October 20, 2014

Obama nominates former Kan. DOT secretary for STB

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President Barack Obama has nominated former Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller to the Surface Transportation Board, reportedly replacing George Bush-appointee Francis Mulvey. Miller, a Democrat, was the Kansas secretary of transportation from 2003 to 2012, making her the first female and longest serving transportation secretary of that state. She was appointed by former Gov. [...]

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 [...]