefits [...]