August 30, 2015

Female engineer inducted into Railroad Hall of Fame

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When Ramona Dockter was a senior in high school, her brother asked her what she wanted to be. She told him that she wanted to work on the railroad like her father, and she did. For several months, 18-year-old Dockter worked as a brakeman alongside engineers who helped her understand railroading, including Ray Schlosser, Franky [...]

Labor groups led lobbying blitz on oil-by-rail rule

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During the past two months, more than a dozen oil and rail industry groups jockeyed for attention as Obama administration officials put the finishing touches on a major crude-by-rail safety rule. But as firms such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Hess Corp. and CSX Corp. led one last lobbying blitz, several environmentalist and labor organizations paid [...]

SMART TD applauds DOT’s tank car final rule

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Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its final rule for rail shipments of flammable liquids. The rule calls for enhanced safety standards for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFT), including stricter tank car construction standards, the phasing out of older tank car models, the use of electronically controlled pneumatic brakes (ECP), and [...]

Risch: The election is over, let’s get to work

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By John Risch, National Legislative Director –  Thanks to all of you who helped in our Get Out the Vote Campaign. Your generosity with your PAC contributions, emails and direct mail efforts, volunteer phone calling, door knocking, and your conversations with friends and fellow members made a difference in many races. Even where our endorsed candidates [...]

It definitely matters whom we elect to Congress

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Congressional elections do matter. Actions of Congress can make a big difference when it comes to our job security, our wages, our fringe benefits, our retirement and safety in our workplace. In this issue of the SMART Transportation Division News are our official endorsements for the Nov. 4 election. These endorsements are based on recommendations [...]

Newspaper reports on SMART TD’s Risch

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One Bismarck man has ridden the rails from shoveling rock and swinging a spike mallet in the railyard to top official of the country’s largest railway employee union. John Risch has been elected national legislative director of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. His five-year term starts Oct. 1. Read [...]

Sen. Jay Rockefeller introduces clean coal legislation

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller unveiled an initiative to advance the commercial deployment of clean coal technologies. On May 5, Rockefeller introduced two bills in the U.S. Senate: The Carbon Capture and Sequestration Deployment Act of 2014 seeks to facilitate the development and commercial deployment of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technologies. The Expanding Carbon Capture [...]

Metrolink leading way installing PTC

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Positive train control (PTC) is modern technology to reduce train accidents, save lives and limbs, improve on-time performance and produce revenue-enhancing business benefits for railroads. PTC utilizes the satellite global positioning system (GPS), wireless communications and central control centers to monitor trains and prevent collisions by automatically applying the brakes on trains exceeding authorized speeds, [...]

UTU aiding locked out workers in six states

UTU locals and state legislative boards in Minnesota and North Dakota are collecting non-perishable foods to aid union brothers and sisters who have been locked out of their jobs in six states by American Crystal Sugar (Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International) and Cooper Tire & Rubber (United Steel Workers). This Journey for [...]

Conductor certification now a reality

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WASHINGTON – It’s now official. Conductor certification, mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, became effective Jan. 1. In a final rule, published by the Federal Railroad Administration Nov. 9, railroads were ordered to implement, by Jan. 1, a formal training program for certifying conductors and a formal process for training prospective conductors, thus [...]