September 30, 2014

Tribute to late John Denver takes ‘country boy’ home

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For conductor and Norfolk Southern GO 680 Vice General Chairperson Robert C. “Bubba” Chandler III, the rhythm of the rails is in his bones. Long before he began riding the rails, the rhythm of the music was in his soul. A self-taught six-string guitar picker for more than 35 years, Chandler is an accomplished professional [...]

Treasurers’ workshop scheduled for October

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The SMART Transportation Division is conducting a local treasurers’ workshop at the Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport North Oct. 6-8, 2014. Attendance is limited to 25 registrants. Those interested in attending the workshop should contact the office of the SMART Transportation Division Updating/Auditing department. Call (216) 228-9400, or email Karen Cashin at kcashin@smart-union.org. While [...]

School bus driver killed during safety drill

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CLEVELAND – An Ohio school bus driver is being hailed as a hero after tossing a child out of the way of a rolling bus Tuesday morning before the vehicle rolled over the driver herself and she was killed. “She sacrificed her own life to save the life of this 10-year-old girl,” said Akron police [...]

Conductor who won suit over BNSF loses home

SNOHOMISH, Wash. – A Snohomish man says he’s out hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s owed and is struggling to support his family — all because he was trying to protect you from an oil train derailment. Moving into a new house is usually cause for celebration, but Curtis Rookaird, his wife, and their two [...]

APTA: 2/3 want increased public transit funding

WASHINGTON – As Congress gets into full swing after the August recess, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a survey Sept. 15 that shows the numbers of Americans that support increasing federal public transportation investment grew to nearly 68 percent. This represents a nearly two point increase over last year. The survey, which was [...]

2015 Regional Meetings

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The SMART Transportation Division will resume its regional meetings in 2015. Transportation Division officers and staff are currently working on securing locations for the summer of 2015. The regional meetings provide valuable educational opportunities to members and officers at all levels of the organization, as well as a fraternal experience that creates lasting friendships. No [...]

House bill would cut Amtrak funding

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The House is proposing a 40 percent funding cut for new Amtrak construction in a new passenger rail bill that was unveiled on Thursday by the chamber’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Amtrak has received about $1 billion per year from the federal government since its inception in 1971. Read the complete story at The Hill.

SMART TD supports Senate rail crew provision

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced railroad safety legislation Sept. 10 that continues dialogue on the nation’s rail safety laws. S. 2784, the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2014, contains language that requires freight trains be crewed with at least one federally [...]

Senators propose Rail Safety Improvement Act, 2014

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Sept. 10 announced a comprehensive overhaul of rail safety laws and protocols to enforce and enhance safety and reliability following a series of high profile rail catastrophes in New York, Connecticut and nationwide that has undermined public trust in rail infrastructure, safety protocols, management [...]

Members defeat BNSF proposal to cut train crew size

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A tentative agreement to reduce train crew size on one of the nation’s largest rail carriers has failed, according to the labor union whose members voted on it this week. The pact would have eliminated on-board conductors on 60 percent of BNSF Railway, which spans the western two-thirds of the country. Read the complete story [...]