July 28, 2016

Members make all the difference!

Dear  Member: Recently, Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas – one of the most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives – cosponsored our two-person crew legislation, H.R. 1763, the Safe Freight Act. This show of support follows cosponsorship from Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Both are […]

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. […]

SMART TD Legislative Director urges unity and action in speech to NARVRE

 “The greatest threat to Railroad Retirement and Social Security is if Congress tries to mess with either one, which would automatically affect our pensions,” said John Risch, National Legislative Director of SMART TD.  He made his remarks to the biannual convention of the National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees, Inc., (NARVRE) in St. […]

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 […]

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 […]

POLITICO mentions SMART TD poll

In their morning transportation tip sheet, POLITICO mentioned a poll recently conducted by DFM Research and SMART Transportation Division. The poll was conducted in Missouri and asked Missourians how they feel about issues in the transportation industry. Click here to read the poll results. Click here to read POLITICO’s write up (bottom of the page […]

FRA’s proposed rule requiring two-person crews irks rail industry, draws praise from safety advocates

The Federal Railroad Administration rolled out a long-awaited proposed rule this week requiring two-person crews on most trains. The rule comes three years after 47 people were killed in the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, train crash (which had a one-person crew) and almost a year after the deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia, also operated by one […]

SMART TD opposes auto control systems in FRA letter

In a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Associate Administrator for Safety Robert Lauby, SMART Transportation Division’s National Legislative Director John Risch called on the FRA to issue an emergency order prohibiting the use of auto control systems. In his letter, Risch maintained that the FRA should regulate these systems, just as cell phones […]

SMART TD, BLET petition FRA for speed signs

SMART TD and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET) have submitted a petition to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for rulemaking that mandates uniform warning speed signs in advance of a permanent speed restriction. SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch said, “Not having speed signs would be like listing all the traffic […]

SMART TD weighs in on CP’s NS takeover bid

“You don’t merge two railroads like this to create job opportunities, but to boost profits for a few investors,” stated John Risch, National Legislative Director of SMART Transportation Division, to Reuters reporter, Nick Carey. Click here to read the complete Reuters article.