November 1, 2014

President Nigro presents vision for SMART future

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SMART General President Joseph Nigro opened the proceedings of the First SMART General Convention Aug. 6 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a message stressing education, strength and unity. Following the presentation of the Colors by the Palo Verde High School Junior ROTC and the singing of the Canadian and U.S. national anthems by [...]

Report offers analysis of Super Bowl rail delays

NEWARK, N.J. — A report released Friday on New Jersey Transit’s Super Bowl performance in February describes confusion on the ground and disagreement among top officials as train delays worsened, but praised the agency’s overall performance. The 148-page report was commissioned by NJ Transit’s board of directors and prepared by the law firm of McElroy, [...]

Previsich, Wytkind want increased rail funding

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Amtrak links the Hudson Valley to the rest of North America. From Hudson and Albany, you can take the train to western New York, to New York City and to Canada. And people do just that: Last year, Amtrak’s Empire Service alone brought more than a million riders through the Hudson Valley, carrying business travelers [...]

FRA proposes testing for MOW employees

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In response to Congress’ mandate in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), the Federal Railroad Administration is proposing to expand the scope of its alcohol and drug regulations to cover employees who perform maintenance-of-way (MOW) activities. In addition, FRA is proposing certain substantive amendments that either respond to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) [...]

RRB submits annual financial reports to Congress

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The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is required by law to submit annual financial reports to Congress on the financial condition of the railroad retirement system and the railroad unemployment insurance system. These reports must also include recommendations for any financing changes which may be advisable in order to ensure the solvency of the systems. In [...]

AAR issues safety alert: Razors on appliance again

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An act of apparent malicious intent was discovered on July 30, 2014, when a Union Pacific carman reported finding two razor blades glued to the air valve of an Amtrak car during a routine repair. Association of American Railroads Assistant Vice President – Technical Services James P. Grady said no injuries were reported, nor were any suspects observed [...]

NARP enters Supreme Court case on behalf of Amtrak

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Responding to increasingly serious delays across the national train network, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP), represented by the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC), will file an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief with the United States Supreme Court in the lawsuit between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Association [...]

Time to act on two-person rail crews is now!

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Members of the SMART Transportation Division and all of rail labor are reminded that they have the opportunity to make it federal law to have two qualified persons working on all freight trains operating in the United States a reality. Now is the time to contact your legislators in the House of Representatives and ask [...]

RRB announces additional pre-retirement seminars

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Additional locations have now been added to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board’s (RRB) schedule of Pre-Retirement Seminars for railroad employees and their spouses. Designed for railroad employees and spouses planning to retire within five years or less, the seminars will familiarize attendees with the retirement benefits available to them, and also guide them through the [...]

Simon’s direction at LIRR leads to win-win deal

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After over four years of battling with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority during a difficult and highly publicized contract dispute, SMART Transportation Division members have prevailed on Long Island. The MTA was seeking net zero wage increases, major pension reform, large health care contributions, work rule give-backs and excessive concessions for new hires, but SMART [...]