October 22, 2014

UP engineer rescues puppy tied to tracks

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MECCA, Calif. — Last week, a 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix was found tied to the railroad tracks. An engineer spotted an old man walking near the railroad tracks and noticed that the man had left something behind. The engineer was able to stop the train in time using his emergency brakes and discovered the pooch still [...]

First quarter 2012 rail profits wrap-up

BNSF reported a 15 percent increase in profit forf the first quarter 2012 versus first quarter 2011, citing improved pricing and higher fuel surcharges. BNSF’s first quarter 2012 operating ratio of 74.4 percent was one percentage point lower than for the first quarter 2011. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage [...]

Cubs not alone with problems in Chicago

CHICAGO — Newspapers and television and radio stations here June 14 were asking Union Pacific, “Is this any way to run a railroad?” after a shortage of UP engineers caused the cancellation of six morning Metra commuter trains and inconvenienced thousands of passengers trying to reach their jobs here. Metra pays UP to operate and [...]

CSX wreck claims 2; member loses limbs on BNSF

MINERAL SPRINGS, N.C. — CSX conductor Phillip E. Crawford Jr., 33, and locomotive engineer James Gregory Hadden, 36, were killed early May 24 in a rear-end collision here involving two CSX freight trains, according to news reports. Mineral Springs is some 30 miles south of Charlotte. Crawford was a member of UTU Local 970, Abbeville, [...]

UTU member personally aides striking Teamsters

SAN ANTONIO — For the scores of Teamster Union members in their fourth week on the picket line here in a strike against Pioneer Flour Mill, times are tougher than usual. UTU Local 756 (UP, San Antonio) Chairperson John Dunn understands the hardship, and as so often occurs among UTU members, Dunn became a point-of-light, [...]

Two Border Patrol agents die in Ariz. train mishap

GILA BEND, Ariz. — A westbound Union Pacific freight train hit a U.S. Border Patrol SUV here May 12 as two Border Patrol agents, reportedly chasing suspected undocumented immigrants, suddenly entered an unmarked private crossing in their unmarked SUV as the train approached. Both Border Patrol agents were killed in the collision, which occurred about [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 1st quarter 2011 profits

Most major North American freight railroads reported strong earnings for the first quarter 2011 versus first quarter 2010. Following is a wrap-up for the quarterly earnings reported by the railroads to the investment community. Not included is BNSF, which is privately held and does not report its financial results to the investment community. Mention is [...]

UP reports strong first quarter results

Union Pacific profit rose 24 percent in first quarter 2011 compared with first quarter 2010, the railroad reported April 20. This follows a 47 percent jump in Union Pacific profit for calendar-year 2010. UP Chairman Jim Young said the railroad would increase its 43,000 employee headcount by about 4,500 in 2011. The railroad reported a [...]

UTU Iowa Northern members ratify first pact

UTU-represented conductors and engineers on Iowa Northern Railway have ratified their first agreement covering wages, benefits and working conditions. Iowa Northern T&E employees chose the UTU as their collective bargaining agent in November 2008. The agreement was negotiated with the assistance of UTU Alternate Vice President Doyle Turner. “We will continue to look for railroad and [...]

OSHA follows through on whistle-blower complaints

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — A Union Pacific machinist here was ordered rehired with back pay in a ruling by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) that found Union Pacific violated the worker’s rights under the Federal Rail Safety Act of 2007. OSHA ruled that in firing the machinist, after he had reported a work-related [...]