April 17, 2014

Report: Northeast Corridor is an economic engine

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A new report, “The Northeast Corridor and the American Economy,” produced by the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission (NEC Commission) details how the Northeast Corridor (NEC), carrying 750,000 daily Amtrak and commuter/regional rail passengers, “is a critical national asset, an economic engine for the U.S., and contributes about $50 billion a year to [...]

No culture of safety at NJT, union official says

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Conductors assaulted on trains. Employee facilities that are filthy and infested with rodents. A culture where “an on-time train is better than a safe train.” An New Jersey Transit union official said Tuesday (April 8) there is no culture of safety at the statewide transportation agency. “We just go about our work every day and we’re not [...]

Railroads stress safety after deaths up in 2013

Railroads are launching a new campaign to highlight the dangers of being near train tracks after a spike in rail deaths last year. At this time last year, the railroads were proudly calling 2012 their safest year ever as derailments and crossing accidents kept declining. But last year, the number of trespassing deaths rose by [...]

Senate committee supports short-line tax credit

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) yesterday announced that an effort to extend the short-line tax credit for two years cleared a first big hurdle by passing out of the Senate Committee on Finance as a part of the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, which would reinstate a package of expired tax provisions. [...]

Southwest Chief could be rerouted from rural Colo.

From the towns of Lamar and La Junta on the Eastern Plains, south to Trinidad, the Southwest Chief has made stops since 1971 as it shuttles passengers between Chicago and Los Angeles. But soon the picturesque views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that passengers have enjoyed could be replaced by the flat plains of [...]

22 hurt after car smashes into SEPTA bus

TWENTY-TWO PEOPLE were hospitalized yesterday after a violent crash sent a SEPTA bus careening into a building in Chinatown, authorities said.  The collision happened just before 5 p.m. yesterday at the intersection of 11th and Vine streets, SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said. A Mazda sedan blew through a red light on Vine Street and slammed [...]

FRA amends train emergency preparedness rules

The Federal Railroad Administration announced a Final Rule (FR) amending its existing Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness regulations.   The revisions make explicit that existing requirements for initial and periodic training, operational efficiency tests and inspections of certain railroad personnel apply not only to on-board crew members and control center personnel, but also to the railroad’s [...]

Local 240 to have union meeting Wednesday

Local Secretary & Treasurer Dale Biggs of SMART Transportation Division Local 240 at Los Angeles reports that the local’s next monthly meeting will be held Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at Ozzie’s Diner, upstairs. Biggs is compiling an email list to send out notices of meetings. Please contact Biggs with your email address if you [...]

Train engineer in fatal derailment has sleep apnea

The National Transportation Safety Board will announce this week that the Metro-North Railroad engineer at the controls last year during a fatal derailment in the Bronx had an undiagnosed sleep disorder, according to a person with knowledge of the planned announcement.  The engineer, William Rockefeller, suffered from severe sleep apnea, which appeared to be aggravated [...]

SMART TD delegates must attend both conventions

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In the March issue of the SMART Transportation Division News, we celebrate the 100th birthday of former President Al Chesser, the very first elected president of the United Transportation Union. This is a remarkable achievement for a remarkable man! Brother Chesser’s history of commitment and dedication to this organization and all of organized labor is [...]