Bipartisan support emerges for railroad safety bill in U.S. Senate
A bipartisan consensus that Congress should act to toughen regulations on railroads emerged Wednesday as senators heard fresh testimony on the fiery hazardous train derailment last month on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
Class I employment rose in February 2023
Year over year, the number of transportation (train and engine) employees increased 7.99%.
UP reaches paid sick leave agreements with eight unions
On the heels of deals at other Class I railroads, Union Pacific has reached agreements with eight unions to provide workers up to seven paid sick days.
Rail traffic down 9.4% from 2022 for week ending March 22, 2023
In the first 11 weeks of 2023, intermodal traffic is down 9.6% compared to the same period in 2022.
NTSB examines pressure relief devices from East Palestine derailment
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board examined and tested pressure relief devices removed from the five vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) tank cars involved in the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio.
FRA issues supplemental NPRM for emergency escape breathing apparatus standards
The FRA on March 22 released a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to expand occupational noise exposure regulations and require railroads to provide locomotive crews with appropriate “atmosphere-supplying emergency escape breathing apparatuses” when their trains transport hazardous material.
Editorial: Trains are huge polluters, and California regulators should clean them up
Communities near railyards, ports and other freight corridors have long been hit hard by air pollution from dirty, old locomotives.
NTSB: NS train that derailed in Alabama lacked needed couplers
A Norfolk Southern train that derailed in Alabama earlier this month lacked required alignment control couplers for two of its locomotives and a company inspection did not identify their absence, federal investigators said Monday.
Railroads were trying to remake their image, then a train derailed in Ohio
“In the eyes of the public, the railroads went from bad service to being bad bosses, to now being dangerous within 12 months,” said Anthony Hatch, owner of transportation consulting firm ABH Consulting. “Railroads will pay a price – all of them, not just Norfolk Southern.”
Michigan right-to-work repeal heading to governor
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will decide the fate of Michigan’s right-to-work law. Tuesday, the Michigan House of Representatives voted to repeal the right-to-work law.
Lawmakers and unions tell NS CEO that railroad’s voluntary safety plans aren’t enough
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw returns to Capitol Hill Wednesday facing pressure to support rail safety legislation proposed in the wake of his railroad’s massive toxic spill from a February 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Unifor reaches tentative agreement with CN, averting a strike
Unifor has reached tentative collective agreements with CN Rail, averting strike action.
What to know about the Swinomish/ BNSF oil train suit as federal trial begins
Without permission from the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, BNSF in 2012 began transporting 100-car trains of highly combustible crude oil through Swinomish land, court documents show.
NTSB issues preliminary reports on 2 Norfolk Southern incidents
The National Transportation Safety Board released two preliminary reports Monday that describe the events surrounding two separate incidents involving Norfolk Southern trains.
KCS working to ease congestion in Mexico as CP merger date approaches
Kansas City Southern de Mexico is battling congestion in key terminals likely caused by a combination of stronger than expected traffic growth and train crew shortages.
Can states keep trains from blocking crossings? Supreme Court wants feds to weigh in
The U.S. Supreme Court has invited the federal government to weigh in on whether state and local governments can regulate how long trains can block railroad crossings.
Sweatt NMB nominee to replace Fauth
President Joe Biden March 20 nominated Republican Loren Sweatt to succeed Republican Gerald W. Fauth III on the National Mediation Board (NMB). Senate confirmation is required.
Stockholder rights law firm sues Norfolk Southern over PSR
A law firm specializing in stockholder rights is filing a class-action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern for pursuing precision scheduled railroading (PSR) and making operational adjustments such as longer trains and headcount reductions.
East Palestine a case to support two-person crews
One thing the Railway Safety Act of 2023 does is mandate at least two-person train crews. That’s something the East Palestine train had on Feb. 3; if they didn’t, the BLET’s John Esterly says, the disaster could have been much worse.
Legislators frustrated with Norfolk Southern CEO’s appearance before Pa. Senate committee
One Senator appeared “incredulous” at Shaw’s testimony, and one union leader present at Monday’s hearing also expressed similar frustrations with Shaw’s appearance.
One-person trains “make no sense” Senator Brown says
With the Norfolk Southern Rail Yard in Cleveland as a backdrop and leaders of the BLET by his side, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) held a news conference Monday calling for passage of the bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023.
Welcome aboard, Brother Gomez
Brother Jorge R. Gomez, a BNSF locomotive engineer and member of Division 264 in El Paso, Texas, has joined the BLET National Division staff as a full-time Special Representative. BLET National President Eddie Hall said his appointment became effective March 13, 2023
Registration open for Legislative Representative training class, June 5-9, 2023
The BLET Education & Training Department, in conjunction with the National Legislative Office, will conduct a class for BLET Division Legislative Representatives in Washington, D.C., from June 5-9, 2023.
BLET members ratify Springfield Terminal implementing agreement
The Implementing Agreement addresses changes in operations resulting from the transaction and applies protective conditions. In addition, the implementing agreement sets forth the process to divide the workforce between Springfield Terminal (ST) and Berkshire and Eastern (B&E) and defines the limits of the railroads after the Change Over Date.
BLET members ratify new contract with CP Rail/Soo Line
Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) today ratified a new five-year agreement with the CP Rail/Soo Line Railroad.
Funeral arrangements for fallen Brother Lou Shuster
Services for late BLET member Louis P. Shuster will be held next week.
In The Line of Duty: BLET Division 607 President Louis P. Shuster
Louis P. Shuster, a proud member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), employed as a Norfolk Southern conductor, was struck and killed early Tuesday when a dump truck collided with a train car in Cleveland.
BLET resumes in-person training classes; Will host Legislative Rep training in June
Class is back in session for members and officers of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BLET returned to in-person workshops last week with several days of intensive training for Secretary-Treasurers.
BLET members unanimously ratify new contract with Union Railroad
Today, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) unanimously ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Union Railroad of Pittsburgh, Pa.
BLET members ratify DM&E, KCS implementing agreement
The agreement will only become effective should the Surface Transportation Board (STB) decide to allow the merger of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and KCS Railroads.