September 1, 2014

Death on tracks lingers for engineers, conductors

Sometimes, when a train bears down on a person who has gotten onto the rails, his eyes meet the engineer’s just before impact. “We have fatalities where people just lay themselves on the tracks, and they could be possibly staring right up at you,” said Anthony Bottalico, 58, a union official who began working as [...]

President Nigro presents vision for SMART future

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SMART General President Joseph Nigro opened the proceedings of the First SMART General Convention Aug. 6 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a message stressing education, strength and unity. Following the presentation of the Colors by the Palo Verde High School Junior ROTC and the singing of the Canadian and U.S. national anthems by [...]

Report offers analysis of Super Bowl rail delays

NEWARK, N.J. — A report released Friday on New Jersey Transit’s Super Bowl performance in February describes confusion on the ground and disagreement among top officials as train delays worsened, but praised the agency’s overall performance. The 148-page report was commissioned by NJ Transit’s board of directors and prepared by the law firm of McElroy, [...]

Previsich, Wytkind want increased rail funding

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Amtrak links the Hudson Valley to the rest of North America. From Hudson and Albany, you can take the train to western New York, to New York City and to Canada. And people do just that: Last year, Amtrak’s Empire Service alone brought more than a million riders through the Hudson Valley, carrying business travelers [...]

More gains in carload, intermodal for latest week

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U.S. rail traffic gained ground in the week ending Aug. 2, 2014, effectively wrapping up a solid month of gains, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Aug. 7. U.S. freight carload volume for the latest week rose 5.6 percent measured against the comparable week in 2013, while U.S. intermodal volume continued to flex muscle, up [...]

Linda Darr to head short line rail association

WASHINGTON — The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has selected Linda Bauer Darr to succeed Richard F. Timmons as the Association’s President. Timmons is retiring at the end of 2014. Darr is currently the President and CEO of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), serving in that capacity since 2007. She [...]

Rails post highest weekly coal carloads of year

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U.S. railroads hauled the highest number of carloads so far this year in the week that ended Saturday (Aug. 2), partly driven by low stockpiles at US utilities and pressure from producers to move more coal. The Association of American Railroads said Thursday (Aug. 7) that weekly coal carloads originated on all U.S. railroads totaled 116,881, [...]

Conductor hospitalized for possible hazmat contact

BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. — A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train conductor was taken to Texoma Medical Center in Denison early Wednesday morning after he possibly came in contact with hazardous materials. Emergency crews responded to the train tracks just north of Platter Road around 3 a.m. A BNSF railroad conductor was inspecting a rail car when he [...]

DOT: Rails lack insurance for oil train disasters

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The insurance policies that most railroads have cannot cover the costs of many crashes or derailments involving oil trains, the Department of Transportation said. New safety rules for oil trains proposed last week would not mandate higher insurance levels than the $25 million common to the industry. But a DOT analysis released along with the [...]

New rail hazmat training programs being offered

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Members of the Rail Workers Hazmat Training Program Advisory Board, including SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem, met July 10, 2014, to review and discuss the offerings and progress of the program since the transition from the National Labor College (NLC) to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The board discussed issues related [...]