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A truck driver was killed when a train derailed near Pueblo, Colorado, and caused a railroad bridge to collapse onto a major highway — crushing the semitruck, spilling coal and mangled rail cars across the roadway and shutting down traffic indefinitely, authorities said Monday.

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"Grissom [president of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen union] said his union has had three members die in incidents involving remote control trains since 2015. He said Anderson’s death, combined with fiery derailments that have happened across the country this year, reinforce the need for stronger railroad safety regulations."

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“The CRISI grants announced today will help launch new and expanded service, advance critical safety and reliability improvements, and provide opportunities for the workforce, marking another big milestone as we continue to advance a new era of passenger rail,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner.

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This strike should make one thing clear: the era of corporate greed is over. Workers and unions are united in the fight against corporate greed. And we will win.

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After a delay driven by last year’s turmoil in the bond market, Fortress Investment Group-backed Brightline will kick off its service to Orlando International Airport on Sept. 22. The service will allow connections between Orlando and South Florida destinations, including Miami, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, the not-yet-profitable rail operator announced Wednesday.

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After a derailment last March in Southwest Minnesota, 5 INVESTIGATES found BNSF had repeatedly been sanctioned or admonished in court for destroying evidence or retaliating against employees.

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The sticking point between railroads and rail worker unions over a federal hotline for reporting safety concerns is how to ensure rail employees don’t misuse the system to avoid discipline, the head of the railroads’ trade group said in a letter Thursday to government officials.

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In the wake of the disastrous East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment, Norfolk Southern is back to spending millions in Congress — and a paper trail indicates that it’s lobbying for weaker regulation and rewarding members of Congress who play along.

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The Association of American Railroads on March 2 said the Class I freight railroads would join the program, which allows railroaders to report “close call” safety incidents without fear of discipline or reprisal.

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Sometime this fall, a first-of-its-kind train, known as Brightline, will depart Southern Florida for a “magical” destination 236 miles north.

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This report documents FRA’s findings, recommendations, and methodologies resulting from the 60-Day
Supplemental Safety Assessment of Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) that the Department of Transportation
(Department or DOT) announced on March 7, 2023.

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On May 31, 2023, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on certification of signal employees. The proposed rule, or Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), is the official document that announces and explains the agency’s plan to address a problem or accomplish a goal. All proposed rules must be published in the Federal Register to notify the public. The proposed rule and the comments received on it form the basis of the final rule.

Currently, the NPRM on certification of signal employees is in the comment period. Following the comment period and review, it is expected that the FRA will issue a final rule and put that final rule into effect. 

The BRS will be submitting comments as an organization to ensure signal professionals in the field have their voices heard and issues raised. If you have any questions or issues, please contact BRS Director of Research, Chris Hand, at c.hand@brs.org

Below is a link to the NPRM

NPRM- Certification of Signal Employees

Six months after life was upended in East Palestine, little has changed.

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AAR, ASLRRA and TTD urged the Congress members to “remove this draconian limit on RRB’s administrative funding and support the limitation in the Senate bill.

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The proposed fiscal 2024 transportation budget would cut two major grant programs and impose restrictions on how certain funds could be used.

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Amtrak announced Monday that it is applying for $7.3 billion in federal grants to execute 14 projects on the Northeast Corridor and more than $700 million for 16 projects outside the Northeast Corridor.

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House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Vice Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Valerie Foushee (D-NC), Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-OH) and 26 additional T&I Members sent a letter urging the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Graves to promptly schedule a hearing on rail safety.
“We write today to again request a Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing on rail safety,” the Members wrote, noting that waiting on the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation to complete its work on the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio is unacceptable given the dozens of existing NTSB rail recommendations that remain unanswered: “…We disagree that the Committee should wait to advance rail safety legislation until after the [NTSB] concludes its investigation into the derailment in East Palestine. Accidents continue to occur, placing additional communities and rail workers at risk.”
“Earlier this month, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the Railway Safety Act of 2023 by bipartisan vote,” the Members continued. “The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure must meet its responsibility to conduct critical oversight of the rail industry by holding a hearing on rail safety. Our constituents and communities deserve this basic consideration.”

Today’s letter comes more than two months after Ranking Member Larsen first called for a rail safety hearing to be scheduled and shortly after the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee advanced their rail safety legislation out of Committee on a bipartisan vote. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has not held a hearing examining rail safety following the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, OH.

The full letter can be found here

On May 5, 2023, BRS members working at Amtrak ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. The seven (7) year Agreement was reached after nearly 18 months of negotiations and provided for general wage increases of 28.5% with full retroactivity to 2022 (compounded 32.3% over the term of the Agreement), frozen monthly health and welfare cost sharing portions for employees under the Amplan II plan and monthly cost sharing decreases for employees under the Amplan III throughout the term of the Agreement with improvements in dental coverage, vasectomy coverage, fertility treatment, and hearing aid coverage.

A Paid Time Off (PTO) plan was negotiated to replace the National Vacation Agreement which provides for significantly more time off with less years of service and an accrual method that permits an employee to accrue PTO even if they do not meet the one hundred (100) day threshold of the National Vacation Agreement. Additionally, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was added as a holiday, there were improvements to Bereavement Leave, the incentive allowance for certain Gang positions was increased from $0.65 per hour to $1.20 per hour, and a Paid Parental Leave Rule was negotiated.

The Paid Parental Leave Rule is the third Paid Parental Leave Agreement negotiated for BRS members and provides the most benefits with up to ten (10) weeks of paid time off, which can be taken in two (2) week increments, for up to one year from the date of birth or adoption.

The BRS congratulates BRS members on Amtrak on the new Agreement.

Page Last Updated: Dec 01, 2023 (04:52:38)
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
917 Shenandoah Shores Road
Front Royal, VA 22630
  (540) 622-6522

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