July 28, 2016

SMART TD, BLET: Federal regulators must prohibit one-person freight train crews

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) President Dennis Pierce, issued a joint statement, following their submission of their comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on train crew size. “Operating freight trains with one-person train crews is unsafe and must be prohibited. That is the message we […]

SMART TD, BLET submit joint comments on FRA proposed two-person crew rule

On Wednesday, June 15, SMART Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) submitted their joint comments on the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) proposed two-person crew rule. While both unions strongly support the proposed rule, they suggested in their comments that the rule be made stronger before being made final. “We firmly […]

FRA clarifies “Smartwatch” Rule – Fitbits restricted

The question? May an employee wear a device like a “Garmin Vivofit” or “Fitbit” wristband that acts like a watch, and counts the steps that an individual takes each day?  The devices are not searching for the internet, or Wifi, to do this and must be synchronized with Bluetooth on a separate device. The devices […]

SMART TD contests radio distractions to FRA

In a letter dated May 26, 2016, to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch brought attention to the fact that some railroads are requiring needless radio broadcasts to the already-congested radio airways, which caused a derailment and loss of life in the case of the May 2015 Amtrak crash. […]

Ill. county passes resolution supporting proposed two-person crew rule

The following is an article written by SMART Transportation Division Illinois State Legislative Director Bob Guy and was originally published on the Illinois State Legislative Board website, www.illini.utu.org. Upon the urging of SMART, the Will County Board passed a resolution supporting the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) proposed two-person crew rule. The deadline to submit comments […]

Side impact test and analyses of a DOT-111 tank car

Transportation Technology Center, Inc. conducted a side impact test on a DOT-111 tank car to evaluate the performance of the tank car under dynamic impact conditions and to provide data for the verification and refinement of a computational model. The tank car was filled with water to approximately 97 percent of its volume and sealed […]

FRA announces final rule to prevent runaway trains

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a final rule to prevent unattended trains that carry crude, ethanol, poisonous by inhalation (PIH), toxic by inhalation (TIH), and other highly flammable contents from rolling away.  Railroad employees who are responsible for securing a train will now be permanently required to communicate with another qualified individual […]

House GOP proposes tighter transportation spending

The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee released its fiscal-year 2016 budget proposals for transportation, housing and urban development, which call for cuts to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) discretionary spending, as well as reductions in the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) budgets. The bill proposes $17.2 billion in discretionary appropriations for […]

FRA approves $1B loan to N.Y. MTA for PTC system

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced April 24 that the Federal Railroad Administration has approved a loan of $967.1 million to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the improvement of the safety of the signal systems used by the MTA’s two commuter railroads, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. The loan, which is the largest […]

DOT takes action on movement of energy products

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced with its agencies, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a package of targeted actions that will address some of the issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The volume of crude […]