September 17, 2014

Members defeat BNSF proposal to cut train crew size

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A tentative agreement to reduce train crew size on one of the nation’s largest rail carriers has failed, according to the labor union whose members voted on it this week. The pact would have eliminated on-board conductors on 60 percent of BNSF Railway, which spans the western two-thirds of the country. Read the complete story [...]

Coroner reports railroad worker was shot

The Kern County’s coroner’s office released the official cause of death for Robert Limon, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway worker who was found dead on Aug. 17. According to the coroner’s office, Limon died from multiple gunshot wounds and ruled the matter as a homicide. Read the complete story at the Tehachapi News.

Limiting oil-train info violates law, state tells railroads

Two railroad companies want to prevent the public from getting details about oil shipments through Washington state, information the federal government ordered be given to state emergency managers after several oil-train accidents. But restricting such information violates the state’s public-records law, so the state has not signed documents from the rail companies seeking confidentiality, said [...]

BNSF sets new hauling record, CEO says

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Burlington Northern Santa Fe carried a record 206,000 units in a single week, more than any other railroad has ever done, CEO Carl Ice announced at a North Texas Commission luncheon recently. And the Fort Worth-based railroad has carried 200,000 units or more six times already in 2014, putting BNSF on pace to shatter the [...]

OSHA orders BNSF to pay $526,000 to fired workers

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DENVER – Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has been ordered to pay more than $526,000 in back wages and other damages to two workers following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA found that the company, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was in violation of the whistleblower provisions [...]

Berkshire’s $34B BNSF investment nearly doubles

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If you think the man has lost his touch, think again. Warren Buffett’s ‘elephant-gun’ purchase of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, railroad for $34 billion in 2010 was impeccably timed (coming as it did a year off the 2008-2009 financial crisis) and a huge bet on the revival of the US economy. However, just [...]

BNSF adopting new locomotive locking mechanism

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In an effort to help secure unattended controlling locomotives of all trains against unauthorized entry, BNSF Railway has adopted a D575-style locking mechanism as a standard for new locomotives and is retrofitting existing locomotives with this design, the company announced April 23. In conjunction, air brake and train handling (ABTH) rules are being revised to [...]

Rail companies to report fertilizer delivery plans

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A federal oversight board told Canadian Pacific Railway and BNSF Railway that they have until Friday to report their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring planting of U.S. crops. The Surface Transportation Board’s decision Tuesday comes in response to a hearing it held last week on recent service [...]

Sen. honors SMART member from N.D. derailment

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WASHINGTON – On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp Feb. 10 shared the heroic story of Geoff Andersen, an engineer in training for Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway, from Larimore, N.D., whose actions during the recent train derailment near Casselton, N.D., prevented the dangerous explosions from the crash from spreading farther. (Andersen [...]