May 29, 2015

Senators call for permanent director of PHMSA

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators concerned about the potential dangers of oil being transported via rail sent a letter calling on President Obama to nominate a permanent administrator to head the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the agency responsible for overseeing pipeline and crude-by-rail safety. “It is important to states like ours that PHMSA have a [...]

Lawmakers consider restructuring FAA

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As lawmakers consider a major change to the current structure of the FAA as both a safety regulator and Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), representatives of commercial airlines and business aviation operators are divided on how to move forward. In a hearing before the Senate commerce committee on Tuesday, May 19, Ed Bolen, president of [...]

Wash. Gov. Inslee signs oil train safety bill

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Thursday a measure that attempts to improve the safety of oil transportation as a sharp increase in trains carrying volatile crude oil poses new safety and environmental risks in the state. A compromise reached on the last day of the regular legislative session resolved differences [...]

BNSF furloughing employees, union says

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GRAND FORKS — BNSF Railway Co., the largest railroad in North Dakota, is furloughing some employees across its network, including in Mandan and elsewhere in the region. “Customers’ volumes in the near term have come down somewhat from their prior estimates; as a result we are having to adjust our workforce demand numbers down to [...]

Senate Democrats push for full funding of Amtrak

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Senate Democrats representing states along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund Amtrak’s funding request in the upcoming Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The Senators also unveiled a new report from the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center detailing all the unfunded and underfunded safety [...]

Memorial Day: remembering the fallen

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While Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial start to summer, it is more importantly a time to remember those soldiers we have lost in service to our country. “The brave men and women in our armed forces sacrifice every day; some make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Cherri Senders, Labor 411 founder. “While we spend [...]

Retired former UTU GS&T Dan Johnson dies

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Retired former United Transportation Union (UTU) General Secretary & Treasurer Daniel E. Johnson III, 67, passed away early May 21, 2015, according to reports received by the SMART Transportation Division. Johnson, who retired in August 2007 and was living in Lincoln, Cal., had been battling a number of health issues. Funeral arrangements have not been [...]

With rail traffic down, BNSF furloughs employees

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BNSF Railway is furloughing employees in Northwest Montana and across its 32,000-mile system as freight traffic on America’s rails declines. According to the Association of American Railroads, the number of freight car loads moved during the first full-week of May was down 7.9 percent from the same week last year. Freight traffic on America’s railroads [...]

ND crude train service resumes but questions remain

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Bakken Shale crude oil shipments via train have resumed in North Dakota, but there remain unanswered questions about what caused 10 tanker cars to derail and ignite in Heimdal, ND, earlier this month. A spokesperson for BNSF, the railroad involved in the derailment, told NGI‘s Shale Daily on Tuesday that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to [...]

Rare civil war and railroad currency on display

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Sam Harmison has been collecting rare coins and currency since he was 12. He’ll be 99 this month and is celebrating by displaying his collection of civil war and railroad currency. A friend found it and gave it to him. “They were tearing down an old farm house between Front [...]