September 1, 2015

Rail safety upgrades stalled on Capitol Hill

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Two months after a deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia thrust the issue back into the spotlight, frustrated legislators in the Northeast are seemingly no closer to getting the rail-safety upgrades they want. The transportation measure sitting on the floor of the Senate would seem the best vehicle for them, even as it faces an [...]

FRA announces final rule to prevent runaway trains

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a final rule to prevent unattended trains that carry crude, ethanol, poisonous by inhalation (PIH), toxic by inhalation (TIH), and other highly flammable contents from rolling away.  Railroad employees who are responsible for securing a train will now be permanently required to communicate with another qualified individual [...]

OSHA warns of heat illness in outdoor workers

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HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. Employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat. What is heat illness? The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high [...]

Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses SMART

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Senator Bernie Sanders (D – Vt.) was invited to speak at the SMART Business Agents’ conference, Tuesday, July 28 held at the Washington Hilton, Washington D.C. Watch the video below to hear Sen. Sanders’ speech about the shrinking middle class, the need for improvements in our nation’s infrastructure, the need for trade unions in the [...]

Senate to debate 3-year delay for rail safety system

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Washington, D.C. — Two months after the high-speed derailment of an Amtrak train killed eight people and injured hundreds more in Philadelphia, a Senate transportation bill headed for debate this week calls for a three-year delay of the deadline for installing a rail safety system that experts say would have almost certainly prevented the Pennsylvania [...]

Aging infrastructure plagues NEC

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In Maryland, a century-old rail tunnel needed emergency repairs this winter because of soil erosion from leaks, causing widespread train delays. In Connecticut, an aging swing bridge failed to close twice last summer, stopping train service and stranding passengers. And last week, New Jersey Transit riders had a truly torturous experience. There were major delays [...]

Capping rail revenues will threaten economic goals

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Association of American Railroads (AAR), leaders from its member railroads and economic experts today urged federal regulators to beware of upending numerous national economic goals if they choose to pursue re-instituting revenue caps on freight rail companies. Speaking before a Surface Transportation Board (STB) hearing on railroad revenue adequacy, AAR President and [...]

SEPTA members ratify pact

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Twenty two months ago, SMART  Transportation Division Local 61 (Philadelphia, Pa.) train service members working at SEPTA ratified their contract from the previous round.  Now, for the first time in recent memory, these same members have ratified a new agreement governing the rates of pay and working conditions of conductors and assistant conductors on that [...]

NTSB Study: ECP brakes out-perform other systems

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Washington, D.C. – As part of its ongoing investigation of the derailment of a crude oil unit train in Casselton, North Dakota, the National Transportation Safety Board produced a Train Braking Simulation Study, which it placed into the investigation docket. The study was prompted by recent North American crude oil and ethanol train derailments that resulted [...]

FTA highlights public transportation accessibility

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Bethesda, Md. – Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Therese McMillan was at a bus stop just north of Bethesda Maryland to highlight the success of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the landmark legislation’s 25th anniversary. The Acting Administrator spoke about the great advances that have been made since the Act was passed, [...]