September 1, 2014

Railroad man’s dying wish means one last ride

Gordon Russ was a railroad man all his life — and beyond. Russ died last year at 94 in Tacoma General Hospital, where he was born in 1919. A train engineer at heart until the end, he left his four children with one last request. Read the complete story at The News Tribune.

Members invited to join Omaha Labor Day Parade

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The SMART Transportation Division’s Nebraska State Legislative Board is once again organizing participation in Omaha’s annual Labor Day parade Monday, Sept. 1, and SMART members from Omaha and surrounding areas are invited to take part. The festivities begin Sunday at 5 p.m., when the board will hold a “membership feed” at the Sheet Metal Workers’ [...]

Land deals slowing California high-speed rail plan

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority needs to buy more than 550 pieces of property to build its first 29-mile stretch of rail line between Avenue 17 in Madera to American Avenue south of Fresno. And along the next 100 miles between Fresno and Bakersfield, as many as 1,150 more parcels of “affected” property have been [...]

Funeral set for member Hayes, killed in UP crash

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A funeral service will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel in Allen, Texas, for SMART Transportation Division member Roderick A. Hayes, 31, who was killed in a Union Pacific train collision Aug. 17. Interment will follow at Ridgeview Memorial Park. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 6 [...]

Engineer, railway company talk as Lac-Mégantic burns

The following conversations took place on July 5 and 6, 2013, on the night of the devastating derailment in Lac-Mégantic. They were between railway engineer Tom Harding and company offices in Farnham, Que., and Maine. The transcripts, which are based on audio recordings of MM&A’s rail-traffic control communications, provide new insight into Mr. Harding’s actions [...]

Coroner reports railroad worker was shot

The Kern County’s coroner’s office released the official cause of death for Robert Limon, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway worker who was found dead on Aug. 17. According to the coroner’s office, Limon died from multiple gunshot wounds and ruled the matter as a homicide. Read the complete story at the Tehachapi News.

MoDOT seeking applicants for rail safety inspectors

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The Missouri Department of Transportation Aug. 19 posted job openings for two railroad safety inspectors for its railroad operations staff. The railroad safety inspectors will conduct routine grade crossing, track, hazardous materials, motive power and equipment, operating practice and signal inspections. Monthly salary is listed between $3,119 and $3,471. The locations of the jobs are [...]

Durbin sets hearing on Amtrak delays

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Weeks after calling for a study of the potential for increased service along Amtrak’s Chicago to Carbondale route, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is holding a hearing in Champaign Wednesday on freight train interference along the corridor. The meeting between Surface Transportation Board Chairman Dan Elliott, Amtrak board member Tom Carper and local [...]

Cargo rates trigger shipper backlash at railroads

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After CSX Corp. (CSX) raised rates for shipping specialty gas by 41 percent over three years, Diversified CPC International Inc. had to shutter a production line near Chicago. The buyer of a custom-ordered Diversified gas didn’t want the expense from those freight bills, so it decided to bring the manufacturing in-house. Read the complete story [...]

TSB slams Transport Canada in Lac-Mégantic disaster

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. – Transport Canada was slammed Tuesday (Aug. 19) in a long-awaited report into last summer’s train disaster that claimed the lives of 47 people, for not forcing Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway to improve its safety record. “Each time (Transport Canada inspectors) were saying, ‘OK, we found this, you’ve got to do this,’ but [...]