April 27, 2015

Amtrak’s Hoosier State line appears back on track

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The uncertain path of Amtrak’s Hoosier State line took another curve Monday when state officials said they are close to a deal to keep it running for the long term. The Indiana Department of Transportation said it has reached an “understanding” with federal railway officials to keep the Chicago-to-Indianapolis route running. Read the complete story [...]

UP names Hutcherson Human Resources VP

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Union Pacific named Sherrye Hutcherson vice president of Human Resources effective May 4. Hutcherson will be responsible for leading the company’s human resources function, which includes talent management, training and development, strategic workforce planning, recruiting, compensation and benefits, and diversity initiatives. Hutcherson h more than 20 years of experience in corporate and non-profit settings, with [...]

NTSB issues urgent call for improved rail tank cars

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​The National Transportation Safety Board April 6 issued four urgent recommendations calling for more robust and fire-resistant rail cars to be produced to safely carry flammable liquids such as crude oil and ethanol. In its recommendations, the Board calls for an aggressive schedule of replacing or retrofitting the current rail car fleet with better thermal [...]

Day at the Races: To win or place, you have to show

The fifth annual SMART Day at the Races will be held at Fonner Park Race Track in Grand Island, Neb., Friday, April 17, at 3 p.m., Union Pacific General Committee of Adjustment GO 953 reports. In previous years, attendees included members from a number of locals in Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa and Wyoming, from [...]

Obama vetoes GOP bill on union elections

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President Obama March 31 vetoed a Republican effort to overturn controversial union voting rules. Congress passed a resolution of disapproval this month on a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that sped up union elections. Read the complete story at The Hill.

Colo. Southwest Chief funding in jeopardy

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Funding to save the Southwest Chief did not make it into the budget proposed by the Colorado legislature this week, Colorado State Legislative Director Carl Smith reports. “We must now seek support from Gov. Hickenlooper and the Joint Budget Committee, which will review appropriation requests beyond the current proposed budget,” Smith said. “We need to [...]

Foxx sends six-year transportation bill to Congress

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WASHINGTON – Over the past year, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has visited more than 100 communities and heard one common story – shared by all – about crumbling infrastructure and dwindling resources to fix it with. Secretary Foxx March 30 sent to Congress his solution to this problem: a long-term transportation bill that provides [...]

BNSF adds new safety rules for crude oil trains

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OMAHA – BNSF Railway Co. has started taking additional safety measures for crude oil shipments because of four recent high-profile derailments in the U.S. and Canada, the railroad said Monday. Under the changes, BNSF is slowing down crude oil trains to 35 mph in cities with more than 100,000 people and increasing track inspections near [...]

SMART General President Nigro to retire April 30

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Joseph J. Nigro is retiring as general president of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART), effective April 30. He is stepping down in order to fully focus on recovering from a series of recent surgeries. The SMART General Executive Council on March 12 unanimously voted to name General Secretary-Treasurer [...]

Train-crew bill passes Minn. Senate committees

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A bill that would require two-person crews aboard Amtrak and most freight trains operating in Minnesota passed out of two Senate committees last week. The safety measure is a top legislative priority of theUnited Transportation Union, which represents about 70,000 workers in North America. Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope) introduced the legislation in the Senate, [...]