Ohio SLD Whitaker, senators state case for Railway Safety Act before commerce committee

In the aftermath of February’s rail disaster in Ohio, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held a key hearing March 22 on “Improving Rail Safety in Response to the East Palestine Derailment” to get to the bottom of what when wrong in the accident and to discuss the bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023.   The committee […]

TD Ohio SLD to appear before Senate at hearing today

The Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing on “Improving Rail Safety in Response to the East Palestine Derailment”. The hearing will start at approximately 10:45 a.m. ET, following a 10 a.m. mark-up session. SMART TD Ohio State Legislative Director Clyde Whitaker is scheduled to testify at the hearing along with Jennifer Homendy, chair of […]

UPDATED: President Ferguson appears with U.S. Sen. Brown to discuss Railway Safety Act

SMART Transportation Division President Jeremy Ferguson appeared with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in Cleveland on Monday morning to discuss the bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023 as momentum for legislative action on railroad safety continues to build on Capitol Hill. Sen. Brown and fellow Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio, Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and John […]

Analysis: Lawsuit means shareholders might not be OK after East Palestine

The brutal effects of Precision Scheduled Railroading, better known as PSR, on the lives of railroaders since 2017 have been well-documented. It’s been almost as bad for suppliers, who have seen delays in their products making it to market. It’s been bad for shippers, who have seen deliveries have to take circuitous routes so the […]

FRA issues safety bulletin on grade-crossing shove moves after fatal accident

FRA SAFETY BULLETIN 2023-02 SUBJECT: Highway-Rail Grade Crossing and Shove Movement Accident The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is investigating a recent switching accident that resulted in a crew member fatality. Based on FRA’s preliminary investigation, a conductor with 18 years of service was fatally injured when the tank car he was riding to provide point […]

Kansas rail safety legislation needs support

Kansas is a state with a population of only 2.94 million people — ranking as the 35th largest state in the country, population-wise. In contrast to that number, according to the American Association of Railroads’ website, Kansas ranks sixth in the nation for distance of rail with 4,252 miles. With 16 railroad companies operating in […]

Railway Safety Act top of mind at Senate’s NS hearing

Last week’s much-anticipated hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works featured a discussion of the Norfolk Southern derailment and the subsequent release of chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio. The spectacle of seeing NS CEO Alan Shaw fend off questions from the senators was clearly the main event of the day; however […]

From the Ballast: Accountability? Shaw didn’t show it

“From the Ballast” is an open column for SMART Transportation Division rail members to state their perspective on issues related to the railroad industry. Members of the union are encouraged to submit content by emailing to news_TD@smart-union.org. Columns are published at the union’s discretion and may be published in the SMART-TD newspaper. Most of us […]

Utah rail safety bill awaits signature of governor

As has been documented, we’ve been pushing quite a few pieces of rail safety legislation in many states. Of all the places SMART has legislation, Utah State Legislative Director Dan Brewer may have had the most-ambitious agenda this cycle especially considering his state has one of the hardest climates to create traction for labo- friendly […]