April 25, 2015

DOT takes action on movement of energy products

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced with its agencies, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a package of targeted actions that will address some of the issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The volume of crude [...]

Metra adopts Confidential Close Call Reporting system

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Representatives of Metra management and transportation unions joined officials from the Federal Railroad Administration April 16 to announce the creation of a “Confidential Close Call Reporting System,” which is designed to proactively address safety issues and create a more positive safety culture. At a ceremony at Metra headquarters, labor, management and FRA officials signed a [...]

Lipinski: Train crashes prompt railroad safety action

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As the most senior member from Illinois on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the representative of a district that is home to more miles of train tracks than any other – in addition to the fact that I live less than a mile from a line that carries about 150 trains a day [...]

House bill would regulate crude oil by rail

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A second group of federal lawmakers has introduced legislation to regulate the transport of crude oil by rail. U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) April 15 introduced the Crude-By-Rail Safety Act (H.R. 1804), which the congressman said would set new safety and security standards to address growing concerns that current standards fail to address the threat [...]

UP retaliates against another injured worker

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An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that management of the Union Pacific Railroad added insult to injury when it blamed a worker in Roseville who was hurt on-the-job and then retaliated against him for reporting his injury in February 2011. Investigators established that Union Pacific violated [...]

FTA lists alcohol, drug-testing rates for 2015

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Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan has determined that the random drug-testing rate will remain at 25 percent for 2015 and the random alcohol-testing rate for 2015 will remain at 10 percent for transit employees performing safety-sensitive functions, according to the Federal Register. The determination was made due to a “positive rate” lower than one [...]

Rules on oil train safety not moving fast enough

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A chorus of lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday with the delays in approving and implementing various regulations related to the movement of hazardous materials by rail and pipeline. The acting chiefs of two U.S. Department of Transportation agencies heard Republicans and Democrats in the House Transportation Committee complain that rules on railroad tank cars and oil [...]

NJT fares could be hiked as much as 9 percent

Commuters could be hit with an NJ Transit fare increase that might reach 9 percent in fiscal year 2016, based on budget documents for the coming year. NJ Transit’s budget documents said revenue from fares would increase by 8.8 percent, from the $928.6 million earned in fiscal year 2015 to $1.01 billion in 2016, according [...]

Wash. House passes its version of oil-transport bill

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The state House on April 14 passed its version of a bill that would impose new safety regulations on oil shipped through Washington by rail, boat and pipeline. The modified version of a bill that cleared the Senate in March passed the House with a 58-40 bipartisan vote. Read the complete story at the Seattle [...]

CSX says railroad won’t deliver double-digit growth

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OMAHA, Neb. – CSX now says that the railroad won’t deliver the double-digit profit growth it promised this year because coal demand remains weak. Executives remain optimistic about the railroad’s prospects because service is improving, but they said Wednesday, a day after posting first-quarter earnings, that mid-to-high single-digit profit growth is likely in 2015. Read [...]