July 31, 2015

Senate to STB: don’t curtail freight rail investment

railyard, train yard; trains

The U.S. Senate recently pointed the way forward for the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) on the issue of ensuring sufficient revenue at freight railroads to pour back into the nation’s infrastructure. The Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, which was passed by unanimous consent in June, would provide commonsense process improvements. They would [...]

Capping rail revenues will threaten economic goals

Hamberger

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Association of American Railroads (AAR), leaders from its member railroads and economic experts today urged federal regulators to beware of upending numerous national economic goals if they choose to pursue re-instituting revenue caps on freight rail companies. Speaking before a Surface Transportation Board (STB) hearing on railroad revenue adequacy, AAR President and [...]

Second quarter financial results in for Class I railroads

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CSX Corporation announced all-time record quarterly financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Operating income for the railroad came in at more than $1 billion for the first time in company history. The railroad also saw an all-time record in operating ratio of 68.8 percent. Net earnings came in at $553 million or an [...]

SEPTA members ratify pact

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Twenty two months ago, SMART  Transportation Division Local 61 (Philadelphia, Pa.) train service members working at SEPTA ratified their contract from the previous round.  Now, for the first time in recent memory, these same members have ratified a new agreement governing the rates of pay and working conditions of conductors and assistant conductors on that [...]

NTSB Study: ECP brakes out-perform other systems

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Washington, D.C. – As part of its ongoing investigation of the derailment of a crude oil unit train in Casselton, North Dakota, the National Transportation Safety Board produced a Train Braking Simulation Study, which it placed into the investigation docket. The study was prompted by recent North American crude oil and ethanol train derailments that resulted [...]

Latest tank car, rail inspections turn up 62 defects

oil-train-rail

Another round of targeted tank car and rail inspections in New York found 62 defects, including one “critical” safety defect that required immediate corrective action, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The inspections are part of the governor’s efforts to address the safety of crude-by-rail shipments. State and federal teams examined 524 tank cars and [...]

FTA highlights public transportation accessibility

FTAlogo

Bethesda, Md. – Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Therese McMillan was at a bus stop just north of Bethesda Maryland to highlight the success of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the landmark legislation’s 25th anniversary. The Acting Administrator spoke about the great advances that have been made since the Act was passed, [...]

TSA update on ASAC recommendations

Homeland Security seal

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration has completed its review of 28 airport access control recommendations provided to the agency by the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) at the request of Secretary Jeh C. Johnson, Department of Homeland Security. The recommendations are the result of a comprehensive review conducted over the course of three months. [...]

Furloughed members may be entitled to benefits

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In light of the recent furloughs by Union Pacific and BNSF railroads, below is a Q&A offered by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) addressing common questions about unemployment benefits. To be eligible for unemployment benefits from the RRB, furloughed members must have had railroad earnings of at least $3,600 in 2014 and must also have [...]

Sen. Sherrod Brown pushes bill for safer oil tankers

oil-train-rail

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D. – Ohio) on Wednesday called for doing more to better protect Ohio communities by removing the older railcars transporting hazardous materials. “We’ve seen too many derailments of trains with unsafe cars, often carrying crude oil and other hazardous material. It’s time to put a stop to these dangerous and costly [...]