August 29, 2016

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 […]

SMART TD Legislative Director urges unity and action in speech to NARVRE

 “The greatest threat to Railroad Retirement and Social Security is if Congress tries to mess with either one, which would automatically affect our pensions,” said John Risch, National Legislative Director of SMART TD.  He made his remarks to the biannual convention of the National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees, Inc., (NARVRE) in St. […]

Newly renovated hotel for SMART TD visitors

…and right across the street! SMART TD recently negotiated a great deal with Extended Stay American Hotels, located at 24851 Country Club Blvd. in North Olmsted—a short walk to SMART TD headquarters. These roomy suites have been completely renovated and cost only $64 per night (plus tax) for SMART union members and officers. All suites […]

Risch, Harrison testify at Sleep Apnea hearing

National Legislative Director John Risch and Local 759 (Newark, N.J.) Secretary and Treasurer Craig Harrison testified at a public hearing today before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) about Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Harrison, who works for Coach USA, testified about his hardships as a result of being diagnosed […]

DOT threatens to shut down D.C. Metro for safety reasons

USA Today reports that U.S. DOT Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx threatened to shut down the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA or D.C. Metro) if the company does not improve safety. Foxx’s announcement comes after Metro employees refused DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) access to a tunnel following an explosion of a third-rail insulator last […]