April 23, 2014

First Transit operators at U. of Tenn. go SMART

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Campus shuttle operators for the University of Tennessee’s transportation service chose the SMART Transportation Division as their collective bargaining representative in a representation election April 16. Of the approximately 50 eligible voters, 26 voted for SMART, 10 voted for no union representation and 13 chose not to participate in the election The operators transport students, [...]

AFL-CIO’s TTD thanks Foxx for engaging labor

WASHINGTON – Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, issued this statement in support of U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s effort to highlight the importance of investing in America’s surface transportation needs, and applauded the Secretary’s effort to engage transportation labor: “In today’s economy, where there are too few jobs and too many potholes [...]

Class I railroads report first quarter earnings

CSX reported to the public its first quarter 2014 earnings and dividend increase. The railroad announced net earnings of $398 million or $.040 per share. This is a decrease from last year’s first quarter reports of $462 million or $0.45 per share. However, revenue for the quarter grew two percent to $3 billion on volume [...]

CSX conductor robbed, injured in Ocala, Fla.

OCALA, Fla. – Ocala Police are searching for whoever robbed a freight train this week. The crime sent the train’s conductor to the hospital. Now the railroad company is offering a reward for the robber’s capture. People at the Ocala Laundromat where train tracks run underneath the Highway 200 overpass, couldn’t believe the crime that happened [...]

Rail workers’ health issues a growing safety concern

Visibility was 10 miles and the morning sun had pushed the temperature close to 90 as Danny Joe Hall guided his mile-long Union Pacific freight train east through the grasslands of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Near the farming town of Goodwell, federal investigators said, the 56-year-old engineer sped through a series of yellow and red signals warning [...]

DNA swab kits to help MTA bus drivers bust spitters

The MTA is about to get a little more CSI. City bus drivers will soon be armed with DNA swabs to gather evidence in the all-too-common event of an unhinged passenger spitting on them. Transit workers catch a loogie 14 times a month, the MTA estimated in 2011. Read more from the New York Post.

AAR issues safety alert: Razor blade on appliance

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The Association of American Railroads issued a a safety alert for all railroads in North America after the recent discovery of a razor blade wedged into a safety appliance handhold on a covered hopper car. The condition was discovered by a shop worker from the Anderson’s Inc. at the car repair shop located in Bay St. Louis, [...]

Previsch, TTD inform lawmakers about Amtrak

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A column by SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind informing lawmakers about the public’s support for Amtrak was published April 16 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In response to the column, Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges told Previsich and Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem, [...]

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. [...]

Ex-NJT rail chief lands job with N.Y. MTA

NJ Transit’s former railroad chief, who was pushed out in March following two tumultuous years that included the flooding of nearly 400 rail cars and locomotives during Superstorm Sandy, has landed a job within New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Kevin O’Connor, the former vice-president of rail at NJ Transit, started April 10 as Metro-North Railroad’s [...]