April 18, 2014

Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget would destroy Amtrak

CHICAGO (April 2, 2014)–Midwest High Speed Rail Association Executive Director Richard Harnish issued the following statement on Wednesday in response to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget, which would completely eliminate funding for Amtrak: “Buried deep in the pages of Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed 2015 federal budget today is a murder. The victim of this [...]

Mo. House to vote on right-to-work today

The Missouri House of Representatives plans to vote on right-to-work legislation today, April 2. State Legislative Director Ken Menges, asks that all Missourians call their state representatives today and tell them to vote no on right-to-work. “Tell your Representative that these laws being pushed by out-of-state corporate CEOs are bad for Missouri’s working families: they’ll [...]

Panel finalizes plans to alter Chicago’s transit system

A task force formed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to examine transit service in the Chicago area has concluded that the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) should be abolished and Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace be consolidated under a single “integrated” board with three operating units, according to a report submitted to the governor [...]

The most efficient mode of transportation is a train

Think hybrids that go 60 miles on a gallon are efficient? Trains can go eight times as far with 2,000 pounds in their backseat. And they’re only getting smarter. Trains are no longer the lumbering hunks of metal of the 20th century. Today’s locomotives are computers on wheels, and they’re beginning to take business from [...]

Southwest Chief: Staying on track

Colorado’s Senate Transportation Committee will consider the bill to save the Amtrak Southwest Chief rail line at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The passenger rail route, which runs through. Southeastern Colorado, has been targeted by Amtrak for possible elimination in 2015 if funding for track improvements and maintenance are not found. House Bill 1161, sponsored by state [...]

Railroad track inspector has 4,500 miles of worry

WINTHROP, Minn. - Jim Brandt’s steel-toed boots treaded nimbly across the railroad ties as he scanned the track around him for loose bolts, unfastened clips, gaping switches — anything that could prove dangerous for massive trains. Everything looked good, he confirmed with a quick nod; time to move on. The rest of the state’s 4,500 miles [...]

Girl takes on quest to thank railroad worker

Samantha Alvelo has thanked God for saving her young life after a train rolled over her three decades ago in Havelock, but she has always wanted to thank Joe. She finally got that chance on Friday night. Alvelo completed a decade-long search for the railroad worker she credits with saving her life when she talked [...]

FRA issues final rule on critical incident stress plans

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The Federal Railroad Administration issued a final rule requiring certain major railroads to develop critical incident stress plans that provide for appropriate support services to be offered to their employees who are affected by a “critical incident.” Critical incidents refer to events such as a highway-rail grade-crossing accidents or a train striking another employee or [...]

Guest registration for Transportation Division convention

Members planning to attend the 2014 SMART Transportation Division Convention, June 30-July 2 in San Diego, as a guest are asked to please complete the guest registration form and return it to the Transportation Division office in North Olmsted, Ohio. It is requested that all members attending the convention as guests (non-delegates) register themselves and [...]

Chicago Rail Link employees get six-year deal

Trainmen and engineers represented by the SMART Transportation Division and employed by Chicago Rail Link have ratified a new six-year agreement, with 95 percent of the affected employees voting in favor of the deal. The agreement provides for annual wage increases with full back-pay, retoractive to Oct. 1, 2010; limits employee health and welfare contributions [...]