November 29, 2015

Congress introduces bill for transportation funding

U.S. Capitol Building; Capitol Building; Washington D.C.

A bill to extend federal surface transportation funding beyond Friday was introduced yesterday to give congressional conference committee members more time to work out their differences on multi-year transportation reauthorization legislation. Read more from Progressive Railroading.

Rule prohibiting driver coercion clears White House


A congressionally mandated regulation to prevent coercing drivers from violating the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations is close to becoming reality. The final rule was cleared by the White House Office of Management and Budget on Thursday, Nov. 12. The regulation has been much anticipated by truckers, who often find themselves forced with violating regulations [...]

Clarifying OSHA’s rule on whistleblower retaliation


Earlier last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule covering railroad whistleblower cases and employer retaliation. The rule serves to clarify whistleblower protections already in place and establishes procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints covered under the National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA) and the Federal Railroad [...]

Great Lakes asks FAA for more plane seats


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Passengers who fly Great Lakes Airlines could see a big change if the Federal Aviation Administration approves a request from the Cheyenne-based regional carrier. Officials at Great Lakes Airlines want all 19 passenger seats aboard their Beechcraft 1900D turboprops available for use. Only nine passenger seats are available on each aircraft now. [...]

Corporation to oversee N.Y. Hudson tunnel project

The project to develop a long-overdue new rail tunnel from New Jersey under the Hudson River to New York City took a major step forward on November 11 with the creation of a corporation within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to oversee the scheme. The Gateway Development Corporation (GDC) will coordinate [...]

Wis. unveils rail safety bill in wake of derailments


Wisconsin State Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) on Wednesday introduced legislation aimed at improving rail safety in her state. Co-authored by Wisconsin State Sens. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), the bill would provide for more state rail track inspectors; require railroads to submit prevention and response plans to the state; provide training [...]

VRE wants to begin service to Haymarket, Gainesville


VIRGINIA - Residents Tuesday night packed the lecture hall at Gainesville Middle School to hear about plans to extend Virginia Railway Express to their neighborhood. The state’s only commuter railroad is conducting a two-year, $4 million planning and engineering a study to examine the impacts and costs of extending VRE’s Manassas line west, and building a [...]

Senate toughens up on longer, heavier trucks


The U.S. Senate on Nov. 10, 2015, passed a motion opposing the allowance of twin 33-foot trailers on federal highways in a 56-31 vote. The amendment, “Motion to Instruct Conferees of the Highway Bill on Double 33-Foot Trailer Trucks,” would instruct conferees to allow the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary to issue a federal rule [...]

DOT denies appeals of high-hazard trains rule


On May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), published a final rule entitled, “Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains,” which adopted requirements designed to reduce the consequences and, in some instances, reduce the probability of accidents involving [...]

MTA makes way for LiRR under Grand Central


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials Tuesday began the process of breaking through the floor of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, marking the start of construction on one of several access points that will connect the terminal to a new concourse for Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) passengers being built below. That concourse is [...]