August 31, 2015

Operation Lifesaver awards $204k for safety campaigns

Operation Lifesaver_Fotor

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), announced more than $200,000 in grants to 13 State Operation Lifesaver programs for a variety of highway-rail grade crossing safety public education projects, in conjunction with the nonprofit safety group’s ongoing “See Tracks? Think Train!” public awareness campaign. The grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organizations [...]

Most railroads won’t meet PTC deadline

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sent its Status of Positive Train Control Implementation report to Congress. The report is mandated by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee and shows that after seven years and significant assistance from FRA, most railroads will miss the Dec. 31, 2015 positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline that Congress established [...]

Long-term disability insurance for rail members

Beginning June 29, 2015 through September 30, 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 income should they become [...]

Train boosters say ‘save Amtrak’

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People who want to preserve state subsidies for Amtrak want Gov. Bruce Rauner (R – Ill.) to know they have not gone away. A news conference featuring state lawmakers from college towns along the rails praised Rauner for wanting to tackle the budget deficit but pointed out the Amtrak subsidy, which Rauner wants to cut [...]

Is Northeast Corridor at breaking point?

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, in the light of problems affecting tens of thousands of NJTransit and Amtrak riders between New Jersey and New York Penn Station of the last eight days, has called respective Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo to meet with him sometime before Aug. 10. Christie (R) while campaigning for [...]

Agreement signed for Hoosier State route to continue

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The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and local communities this weekend reached long-term agreements with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings to continue Hoosier State passenger-rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago. Service under the new agreements began yesterday. As the route’s operator, Amtrak will work with host railroads, provide train and engine crews and manage ticket [...]

Obama nominates former MBTA head Scott to NTSB

President Barack Obama on Tuesday, July 28, nominated Beverly Scott, the former general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), for membership on the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Scott served as the MBTA’s general manager until April 2015, when she stepped down following severe weather-related service disruptions. She began her stint at the [...]

Senate votes to delay speed control system

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Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to delay a year-end deadline for railroads to install automatic speed control equipment that would have averted a fatal Amtrak crash several months ago.  The Senate passed $350 billion legislation to renew federal highway and rail programs for six years, 65-34, but the measure gives railroads another three years [...]

Substantial demand shows need for TIGER grants

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TIGER 2015 applications totaled $9.8 billion, far exceeding the $500 million for the program Washington, D.C. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for its seventh round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants totaled $9.8 billion, almost 20 times the $500 million set aside [...]

TTD says ‘no’ to hair specimen drug testing

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In a letter to the Department of Health dated July 29, 2015, President Edward Wytkind of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO supported the gold standard in drug testing but opposed unsubstantiated hair specimen testing. Read the letter below. On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I write to comment on [...]