July 4, 2015

NTSB issues second update on Amtrak derailment

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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 [...]

FRA recommends actions to prevent speeding

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a safety advisory recommending actions that passenger railroads take to prevent trains from speeding.  The advisory is the latest in a series of steps FRA has taken to keep passenger railroads safe for the traveling public. “Today the FRA is taking a smart and targeted approach to [...]

Senate Democrats push for full funding of Amtrak

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Senate Democrats representing states along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund Amtrak’s funding request in the upcoming Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The Senators also unveiled a new report from the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center detailing all the unfunded and underfunded safety [...]

BLET/SMART TD statement on Positive Train Control, crew size following fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia

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(The following is a joint statement by Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and John Previsich, President, SMART Transportation Division, regarding questions that have arisen since the fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015.) CLEVELAND, May 19 — Members of BLET’s Safety Task Force and SMART [...]

The price we pay for conservative scorn of Amtrak

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On Tuesday night, an Amtrak train spectacularly derailed on its way through Philadelphia, killing at least seven people. On Wednesday morning, a House appropriations subcommittee voted to cut federal funding for Amtrak by about 20 percent. Those are two dots Republicans don’t want you to connect. “Don’t use this tragedy in that way,” Rep. Mike [...]

At least 7 dead, over 200 hurt in Amtrak derailment

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At least seven people were killed and over 200 people hurt after an Amtrak train, carrying 238 passengers and five crew members, derailed and rolled onto its side in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia Tuesday night, according to officials. Police said Wednesday that seven people had died, after the death toll had risen to [...]

N.Y. MTA seeks $1B loan for PTC system

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The MTA is close to securing final federal approval of a nearly $1 billion loan to install technology on its commuter trains that could have prevented the 2013 Metro-North derailment in the Bronx in which four people died. Positive train control technology provides a new layer of protection in case of human error, since it [...]

SMART joins NJT Rail Labor Coalition

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SMART Transportation Division’s General Committee of Adjustment  GO 610 representing conductors and trainmen, General Committee of Adjustment GO 340 representing yardmasters and SMART Sheet Metal Mechanical and Engineering Local 396 representing mechanical workers have joined the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition in asking the National Mediation Board (NMB) to proffer arbitration to its members after reaching an [...]

Metra adopts Confidential Close Call Reporting system

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Representatives of Metra management and transportation unions joined officials from the Federal Railroad Administration April 16 to announce the creation of a “Confidential Close Call Reporting System,” which is designed to proactively address safety issues and create a more positive safety culture. At a ceremony at Metra headquarters, labor, management and FRA officials signed a [...]

NJT fares could be hiked as much as 9 percent

Commuters could be hit with an NJ Transit fare increase that might reach 9 percent in fiscal year 2016, based on budget documents for the coming year. NJ Transit’s budget documents said revenue from fares would increase by 8.8 percent, from the $928.6 million earned in fiscal year 2015 to $1.01 billion in 2016, according [...]