November 22, 2014

Canada bans one-man crews on hazmat trains

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OTTAWA — Transport Canada July 23 announced an emergency directive pursuant to section 33 of the Railway Safety Act to increase rail safety, banning one-man crews on trains hauling one or more cars loaded with hazardous materials. Although the cause of the accident in Lac-Mégantic remains unknown at this time, Transport Canada is moving forward to [...]

Senate confirms Tom Perez for Labor secretary

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The Senate confirmed Tom Perez as Labor secretary on a 54-46 party-line vote July 18, making him the second of President Barack Obama’s nominees to win confirmation this week following a deal to preserve the filibuster. Perez won cloture Wednesday on a 60-40 vote, with six Republicans joining 52 Democrats and two independents. His confirmation [...]

Win trip to Washington through UTU PAC contest

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The SMART Transportation Division’s Legislative Office in Washington has announced a contest for SMART TD members, with a three-day, two-night, all-expenses-paid trip to our nation’s capital as the grand prize. The SMART TD member who raises and returns the largest amount of UTU PAC fund contributions between July 1 and Labor Day (Sept. 2) will [...]

Foxx may be sworn in this week as DOT leader

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Former Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx is expected to be sworn-in as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on Tuesday after he officially resigned his position with the city on Monday afternoon. Foxx resigned as Charlotte’s mayor during a special meeting with city council on Monday afternoon. Read the complete article at television station WBTV.

NMB director of mediation and ADR to retire

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WASHINGTON – The National Mediation Board (NMB) announced June 25 that Larry Gibbons, director of NMB mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution services, will retire in September. Gibbons has overall responsibility for managing the agency’s mediation program. He is credited for improving staff training and development and the effectiveness of the NMB mediation and ADR programs. [...]

Stem testifies on safety before Senate committee

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SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation June 19 at a hearing to explore improvements in freight and passenger rail safety. Stem testified on a variety of issues including fatigue, positive train control, the shipment hazardous materials, new technologies and worker training. Stem [...]

STB OKs Calif. high-speed project

SACRAMENTO – The California High-Speed Rail Authority won approval Thursday from a federal railroad oversight board to start construction this summer on the first leg of what would be the nation’s first bullet train. In a 67-page decision issued June 13, the Surface Transportation Board ruled 2-1 that the state could begin work on the [...]

Foxx clears first hurdle, nomination goes to Senate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx has cleared a major hurdle in his bid for Secretary of Transportation. His nomination cleared a Senate committee on June 10.  According to committee chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the nominations of Mayor Anthony Foxx, to be [...]

Conn. senators call for national rail trust fund

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A trust fund should be established to ensure the upkeep and safety of the nation’s rail system, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday, labeling the recent derailment in Connecticut and other accidents a call to action. Blumenthal, fellow U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch appeared [...]

Szabo: Build more integrated rail systems

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The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo: Friends: We know well the population growth, mobility, and environmental challenges revealing a clear need to invest in passenger rail, and of passenger rail’s skyrocketing ridership – be it intercity, commuter, light, or heavy. But rail is not [...]