October 23, 2014

Pressure on the rail industry rises

The pictures were impossible to ignore: crumpled rail cars jigsawed in on one another at a road crossing in a small American town.  The derailment of a Union Pacific train in Mer Rouge, Louisiana, this month was just one of the latest to hit the U.S. rail industry; the engineer and conductor were hurt, but [...]

Canadian Pacific ends CSX deal talks

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Canadian Pacific Railway says it has ended talks with U.S. counterpart CSX about a possible combination and plans no more discussions. The railway operator did not say why it ended talks, but it did note in a brief statement that regulatory concerns appear to be a major deterrent for railroads considering combinations. Read the complete [...]

UP boosts inspections in hazardous mountain passes

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Faced with public concern about the risks of crude oil shipments, the Union Pacific railroad last month boosted its rail inspection program on mountain passes in California and the West, dispatching high-tech vehicles with lasers to check tracks for imperfections. UP officials say they have leased two rail inspection vehicles, called geometry cars, doubling the [...]

Auxiliary Bluebonnets Lodge 331 to hold 5k run

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The Auxiliary of the UTU Bluebonnets Lodge 331 is holding a 5k run fundraiser. All ages are welcome to run in the race and medals and trophies will be awarded to the first place male and female in each age division and for the overall top male and female. Registration is open to all railway [...]

Railroads press against proposals to slow oil trains

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U.S. railroads are rallying customers, including lumber and steel companies, to fight a government proposal to slow trains hauling crude oil. Urged by railroads, more than a dozen companies and business groups are warning regulators that cutting speeds to 40 mph from 50 mph would have a cascading effect, delaying other trains sharing the tracks [...]

FRA gives findings from Metra safety assessment

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced the findings and recommendations from its focused safety assessment of Chicago’s Metra. The assessment finds Metra to be generally compliant with federal safety regulations, but also directs the commuter railroad to take immediate steps to enhance its safety culture, which is an [...]

44 injured in Arkansas train collision

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. – Forty-four people were injured as a passenger train collided with a freight train south of West Fork on Thursday morning (Oct. 16), according to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. Of those injured, five are in critical condition while the status of the other 30 is unknown, health officials say. Six [...]

Mother of former UTU Auxiliary President Menges dies

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Laurine G. Wildhaber, 82, the mother of former Auxiliary of the United Transportation Union International President Carol Menges, died Oct. 14, at the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics. Carol is the spouse of SMART Transportation Division Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges. Wildhaber was a 1949 graduate of Freeburg High School and later became [...]

GLA pilots land deal after years in holding pattern

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After nearly three years of mediation with Great Lakes Airlines in conjunction with the National Mediation Board, SMART Transportation Division-represented airline pilots employed by the company have finally reached an agreement with the carrier. Following several requests by the pilots’ local representatives to the NMB to be released from mediation, the affected pilots and SMART [...]

CN opens state-of-the-art employee training facility

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HOMEWOOD, Ill. – Canadian National Railway Company  Oct. 14 officially opened its new employee training center in suburban Chicago. The 55,000-square-foot facility will host up to 250 CN students from across the United States every week, with hands-on training for all key railway jobs. Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer, said: “The opening of [...]