October 31, 2014

BNSF crew proposal was defeated by 5-1 margin

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Of 3,679 ballots returned, 3,056 were in opposition to the crew consist agreement. Nearly the same number of ballots cast were in opposition to a wage and rule settlement offered by the carrier. Under the proposal, engineers would have received a pay boost, and conductors would have been given the opportunity to become engineers. It [...]

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 [...]

Deadly Arkansas train crash cleanup ongoing

An important highway in northeast Arkansas could stay closed into next week as crews clean up the wreckage left from a head-on train collision, a highway official said Wednesday. Two railroad workers were killed and two others were injured when the Union Pacific freight trains crashed. Read the complete story at ClaimsJournal.com.

NTSB: Crash wiped out signal that could hold clues

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A federal investigator said Tuesday (Aug. 19) that a signal that would have given a final instruction to the crew of a railroad train involved in a fatal head-on collision was damaged in the accident but could still hold clues as to what happened. Crews are hopeful they can recover data [...]

Blumenthal wants to convene Senate PTC hearing

WASHINGTON – A group of Connecticut lawmakers is calling for action on rail-safety technology that could prevent future train collisions like the fatal “deadman’s curve” crash late last year in the Bronx. The Positive Train Control technology, or PTC would override human error by automatically slowing or stopping trains that are speeding, entering work zones [...]

AAR: FCC policies delaying PTC

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WASHINGTON – In a new report updating the industry’s progress on installing positive train control, the nation’s freight railroads said that a year-long moratorium on installing 20,000 communication antennas imposed by the Federal Communications Commission, followed by a lengthy federal approval process mandated by the agency, has seriously delayed the implementation of nationwide interoperable PTC. [...]

Metrolink to roll out collision avoidance system

The Metrolink passenger railroad Thursday (Feb. 20) will become the first commuter service in the nation to roll out a sophisticated collision avoidance system designed to overcome human error. Had so-called positive train control been in place five years ago, experts say, it would have prevented Metrolink’s deadly Chatsworth crash. In that accident, an engineer [...]

FCC to revive PTC effort stalled by tribal reviews

Regulators proposed a streamlined process for American Indian tribes to complete reviews that railroads have said make it difficult to meet deadlines for finishing the biggest rail-safety project in U.S. history. Tribes would get less time to review, for historic significance, proposed locations for 22,000 U.S. communications antennae and would need to accept bulk applications [...]

NTSB: We need automatic braking on all trains

Last month, a Metro-North Railroad train plunged off the track while taking a sharp curve at 82 miles per hour, killing four and seriously injuring 20. In the aftermath, some experts said the disastrous results could have been prevented by positive train control (PTC). An automatic braking system built to slow down dangerous trains, PTC [...]