July 25, 2014

Oil trains face test in new safety rules

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North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch has thrived thanks in large part to the once-niche business of hauling fuel on U.S. rail tracks. New safety rules may now test the oil train model. Within weeks, the Obama Administration is due to unveil a suite of reforms that will rewrite standards conceived long before the rise of [...]

Will U.S. railroad service ever get better?

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“I just returned from a trip to Europe, and really enjoyed riding the high-speed Eurostar and TGV. Why can’t we have something like that here in the U.S.?” So asked a reader, and the fundamental answer is simple: The United States, as a nation, does not and will not enjoy a robust passenger rail system [...]

Train collision at Slinger, Wis., injures two

SLINGER, Wis. – A southbound Canadian National freight train was rounding a curve in Slinger when it struck the cars of another train Sunday night shortly after 9:00 p.m. The incident happened where CN and Wisconsin and Southern Railroad tracks cross. Two people in the train were injured, and one of them taken to Aurora [...]

Safe, secure rail operations require two-person crews

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A message from President John Previsich, SMART Transportation Division: This office is receiving numerous inquiries regarding two tentative agreements recently proposed by a general committee for its members on a portion of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. One of the agreements addresses crew consist issues and the other is a wage proposal contingent upon successful [...]

Videos embody theme of ‘Strong, Proud, United’

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The theme of the SMART Transportation Division’s Convention in San Diego, Calif., June 30-July 2, was “Strong, Proud, United,” and videos were presented to the delegates and attendees each day during the convention that embodied those concepts. SMART Transportation members from around the country appear in the videos and, in their own words, express their [...]

LIRR strike averted, tentative deal reached

A tentative deal has been reached to avoid a strike at the nation’s largest commuter railroad, sparing hundreds of thousands of commuters the headache of finding alternate routes to and from the city, Gov. Cuomo announced Thursday. The agreement, which still must be ratified by union members, settles a four-year contract dispute between the Metropolitan [...]

LIRR unions, MTA end another day of talks

NEW YORK – With a Long Island Rail Road strike potentially set to start Sunday, the unions and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority returned to the bargaining table Wednesday and talked for several hours without reaching a deal. But both sides were set to work through the night remotely as they went off to hotels, and [...]

Blumenthal wants to convene Senate PTC hearing

WASHINGTON – A group of Connecticut lawmakers is calling for action on rail-safety technology that could prevent future train collisions like the fatal “deadman’s curve” crash late last year in the Bronx. The Positive Train Control technology, or PTC would override human error by automatically slowing or stopping trains that are speeding, entering work zones [...]

NFAC issues recommendations for freight system

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx July 14 announced receipt of a report from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) that makes recommendations to improve the performance of the Nation’s freight transportation system. These recommendations will be used to inform the development of the DOT’s National Freight Strategic Plan. The [...]

Delegates: Get a feel for SMART convention

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At the request of SMART Transportation Division delegates, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Headquarters in Washington has made available a copy of the written proceedings of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association’s 41 General Convention. The proceedings are available to Transportation Division delegates so that they may familiarize themselves [...]