January 31, 2015

Class I railroads release 4th quarter, annual earnings

In a press release Jan. 13, CSX announced record fourth-quarter and full-year financial results for revenue, operating income, net earnings and earnings per share. Net earnings for the railroad saw a 15 percent increase from $426 million from the same quarter last year to $491 million for the fourth quarter of 2014. Revenue for the [...]

Oil train spills hit record level in 2014

oil-train-rail

American oil trains spilled crude oil more often in 2014 than in any year since the federal government began collecting data on such incidents in 1975, an NBC News analysis shows. The record number of spills sparked a fireball in Virginia, polluted groundwater in Colorado, and destroyed a building in Pennsylvania, causing at least $5 [...]

Port labor dispute is big concern for UP, BNSF

With rail network congestion improving in some of the nation’s grain belt, Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway are facing another prospective headache: a shutdown of the port complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the country’s largest. Omaha-based Union Pacific Railroad says a work slowdown by the the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on [...]

GC Beebe reaches 60-year membership milestone

beebe_bill_web

To be described as a “classic” means that one is considered to be of the highest quality with lasting value; an authoritative standard; fashionable, with simplicity and restraint in style; one of a kind. Like the classic ‘57 Chevy or the fashionable Elvis Presley, SMART General Chairperson William A. Beebe is a classic in his [...]

Winter is here, so let’s be safe out there

a.hughes_org

By Alvy Hughes, Alternate Vice President –  Although winter hasn’t arrived yet, many states have already seen winter conditions and record snowfall. It’s that time of the year that U.S. roads and highways can be hazardous for transportation. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in [...]

We are thankful, but we must build for the future

Nigro

By Joe Nigro, SMART General President –  By In the spirit of the holiday season, I want to focus on what we have to be thankful for as we leave 2014 behind. For one, our First SMART General Convention will go down as the seminal moment when our two former organizations merged into a strong, united [...]

TD officer, vice general chairperson elevated

j_whitaker_web

A SMART Transportation Division officer and a general chairperson have been elevated to new Transportation Division positions following the retirement of Alternate Vice President R.W. “Red” Dare Nov. 30. The Transportation Division Board of Directors Dec. 19 elevated Executive Board Alternate John D. Whitaker III to fill the vacancy created by Dare’s retirement. At the [...]

Man pleads guilty to stealing locomotives

A man on Wednesday admitted in court to stealing two locomotives in Campbell County in October and crashing them into another train, according to information from the U.S. District Court of Wyoming. Derek Skyler Brux entered into a plea deal with prosecutors during a hearing at the federal court building in Casper. John Powell, spokesman [...]

Opinion: Want to be happy? Join a union

Fewer and fewer Americans belong to a union. Membership is down to a historic low of 11.2 percent of the work force, and only 6.7 percent of workers in the private sector. And if the nation’s confidence in the institution is any measure, not many people are mourning its diminishment. According to a Gallup poll, [...]

Opinion: Rail lines should not compromise safety

The Associated Press article on railroads’ collective push to reduce freight train crews from two persons to one is informative yet fails to address the very real danger of equipment, mechanical or infrastructure failure. As a matter of record I am a 40-year railroad conductor and chaired my union’s state safety board for 16 years. [...]