September 3, 2015

Obama announces two Amtrak board nominees

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President Barack Obama yesterday announced his intent to nominate Derek Kan and Anthony Coscia to serve on Amtrak‘s board. Kan is director of strategy at Genapsys. Previously, he served as a management consultant at Bain & Co. and as an adviser at Elliott Management. Kan also has served as a policy adviser to Senate Republican Leader [...]

Senate Commerce Committee approves rail reforms

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation June 25, on a voice vote, approved the bipartisan “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act,” sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), with seven amendments. The measure improves rail safety, reauthorizes Amtrak services and improves existing passenger rail infrastructure. It [...]

TTD statement on Senate Amtrak Reauthorization bill

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Washington, DC — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement on the consideration of the Amtrak Reauthorization bill: “We applaud Senators Roger Wicker and Cory Booker for working in a bipartisan fashion to craft a sensible Amtrak Reauthorization bill that will be considered by the Commerce Committee today. The [...]

Will bill fix Amtrak problems that delay commuters?

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NJ Transit commuters could see benefits from a bill proposed by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to pump $6.6 billion over four years into Amtrak’s aging infrastructure, which could repair or replace some of the signals, overhead wire and track issues blamed for delays. The bill would add money to Amtrak’s budget [...]

Keep train safety system on deadline

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When a passenger boards a Metro-North train, there is every expectation to arrive at the destination safely. Yet Congress is considering easing a year-end deadline for railroads to install a technology — called Positive Train Control — that will prevent accidents like those due to speed on curves. Some of the nation’s railroads, including Metro-North, say they cannot [...]

PTC, two-person crews necessary after Amtrak tragedy

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By John Previsich, SMART Transportation Division President We are all aware of the recent incident that occurred on Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia. Three of our conductor Brothers and Sisters from Local 1370 in New York City and the engineer operating the locomotive have had their lives forever changed by a tragedy that could have [...]

NTSB issues second update on Amtrak derailment

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WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing investigation into the May 12, 2015, derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia, the NTSB today provides this update on the analysis of the engineer’s cell phone and related records. The NTSB is conducting a detailed examination of the engineer’s cell phone calls, texts, data and cell phone [...]

Amtrak crash quells railroads’ effort to reduce crews

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The Amtrak crash that killed eight people this month raised questions of the safety of one-engineer trains, thwarting the idea of reducing freight crews for now, Union Pacific Corp. Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz said. While cargo operators would save money with a single person in the cab instead of two people, that argument will be a [...]

Senate Democrats push for full funding of Amtrak

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Senate Democrats representing states along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund Amtrak’s funding request in the upcoming Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The Senators also unveiled a new report from the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center detailing all the unfunded and underfunded safety [...]

The price we pay for conservative scorn of Amtrak

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On Tuesday night, an Amtrak train spectacularly derailed on its way through Philadelphia, killing at least seven people. On Wednesday morning, a House appropriations subcommittee voted to cut federal funding for Amtrak by about 20 percent. Those are two dots Republicans don’t want you to connect. “Don’t use this tragedy in that way,” Rep. Mike [...]