August 3, 2015

Sen. Sherrod Brown pushes bill for safer oil tankers

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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D. – Ohio) on Wednesday called for doing more to better protect Ohio communities by removing the older railcars transporting hazardous materials. “We’ve seen too many derailments of trains with unsafe cars, often carrying crude oil and other hazardous material. It’s time to put a stop to these dangerous and costly [...]

Feds say rule on oil train reporting permanent

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The Federal Railroad Administration said Wednesday that train companies must continue reporting crude oil routes and volumes to state authorities concerned about derailments and fires. The interim regulation requiring notification will become permanent. Oil-hauling railroads include Omaha-based Union Pacific and Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF Railway. Read more from Omaha.com.

Rail conductor, engineer discuss train safety

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MPR news interviewed Vice General Chairperson of Union Pacific GO 225 Randy Raskin and Minnesota State Legislative Director Phil Qualy, both of Local 650 (Minneapolis), during an ongoing series of conversations about rail safety in Minnesota. MPR News’ Tom Weber interviewed Raskin and Qualy for their expertise on trains from the inside out. They talked about [...]

GOP bill would undermine auto, rail safety regulations

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Washington, D.C. – At a time of record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, Republicans are working on legislation to roll back safety regulation of the auto and railroad industries. A bill approved this week on a party-line vote by a Senate committee brims with industry-sought provisions that would block, delay or roll back safety [...]

Airlines: don’t use TSA fees to pay for infrastructure

The U.S. Travel Association is criticizing House Republicans for planning to use fees that are paid by airline passengers for the Transportation Security Administration to pay for an extension of federal highway spending that is set to expire at the end of the month.  House Republicans unveiled an approximately $8 billion highway patch Monday evening that includes [...]

President Obama announces PEB 248 in NJT dispute

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Washington, D.C. – Today (July 15, 2015), President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a Presidential Emergency Board to investigate and to make recommendations for settlement of the current disputes between the New Jersey Transit Rail and the NJT Rail Labor Coalition. The Executive Order established the Presidential Emergency Board effective July 16, 2015, [...]

House Republicans unveil $8.1 billion transport bill

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Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday unveiled an $8.1 billion plan to fund highway and rail transit projects through the end of 2015, paid for by extending an airport security fee increase and various tax rule changes. Congress faces a July 31 deadline to renew federal transportation spending authority and avoid a [...]

Obama announces two Amtrak board nominees

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President Barack Obama yesterday announced his intent to nominate Derek Kan and Anthony Coscia to serve on Amtrak‘s board. Kan is director of strategy at Genapsys. Previously, he served as a management consultant at Bain & Co. and as an adviser at Elliott Management. Kan also has served as a policy adviser to Senate Republican Leader [...]

Elizabeth Warren welcomes SMART TD to Providence

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In a video message, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass.) welcomed SMART Transportation Division attendees to the Providence, R.I. regional meeting held July 13-15, 2015. The video was played at the opening session July 13. Sen. Warren, who has made her life’s work the fight for middle class families, was elected to the United States [...]

DOT highlights grim state of U.S. infrastructure

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Washington, D.C. – The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire on July 31. Without action from Congress, federal funding for transportation will come to a screeching halt. And with it, so will traffic in many places across the country. Over the last six years, Congress has passed 33 short-term measures rather than funding transportation [...]