April 21, 2014

Clean sweep of NJT’s top brass continues

The shakeup of NJ Transit’s upper management is becoming a clean sweep. In the same week that Jim Weinstein’s four-year tenure as NJ Transit’s executive director officially ended, his directors of rail and bus operations, Kevin O’Connor and Joyce Gallagher, are being forced out, said sources close to the agency. Just like that, the top [...]

Politico website notes findings of SMART TD survey

The following appeared on the website Politico, which covers political news with a focus on national politics, Congress, Capitol Hill, lobbying, advocacy and more, on its Morning Transportation blog. “The passenger rail service has strong support in North Dakota – not exactly the first state one thinks of when pondering where Amtrak’s loudest boosters live. North [...]

MTA: Plan targets LIRR pension abuse

The MTA wants Long Island Rail Road workers to give up a piece of their LIRR pensions if they are also collecting federal occupational disability benefits – a plan that union leaders say would unfairly punish the legitimately injured. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials say the proposal – among the concessions sought in the agency’s contract [...]

Obama lays out vision for transportation infrastructure

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On Feb. 26, President Obama spoke at the historic Union Depot train station in St. Paul, Minn., where he launched a competition for $600 million in competitive transportation funding and outlined his vision for investing in America’s infrastructure with a $302 billion, four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal. The president will continue to act when he [...]

Szabo offers oversight of passenger, freight rail safety

Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo addressed members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Feb. 26, providing them with oversight of passenger and freight rail safety and responding to questions. Also addressing the subcommittee were Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Cynthia Quarterman, [...]

Rails tell Congress they won’t meet PTC deadline

WASHINGTON – Railroads warned Congress again Wednesday they wouldn’t meet a 2015 deadline for automatic braking on trains, but engineers and safety officials urged adoption of the technology that might have prevented the fatal Metro North crash in New York this past December. Freight railroads have spent $4 billion for braking equipment for trains to [...]

NARP President Capon steps down

Ross Capon, the face of the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) for 39 years on Capitol Hill, is stepping down from his role as president, and apparently will retire from the organization at year’s end. Dr. Larry Scott will serve as NARP acting president while the organization conducts a search for a permanent successor. [...]

Obama touts $302B transportation plan in St. Paul

President Barack Obama came to St. Paul on Wednesday to showcase the city’s newly refurbished Union Depot transit hub as an example of the kinds of transportation development he wants for the rest of the nation. “This project symbolizes what’s possible,” Obama told a standing-room-only crowd of 1,300 ticketed enthusiasts in the 90-year-old Lowertown depot’s [...]

N.Y. reps. urge settlement of LIRR dispute

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Twelve members of the U.S. House of Representatives have co-signed a letter to the chairman of New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority urging the MTA to reach a settlement with union employees of the Long Island Rail Road and avert a possible strike by those employees this spring. The letter to MTA Chairperson and Chief [...]

Metrolink to roll out collision avoidance system

The Metrolink passenger railroad Thursday (Feb. 20) will become the first commuter service in the nation to roll out a sophisticated collision avoidance system designed to overcome human error. Had so-called positive train control been in place five years ago, experts say, it would have prevented Metrolink’s deadly Chatsworth crash. In that accident, an engineer [...]