March 1, 2015

Tankers in W. Va. explosion were newer, safer model

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The railroad cars involved in the fiery derailment in West Virginia on Monday were a newer model that was supposed to be safer than older tankers blamed in other recent oil train explosions. The ruptured cars were built to specifications adopted by the railroad industry in 2011 amid criticism that older tankers were dangerously susceptible [...]

W. Va. train derailment sends oil tanker into river

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MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. – Fires burned for hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm in West Virginia, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said Tuesday. Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water [...]

Canada readies back-to-work legislation on CP strike

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Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. began operating a reduced freight schedule run by its managers on Feb. 15, after talks on a new contract broke down and more than 3,000 train engineers and conductors walked off the job. Canada’s No. 2 railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference failed to agree on terms including on scheduling [...]

Town Hall meeting scheduled on Anthem cyber attack

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Last week, Anthem informed us that their company was the target of a sophisticated cyber attack. This resulted in unauthorized access to its members’ personal information. The investigation into the security breach is ongoing. We know many of you want information and have questions about this attack. To review what Anthem knows and share with [...]

Nebraskans favor two-person rail crews, poll shows

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LINCOLN, Neb. – A union that represents railroaders says its recent survey of Nebraskans shows that more than 80 percent support requiring two-person crews on freight trains. “Because of the potential catastrophic tragedy that would result from a train accident of any nature, having two sets of eyes is a minimum safety requirement,” said Bob [...]

House committee approves Amtrak funding legislation

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The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Feb. 12 unanimously approved bipartisan legislation that improves the infrastructure, reduces costs, creates greater accountability and transparency, leverages private sector resources, and accelerates project delivery for Amtrak and the nation’s passenger rail transportation system. The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, or PRRIA (H.R. 749), was introduced by [...]

FMCSA starts committee to update bus driver training

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Feb. 10 announced the formation of a 26-member advisory committee that is tasked with updating classroom and new behind-the-wheel training requirements for professional truck and bus drivers. “Over the next 30 years, we’re going to be relying on trucks – and truckers [...]

SEPTA bus operators ink new two-year agreement

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Members of the SMART Transportation Division employed by Southeastern Pennsylvania Metropolitan Transportation Authority ratified Jan. 11 a 2.5-year agreement with the carrier. The contract, which is retroactive to April 1, 2014, and extends until Nov. 18, 2016, covers bus operators, trolley operators and conductors and operators on the Norristown High Speed Line. They are members [...]

African American railroaders forge history at museum

ROANOKE, Va. – Members of the African American Norfolk & Western Heritage Group in Roanoke stepped behind a curtain and took their first look at how the Virginia Museum of Transportation will present their history. “I think it’s great,” said Carroll Swain, 87, one of the group’s founding members. “Right now I think it’s something [...]

Foxx says PTC deadline will not be extended

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A Dec. 31 deadline for railroads to equip all trains with crash-avoidance technology known as “positive train controls” won’t be extended, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Feb. 11. Testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Foxx said his department is “continuing to hold the industry’s feet to the fire in getting PTC done as [...]