April 1, 2015

Foxx urged to re-evaluate impact of trucks on roads

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Cory A. Booker (D-N.J) with U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) March 26 wrote to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging him to review results of a 2012 DOT study on the impact of heavy commercial trucks on the nation’s [...]

Bill to delay PTC deadline marked up by committee

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Members of the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday voted to approve the markup of a bill that would extend the deadline for affected rail companies to implement positive-train-control (PTC) technology until Dec. 31, 2020, instead of the current deadline that would require implementation by the end of this year. In addition to the five-year extension, the [...]

Kansas City school bus operators, monitors get deal

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The school bus operators and monitors of Local 1704 at Kansas City, Mo., have obtained a first contract with First Student, Inc., the operator of school bus service for the city’s school district. This is their first agreement under SMART Transportation Division representation and Vice President–Bus Calvin Studivant said the employees’ choice already paid off. [...]

Bill to extend PTC implementation delays safety

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The SMART Transportation Division, in conjunction with Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, issued the following statement on the U.S. Senate markup of a Positive Train Control (PTC) extension bill: “A five-year extension of the deadline by which Positive Train Control (PTC) technology must be implemented cannot be considered in a vacuum or in isolation. Rail employees, [...]

Passenger rail in Colorado needs your help

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Colorado State Legislative Director Carl Smith asks that all members from the state call or email key legislators to pass the bill funding Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. “A bill to save the Southwest Chief will be heading to the Colorado Legislature’s Senate Appropriations Committee very soon. We need you to contact key legislators today to help [...]

Common-sense fix for truck-train crashes rejected

RALEIGH, N.C. – America’s railroads want five more years to stop train wrecks using a high-tech system costing more than $15 billion. But experts tell The Associated Press that it won’t keep trains and trucks from crashing together unless both industries use a common-sense solution available right away: actually talking with each other before crossing into [...]

Mayors call on Congress to pass transportation bill

BOSTON – Led by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Vice President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, mayors pledged March 23 to work together to urge Congress to move past partisanship, including through local action and lobbying Washington, at a [...]

BNSF to begin using aerial drones with cameras

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Website Xconomy.com is reporting that BNSF Railway will begin using aerial drones equipped with cameras to “conduct regular inspections of railway infrastructure and rights of way.” According to the Federal Aviation Administration website, any operation that does not meet the statutory criteria for a public aircraft operation is considered a civil aircraft operation and must [...]

Please support benefit for SMART family member

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As an organization, we are known for digging deep into our pockets and reaching out to those less fortunate and in need when a tragedy strikes. Michigan State Legislative Director Jerry L. Gibson and his family have been dealing with a tough issue of their own and Assistant State Legislative Director Don Silseth is asking [...]

CN/GTW members ratify retroactive agreement

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SMART Transportation Division-represented conductors and trainmen employed by the Canadian National/Grand Trunk Western Railroad unanimously ratified a new six-year agreement March 17, Vice President Doyle Turner reports. The agreement provides for six annual wage increases retroactive to Aug. 1, 2010, with the final wage increase to be effective Aug. 1, 2015, totaling 18.6 percent and [...]