November 27, 2015

Amtrak adds Chicago-Michigan trains for holiday travel

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There’s no place like home for the holidays, so Amtrak is offering 10 extra trains for Thanksgiving on the Chicago-Michigan corridor. The rail service will add an extra train in each direction Wednesday, Nov. 25, Saturday, Nov. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 29 on the Chicago-Ann Arbor “Wolverine Line” to help people reach their Turkey Day [...]

Amtrak train derails in Northfield, Vermont

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A southbound Amtrak train derailed Monday morning in central Vermont after apparently striking a rock slide, officials said. The accident occurred in the town of Northfield, about 10 miles south of Montpelier, the state capital. A spokesperson for the Montpelier Fire Department said they had reports of four people injured so far after five cars [...]

House passes Passenger Rail Reform, Investment Act

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The United States House of Representatives March 4 overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that will provide critical investments in our nation’s passenger rail system. H.R. 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA) will ensure that our national passenger rail system continues its mission to connect communities – both large and small – [...]

Contact your U.S. rep. now for passenger rail funding

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SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director John Risch has sent a message to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives seeking their support of a “clean” Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA) bill, which would authorize and fund Amtrak. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved this bipartisan legislation (H.R. [...]

OSHA’s guide for winter weather

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Winter weather creates a variety of hazards that can significantly impact everyday tasks and work activities. These hazards include slippery roads and surfaces, strong winds and environmental cold. Learning how to prepare for work during the winter, protect workers from the cold and other hazards that can cause illnesses, injuries, or fatalities, is essential to [...]

Previsich testifies before senators on passenger rail


SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Dec. 10 at the Russell Senate Office Building. The hearing focused on the current state of intercity passenger rail in the United States, the need to invest [...]

Risch appears on America’s Work Force radio

SMART Transportation Division’s Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch appeared on America’s Work Force daily labor radio program Dec. 23 to discuss the country’s support for Amtrak and other issues. America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in America and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input [...]

Railroads seek extension for installing PTC

WASHINGTON – Spurred by a deadly train crash in Los Angeles, Congress in 2008 passed with great fanfare legislation requiring the nation’s railroads to install a sophisticated collision-avoidance system by the end of 2015. Five years later, an industry move to extend the deadline to 2020 is picking up steam on Capitol Hill. Read the [...]

Members ratify five-year Amtrak agreement

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Amtrak employees represented by the SMART Transportation Division (UTU) have ratified a five-year agreement with management of the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak). The new pact covers approximately 2,300 members employed as conductors, assistant conductors, yardmasters and dining car stewards.  The agreement is retroactive to 2010 and the new rates of pay should become effective [...]

FRA unveils vison for Northeast Corridor


The Federal Railroad Administration is currently managing a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate and prioritize future levels of investment in the Northeast Corridor (NEC) through 2040. This effort, launched in February 2012 and called NEC FUTURE, will produce a Service Development Plan that articulates the overall scope, alternatives and approach for proposed improvements, and [...]