October 22, 2014

Freight train drivers report falling asleep on the job

Train operators in Canada’s burgeoning freight rail industry report falling asleep at the controls and coming to work exhausted at an alarmingly high rate, according to an ongoing CBC News investigation into rail safety. “I have had instances where I have just snapped back into reality, and kind of, for a few seconds, not really [...]

Members at Terminal Railroad ASD approve contract

SMART Transportation Division-represented trainmen and yardmasters employed by the Terminal Railroad Alabama State Docks have ratified a new six-year agreement by an overwhelming majority. The new agreement provides for six, three percent annual general wage increases retroactive to April 1, 2012, with the final three percent general wage increase on April 1, 2017, resulting in [...]

Lake Terminal Railroad employees ink six-year deal

SMART Transportation Division-represented trainmen, engineers and yardmasters employed by Lake Terminal Railroad have ratified a new six-year agreement by a unanimous vote. The agreement provides for six annual wage increases, beginning July 1, 2013, and rolls in previous cost-of-living adjustment increases, resulting in an 18.7 percent cumulative wage increase over the life of the contract. [...]

Train derails in Mer Rouge, La., two injured

Update:  KNOE 8 News has learned that the two railroad employees injured in Sunday’s train derailment are now both being treated for their injuries in a Shreveport hospital. Mer Rouge Police Chief Mitch Stevens says the train engineer has a compound fracture to his leg and some bumps and bruises. The chief says the conductor [...]

Report details needed work on Amtrak N.Y. tunnels

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NEW YORK – A new engineering report details damage to the Amtrak-owned Hudson River and East River tunnels following Superstorm Sandy and recommends a phased process to take individual tubes out of service for extended periods to perform the work required to maintain reliability of train movements in and out of New York City. The [...]

Credit for military service under the RRA

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Many railroad employees have at some time served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Under certain conditions, their military service may be credited as rail service under the Railroad Retirement Act. The following questions and answers provide information on how military service may be credited towards railroad retirement benefits. 1. Under what conditions [...]

Healthcare open enrollment online until Nov. 1

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Railroad employees covered under National Railway Carriers/UTU Health and Welfare Plan or the Railroad Employees’ National Health and Welfare Plan were mailed a notification of the online open enrollment period that began Oct. 1, 2014, and ends Nov. 1, 2014. The information should be specific to the current enrollment for you and your eligible dependents. [...]

CP sees profit doubling with longer trains

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Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) plans to more than double profit in four years as Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison seeks to improve efficiency by running longer, faster trains at Canada’s second-largest railroad. Revenue will probably climb to C$10 billion ($9 billion) in 2018 from last year’s C$6.1 billion, the Calgary-based railroad said yesterday in [...]

BNSF crew proposal was defeated by 5-1 margin

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Of 3,679 ballots returned, 3,056 were in opposition to the crew consist agreement. Nearly the same number of ballots cast were in opposition to a wage and rule settlement offered by the carrier. Under the proposal, engineers would have received a pay boost, and conductors would have been given the opportunity to become engineers. It [...]

Search is on for rail congestion cure

A soybean farmer from southwestern Minnesota and an official of a taconite mine in the northeast, and more than a dozen others, came to the same conclusion: Significant railroad delays throughout the Upper Midwest are hurting nearly everyone in business. Bill Gordon, who farms near Worthington, told a joint meeting of five Minnesota legislative committees [...]