(Source: Railway Age 12/10/2018) Written by Frank N. Wilner, Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Watching Washington, December 2018 Railway Age: New leadership arrives at railroad-focused congressional committees in January, and unless Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Ann Begeman ingests breakfast Wheaties and gains courage to produce decisions, Congress may prescribe more than a potent laxative. The motivation will be…Read More
(Source: Progressive Railroading 12/07/2018) Politicians, government agencies and organizations made dozens of announcements yesterday about 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program grants that will be awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation(USDOT) for various projects, including several that involve freight and passenger rail. The USDOT created the BUILD program earlier this year to replace the…Read More
(Source: Progressive Railroading 12/10/2018) Progressive Rail Inc. has filed a notice of exemption with the Surface Transportation Board to assume operations of about 83 miles of track owned by BNSF Railway Co. in Washington. The lines originate in Chewelah and extend to Kettle Falls, where they diverge into two branches. The west branch runs northwest from Kettle Falls to West Kettle…Read More
(Source: Progressive Railroading, December 2018 issue) Good momentum. Optimism about the healthy economy. A very rosy outlook. Those are some ways the Class I chief executive officers are describing 2018’s mostly sunny business climate or their anticipation for a favorable coming year. Full story: Progressive Railroading Tuesday, December 11, 2018Read More
(Source: Progressive Railroading 11/29/2018) U.S. railroads reported a combined gain of 3 percent in carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending Nov. 24, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data. For the week, total carloads rose 1.7 percent to 232,954 units and intermodal volume increased 4.3 percent to 237,897 containers and trailers compared with the same…Read More
(Source: National Transportation Safety Board press release, November 27, 2018) WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 10, 2017, about 12:50 a.m., Central Standard Time, eastbound Union Pacific Railroad unit ethanol train, UEGKOT-09, with 3 locomotives, 98 loaded tank cars, and 2 buffer cars filled with sand derailed near milepost 56.8 at a timber railroad bridge near Graettinger,…Read More
(Source: Television station Fox 16, November 26, 2018) LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Around 200 positions are being cut in a second wave of layoffs at Union Pacific. In October, Union Pacific announced a workforce reduction of approximately 475 employees occurring in the fourth quarter. Additionally, approximately 200 contract positions will be eliminated. Full story: www.fox16.com Tuesday,…Read More
(Source: Railroad Retirement Board press release, November 9, 2018) CHICAGO — Railroad employees frequently ask the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) how the acceptance of a buyout from a railroad employer affects their future eligibility for benefits under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. The following questions and answers provide information on this subject. 1.…Read More
(Source: Defense One, November 26, 2018) WASHINGTON, D.C. — America shouldn’t be buying Chinese railcars, ceding control of its rail industry, or injecting spyware-laden rolling stock into its transportation network. A myriad of problems has led to a “surprising level of foreign dependence on competitor nations,” according to the White House’s long-awaited report on the…Read More
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 26 — The final open enrollment of 2018 for the BLET’s Short-Term Disability On-The-Job (Part B) insurance ends on November 30, 2018. Those who enroll will have their coverage take effect on December 1, 2018. This is your last opportunity in 2018 to enroll in the On-The-Job (Part B). There are no…Read More
(Source: Federal Railroad Administration press release, November 20, 2018) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a final rule establishing modern, performance-based safety standards for railroad passenger equipment. The rule reinforces FRA’s commitment to safety while representing one of the most significant enhancements to the nation’s passenger rail design…Read More
(Source: Bloomberg, November 21, 2018) NEW YORK — While the U.S. oil industry has hit a speed bump with the recent $20 drop in oil prices in New York, producers in Canada are in a full-blown crisis. Heavy Canadian crude has been on a downward spiral since mid-May, with prices plummeting by more than 60…Read More
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 16 — The lifetime maximum benefit for the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit Plan (also known as ERMA or GA-46000) will increase from $162,500 to $166,400 on January 1, 2019. At the end of 2001, Labor and Management agreed on various procedures to administer the annual changes in the…Read More
(Source: freightwaves.com 11/05/18) November 05, 2018 Brian Bowers, contributor “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them” —Albert Einstein Last week we began exploration of the definition of precision railroading and how the industry is attempting to apply it. It is encouraging to see longstanding practices and processes being questioned.…Read More
(Source: Casper Star Tribune, November 5, 2018) CASPER, Wyo. — Loads of grain trundled down toward Mexico as summer ended, and strong crude prices drove up the number of rail cars hauling petroleum or liquefied gas by 40 percent. But Union Pacific ended a record third quarter with an announcement that nearly 700 jobs would…Read More
NTSB issues preliminary report in rear-end collision between UP freight trains in Granite Canyon, Wyo.
(Source: National Transportation Safety Board press release, November 5, 2018) WASHINGTON, D.C. — On October 4, 2018, at 7:38 p.m. mountain daylight time, an eastbound Union Pacific (UP) freight train MGRCY04 (striking train) collided with the rear of a stationary UP freight train MPCNP03 (stationary train) in Granite Canyon, Wyoming. Prior to the accident, the crew…Read More
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen - UP Western Region GCA represents locomotive engineers working in the Western Region of the Union Pacific Railroad, which encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and portions of Nevada. We also represent members on the Portland & Western Railroad as well as the Portland Terminal Railroad.
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