September 20, 2014

Rail revenue adequacy faces challenge; stocks down

WASHINGTON – Individuals choose bank savings accounts based on the interest rate offered, assuming the investment is secure because no depositor has ever lost their principal on a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) backed account. By contrast, corporate investors must consider risk of their principal along with an anticipated rate of return on their investment. [...]

UTU wins protection for members on beer railway

WASHINGTON – The UTU has won a victory on behalf of 12 train and engine employees represented by the UTU and employed by Manufacturers Railway, a 124-year-old subsidiary of brewer Anheuser-Busch for which Manufacturers performs switching services in St. Louis. In March, the carrier sought permission from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) to discontinue operations, [...]

STB chairman: T&E workers ‘unsung heroes’

Elliott NEW YORK – Former UTU Associate General Counsel Dan Elliott, now chairman of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board — the federal agency regulating rail mergers, line sales, abandonments and labor protection — returned to his roots July 4, speaking to more than 500 UTU officers and members attending the union’s eastern regional meeting here. [...]

New STB member; RRB, NMB hopefuls waiting

WASHINGTON — A former John McCain aide, Ann Begeman, has been confirmed by the Senate as the one Republican on the three-member U.S. Surface Transportation Board. Two other presidential nominees — Walt Barrows to become the labor member on the Railroad Retirement Board, succeeding Butch Speakman; and Republican Thomas Beck to the National Mediation Board, [...]

Obama again names NMB, STB nominees

WASHINGTON — President Obama has renominated two Republicans to key transportation posts after the Senate failed to take action on the nominations last year. Nominated to the three-person National Mediation Board, for a term expiring July 1, 2013, is Republican Thomas M. Beck. Nominated to the three-person Surface Transportation Board, for a term expiring Dec. [...]

Senate failed to act on NMB, STB nominees

WASHINGTON — Two Obama administration nominations of Republicans to key transportation regulatory positions — one to the National Mediation Board; the other to the Surface Transportation Board — were returned to the White House by the Senate this week without confirmation action and will have to be resubmitted to the Senate in the new Congress. [...]

Train & engine worker jobs climb 10%

Almost 10,000 train and engine workers returned to work on Class I railroads through the first 11 months of 2010, with T&E jobs up almost 10 percent compared with November 2009, says the Surface Transportation Board, which tracks the data. The STB says 61,819 train & engine workers are now on the job with Class [...]

STB to consider partial rail reregulation

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Surface Transportation Board says it will hold a hearing Dec. 9 to review certain exemptions from economic regulation afforded railroads – specifically, commodity exemptions, boxcar exemptions and intermodal trailer and container exemptions. The exemptions from STB rate and service oversight were first imposed in 1976, and modified in 1980 following substantial [...]

Train & engine employment still rising

Train and engine employment continues to climb back toward pre-recession levels, with Class I railroads continuing to call back furloughed train crews. The Surface Transportation Board posted data for September, showing train and engine employment on Class I railroads grew almost 9 percent in September, versus September 2009; and was almost 2 percent higher than [...]

STB’s lone Republican member to depart

WASHINGTON – U.S. Surface Transportation Board member Charles “Chip” Nottingham said he will not seek reappointment when his term expires Dec. 31. Under federal law, STB members may continue serving for up to 12 months after expiration of their term, or until a successor is nominated by the White House and confirmed by the Senate. [...]