August 28, 2016

Amtrak, BNSF sue feed company after derailment

On Friday, April 8, Amtrak filed a lawsuit against Cimarron Crossing Feeders, LLC, claiming “gross negligence” as the alleged cause of a derailment last month that left 32 passengers injured. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found in their investigation that one of the feed company’s trucks had struck the side of the railroad trucks, […]

Q&A: buy-outs and Railroad Retirement Benefits

Railroad employees frequently ask the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) how the acceptance of a buy-out from a railroad employer affects their future eligibility for benefits under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. The following questions and answers provide information on this subject. 1. Would leaving railroad work and accepting a buy-out mean that […]

Risch: RSAC assigns working group to review industry speed signs

When is the best time to plant a tree? A good answer is 20 years ago, because if you had planted it then, you could be sitting under it now. The second best time to plant a tree is today. That kind of sums up the way our legislative department work goes. For several years […]

FRA orders Amtrak to retrain workers in wake of crash

The Associated Press reports that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has ordered Amtrak to retrain employees on basic safety rules after an Amtrak train slammed into a backhoe last week, killing two maintenance-of-way (MOW) employees and injuring dozens of passengers. Loram Maintenance of Way spokesman Tom DeJoseph told reporters that the MOW workers on the […]

Amtrak crash in Pa., two dead, many injured

Amtrak train 89 struck a backhoe this morning in Chester, Pa., just south of Philadelphia. Of the 341 passengers on board around 35 were injured. The two that died were the backhoe operator and a supervisor. Family members of those on board can call 800-523-9101 to inquire about their loved ones. Travel along the Northeast Corridor has […]

Hudson River rail tunnel project gets funding commitment

Progressive Railroading reported that Amtrak’s Gateway program, including the rebuilding of the Hudson River rail tunnel system, recently obtained commitments for the funding of the creation of an executive oversight committee and for preliminary engineering work. Read the entire story here.

Short-term disability insurance for rail members

SMART Transportation Division is pleased to announce that after careful study and planning, the Voluntary Short-Term Disability (VSTD) Trustees have decided to terminate the Plan’s contract with Anthem Life effective March 31, 2016. The plan will now be self-funded by SMART effective April 1, 2016, and Southern Benefits Administrators, Inc. will be administering the plan. […]

Effective April 1: New administrator for STD & new provider for LTD

Benefits, Premiums stay the same! On Friday, April 1, 2016, a new insurance administrator for Short Term Disability (STD) and a new insurance provider for Long Term Disability (LTD) will be in place for all Bus and Rail members.  Effective on and after April 1, 2016: STD STD for Bus and Rail members will now […]

Reminder: Scholarship application deadline is March 31

The application deadline for scholarships offered by the UTUIA and Auxiliary of the UTU is March 31. The UTUIA offers two types of scholarships. The first scholarship is the UTUIA college scholarship for anyone attending college. Fifty scholarships of $1,000 each will be given out for each year that the student attends college for up […]

OSHA updates eye and face protection standards

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a final rule that updates requirements for personal protective equipment for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring, marine terminals and construction. The final rule reflects current national consensus standards, and ensures that workers can use up-to-date eye and face protection. The rule updates references […]