FMCSA pre-employment requirement in effect Jan. 6

On November 4, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse published information titled “Pre-employment Investigations for Drug and Alcohol Program Violations.” The Clearinghouse notice (see below) is a reminder to certain employers regarding a change requirement that went into effect Jan. 6, 2023.  On that date, three years of violation data […]

Union states 2PC case before FRA

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) held its much-anticipated hearing Dec. 14 to receive public testimony on its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) regarding a minimum train crew size. As it was set up, representatives from just two Class I carriers — Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern — the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and […]

RRB: Credit for military service under the Railroad Retirement Act

Many railroad employees have served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Under certain conditions, their military service may be creditable as railroad service under the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA). The following questions and answers provide information on how military service may be credited toward Railroad Retirement benefits. 1. Under what conditions can military service […]

Rule of 2 comment period extended by FRA to Dec. 21

Due to the importance of the issue and the record response, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has extended the comment period for the Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on a two-person minimum freight crew size rule, the SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Department reports. The new deadline for SMART-TD members, rail labor and the public […]

Two-person crew rule’s comment period receives extension

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced Sept. 22 that the public comment period for the two-person crew size Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) has been extended. Stakeholders now have an additional 60 days to show their support for the minimum crew size of two in the cab of trains nationwide. The previous deadline was Sept. […]

Commenting on Rule of 2 a call to action for our members, allies

Most topics divide our organization to varying degrees. It’s a healthy debate that assists SMART to formulate majority-based positions on the many issues for which they advocate on our membership’s behalf. The belief that there should be a minimum of two persons on a train crew is not one of those topics. Overwhelmingly, the most-common […]

FRA NPRM: The truth behind the need for two-person crews

It’s a shame, really, that the safety of my members, the public and the infrastructure are nothing more than political pawns in the railroads’ game of never-ending greed. And it’s a shame, frankly, that the railroads manipulate woefully inept individuals – having never meaningfully walked the ballast or performed the myriad tasks of a conductor […]

TD President Ferguson to testify before House rail subcommittee

SMART Transportation Division President Jeremy R. Ferguson is scheduled to be a featured witness testifying next week in a hearing before the U.S. House Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. The hearing on freight rail safety is scheduled 10 a.m. June 14 at the 2167 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. “I have great […]

STB requires additional service reporting from railroads

The federal Surface Transportation Board issued the following statement on Friday, May 6: The Surface Transportation Board today announced that it will require certain railroads to submit service recovery plans as well as provide additional data and regular progress reports on rail service, operations, and employment.  These measures are meant to inform the Board’s assessment […]