December 21, 2014

Previsich testifies before senators on passenger rail

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SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Dec. 10 at the Russell Senate Office Building. The hearing focused on the current state of intercity passenger rail in the United States, the need to invest [...]

Spending bill provisions for Amtrak, railroads

According to The Washington Post, a $1.01 trillion spending bill that will keep most of the federal government funded through September retains Amtrak’s current funding of $1.39 billion, the same amount it currently receives. It also provides $3 million to expand inspections along the roughly 14,000 miles of track used by trains hauling oil tankers. To view the [...]

Collection boxes set up for stabbed Amtrak conductor

Collection boxes have been set up at Chicago’s Union Station to accept donations to assist Amtrak conductor and SMART Transportation Division member Dontreal “Donnie” Bankhead and his family, according to Illinois State Legislative Director Robert Guy. Bankhead, 40, a member of Local 168 at Chicago, was seriously injured while performing his duties aboard Amtrak Train [...]

Amtrak stabbing suspect: Had to fight a demon

NILES, Mich. – The man accused of stabbing four people on an Amtrak train told police that it started after a man he was talking to on the train “turned into a demon and he had to fight them,” according to court documents obtained by 24 Hour News 8. “Michael Williams said he did not [...]

Court questions Amtrak’s role in setting standards

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided Monday as it considered whether Amtrak, the government-owned passenger rail company, wields too much clout in setting regulations that private freight carriers also must follow. The nine justices heard arguments in a challenge by the Association of American Railroads to a federal law that gives Amtrak, a [...]

Four stabbed, including conductor, on Amtrak train

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Four people were stabbed, including a conductor, on an Amtrak train tonight (Dec. 5) and a suspect was taken into custody, police said. The stabbing occurred about 7 p.m. in Niles, Mich. Read the complete story at ABC News.

Opinion: Nice things happen on trains

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Imagine you’re in charge of a company that serves the public good; imagine your company, unlike others in the same business, has to ask for money every year to keep itself, an arterial of the country’s transportation system, running. Imagine that fracking, another part of America’s “essential business,” is gumming up your works. Imagine that [...]

Amtrak delivers strong FY 2014 financial results

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Amtrak Nov. 25 reported unaudited record revenue totaling approximately $3.2 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014, representing the fifth consecutive year of revenue growth, and the eighth out of the past nine years. In FY 2014, America’s Railroad® covered 93 percent of its operating costs with ticket sales and other revenues, up [...]

Amtrak asks STB to investigate, NS, CSX

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WASHINGTON – Amtrak is taking action to improve the on-time performance (OTP) of its trains that operate over tracks controlled by other railroads. In a complaint filed on Nov. 17, Amtrak is asking the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to investigate Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation for causing unacceptable delays for passengers traveling between Chicago [...]

Ill. SLD Guy’s letter supporting Amtrak published

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SMART Transportation Division’s Illinois State Legislative Director Bob Guy responded to a “letter to the editor” published in the Nov. 5 issue of the The News-Gazette and Guy’s letter was published by the newspaper Nov. 13. The original letter by Corrine Ann Williams of the Heritage Foundation was a call to stop increased funding for [...]