August 21, 2014

DOT ‘hero’ awards to 2 Amtrak conductors

richard.d’Alessandro_szabo

Heroism has no timetable, no expectation, no formula. It is displayed instantaneously and accompanied only by rare courage. Enter, center stage, two UTU heroes – Amtrak conductors Richard d’Alessandro and Loxie Sanders – a couple of regular rails, represented by the UTU and seemingly little different than neighbors down the street. Their time of extreme [...]

FRA’s final HOS rules for passenger, commuter service

FRA logo

WASHINGTON – Passenger and commuter train conductors and engineers face new hours-of-service rules effective Oct. 15 under a final rule published Aug. 12 by the Federal Railroad Administration. The new rules differ in certain areas from hours-of-service regulations imposed on freight railroad employees. Among the differences is that passenger and commuter train hours-of-service regulations are more [...]

UTU to congressional audience: ‘HSR is jobs machine’

Risch, John; John Risch

Risch WASHINGTON — New jobs building and operating high-speed rail “are American jobs that can’t be shipped overseas and would be a Godsend in this economic downturn,” UTU Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch told a congressionally sponsored forum here Aug. 3. “Railroad operating jobs are not just good paying jobs; they are great careers,” [...]

Maglev’s future bleak after Pa. firm’s bankruptcy

The likelihood of 300-mph magnetic levitation trains operating in the United States anytime soon took another body blow in July when a private-sector firm planning a maglev route in Pennsylvania filed for bankruptcy. Maglev uses powerful electro-magnets to levitate, propel, guide and stop the trains. They are not wheeled trains and require a separate right-of-way. [...]

Amtrak GC Roger Lenfest, 65, dies

General Chairperson Roger Lenfest (Amtrak, GO 769), age 65, died July 10 following a short illness. Lenfest, of Sicklerville, N.J., succeeded Al Suozzo as general chairperson following Suozzo’s death in March 2010. Assistant General Chairperson Dirk Sampson becomes acting general chairperson for GO 769. Suozzo had held the post almost 18 years. A member of [...]

House bill would slash Amtrak, transit funding

WASHINGTON – The Republican leadership of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will introduce legislation July 8 to slash Amtrak’s federal subsidy by 25 percent, prevent federal funds from being used to create additional rail passenger services unless they are high-speed projects, and cut federal transit funding by 30 percent. Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), and [...]

2 Amtrak conductors: A story of selfless bravery

Amtrak Conductors; heroes; Alvin Boguess; Boguess, Alvin; Joseph Boardman; Boardman, Joseph; Amtrak CEO; CEO

This is a story about heroes. It is a story about two UTU conductor heroes in Fallon, Nev., June 24. In utter disregard of their own safety, these UTU conductor heroes braved intense flames and choking smoke, repeatedly returning inside two burning Amtrak passenger cars to save the lives of dozens of disoriented, injured and [...]

Trucker in Amtrak crash: 9 traffic tickets since 2007

FALLON, Nev. – The truck driver who died when his tractor-trailer slammed into Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr here June 24, had accumulated nine traffic tickets since 2007 – five for speeding in a commercial vehicle, twice for speeding in his personal automobile, once for a seat belt violation and once for illegally using a cellphone [...]

UTU member dead in Nevada Amtrak-truck crash

Laurette Lee; Lee, Laurette; Conductor

FALLON, Nev. – An Amtrak conductor was killed and an assistant conductor seriously injured here June 24 when a tractor-trailer combination rammed the side of a double-deck passenger car of Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr in a fiery crash at a highway-rail grade crossing. The crash site is some 70 miles east of Reno. Lee Killed was [...]

Supreme Court declines to weaken FELA

WASHINGTON — In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court June 23 declined to tighten the standard of proof injured rail workers must demonstrate to win an award under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The ruling is a significant victory for injured rail workers. The FELA — a railroader’s most cherished workplace safety assurance — [...]