May 27, 2016

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. […]

NTSB releases probable cause of Amtrak 188 crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a board meeting (webcasted live) yesterday, detailing the probable cause of the May 2015 Amtrak train 188 derailment outside of Philadelphia. The derailment caused eight people to lose their lives and over 200 injuries. The NTSB found that “the probable cause of the accident was the engineer’s acceleration […]

Risch, Harrison testify at Sleep Apnea hearing

National Legislative Director John Risch and Local 759 (Newark, N.J.) Secretary and Treasurer Craig Harrison testified at a public hearing today before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) about Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Harrison, who works for Coach USA, testified about his hardships as a result of being diagnosed […]

FRA, FMCSA to host listening sessions on Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host three public listening sessions to solicit information on the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation, its potential consequences for the safety of rail and highway transportation, and the […]

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 […]

THUD allocates $56.5 billion to fund transportation

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) passed $56.5 billion legislation to fund its programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The bill includes several positive allocations for rail: $1.7 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration –  $76 million above FY 2016 enacted level $525 million for TIGER Grants – $25 million […]

We need your comments on 2-person crews -Deadline extended to June 15

On March 15th, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a long overdue proposed regulation requiring that most trains in America have a minimum of two crewmembers. While SMART TD supports the core requirements of the rule, we believe that it can be strengthened and improved before this proposed regulation becomes final. We also expect the […]

Risch: RSAC assigns working group to review industry speed signs

When is the best time to plant a tree? A good answer is 20 years ago, because if you had planted it then, you could be sitting under it now. The second best time to plant a tree is today. That kind of sums up the way our legislative department work goes. For several years […]

FRA orders Amtrak to retrain workers in wake of crash

The Associated Press reports that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has ordered Amtrak to retrain employees on basic safety rules after an Amtrak train slammed into a backhoe last week, killing two maintenance-of-way (MOW) employees and injuring dozens of passengers. Loram Maintenance of Way spokesman Tom DeJoseph told reporters that the MOW workers on the […]

FRA rolls out website redesign

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently unveiled their website redesign. The site highlights numerous aspects of rail safety focused on the public, first responders and law enforcement. Click here to view the FRA’s upgraded site.