May 23, 2015

SMART TD applauds DOT’s tank car final rule


Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its final rule for rail shipments of flammable liquids. The rule calls for enhanced safety standards for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFT), including stricter tank car construction standards, the phasing out of older tank car models, the use of electronically controlled pneumatic brakes (ECP), and [...]

DOT issues final rule for transporting liquids


Rule will make significant and extensive changes to improve accident prevention, mitigation and emergency response WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a final rule for the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail. The final rule, developed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in [...]

Applying for a Railroad Retirement annuity


Railroad employees who are planning to retire should be aware of what steps to take and what documents are required when applying for an annuity from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Being prepared can prevent needless delays and ensure that payments from the RRB begin as soon as possible after retirement. The following questions and [...]

Treasurers’ workshop scheduled for May 12-14


The SMART Transportation Division is conducting a second local treasurers’ workshop at its headquarters in North Olmsted, Ohio, May 12-14. 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 While all treasurers will [...]

OSHA unveils new “It’s the Law” poster


To help ensure that workers have a voice in their workplaces and the protection they deserve, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration unveiled a new version of its “Job Safety and Health – It’s The Law!” poster. The poster informs workers of their rights, and employers of their responsibilities. “This poster emphasizes a very important [...]

BNSF cuts back hiring, furloughs some workers


BNSF Railway Co. said Thursday it is cutting back hiring and instituting furloughs because of declining freight demand. “Our workforce needs are driven by our customers’ freight transportation needs. Customers’ volumes in the near term have come down somewhat from their prior estimates; as a result, we are having to adjust our workforce demand numbers [...]

Mother of former NLD James Stem dies


Josephine Mae Catlette Stem, 106, the mother of retired former National Legislative Director James Stem, died April 27. Stem said his mother was at peace and not in pain at the time of her death. Mrs. Stem was born Oct. 18, 1908, in the Brassfield Parish of Granville County, North Carolina. After graduating from Wilton High [...]

House GOP proposes tighter transportation spending

The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee released its fiscal-year 2016 budget proposals for transportation, housing and urban development, which call for cuts to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) discretionary spending, as well as reductions in the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) budgets. The bill proposes $17.2 billion in discretionary appropriations for [...]

Pa. hires expert on preventing oil-train mishaps


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is hiring a railroad engineering expert for three months to advise on ways to prevent oil-train accidents. Allan M. Zarembski, a University of Delaware research professor and director of the university’s railroad engineering and safety program, will study oil-train risk factors and make recommendations to improve operations in Pennsylvania, said Jeff [...]

Freight train hits parked train in N.M., one dead

A freight train struck another train head-on early Tuesday in southeastern New Mexico, killing one crew member on the moving train and injuring a second, a railroad official said. The accident occurred about 6:20 a.m. on a siding — a short section of tracks alongside the main tracks — about 10 miles southeast of Roswell. [...]