Posts Tagged ‘railroad’

CP withdraws NS merger bid

SMART TD President Previsich came out against the merger in a letter addressed to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in January of this year. “We strongly opposed the merger when it became clear that CP’s takeover of NS would cost U.S. jobs as well as have a negative impact on those who sought to ship by rail” said Previsich, who further commented: “Having long opposed the negative impact that mergers and acquisitions such as this have on our members, we are extremely pleased to hear that CP has officially terminated their quest to takeover NS.”  Read the complete statement, here.

Rare civil war and railroad currency on display

Old RR CurrencyLAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Sam Harmison has been collecting rare coins and currency since he was 12. He’ll be 99 this month and is celebrating by displaying his collection of civil war and railroad currency. A friend found it and gave it to him.

“They were tearing down an old farm house between Front Royal and Winchester, Virginia,” said Sam. “They found this tin box full of old money. He said he thought I’d might like to have it.”

“The Railroads, which were really really big at that time, issued their own money,” said Mike Harmison, Lakeside Bank president and Sam’s son. “It became more acceptable throughout the nation. The railroad would take it for fare and for freight and shipping, etc.”

Read more from kplctv.com.

Palmetto GBA conducting Railroad Medicare survey

Palmetto_rgb_webPalmetto GBA is conducting a Railroad Medicare Beneficiary Satisfaction Survey. The survey is designed to collect data on beneficiary satisfaction regarding its performance as Railroad Medicare’s contractor. The survey will be sent to a random sample of approximately 8,000 Railroad Medicare Beneficiaries.

The surveys will be included in an upcoming Medicare Summary Notice (MSN). Palmetto GBA is listening and wants to hear from you about the services we provide to you.

For additional information about the survey, click here.

Railroad track inspector has 4,500 miles of worry

WINTHROP, Minn. – Jim Brandt’s steel-toed boots treaded nimbly across the railroad ties as he scanned the track around him for loose bolts, unfastened clips, gaping switches — anything that could prove dangerous for massive trains.

Everything looked good, he confirmed with a quick nod; time to move on. The rest of the state’s 4,500 miles of rail awaited.

About 150 trains a day rattle throughout Minnesota, the eighth-largest rail network in the country. The mild-mannered Brandt is the only state inspector overseeing those tracks for safety.

Read more at the StarTribune.

Girl takes on quest to thank railroad worker

Samantha Alvelo has thanked God for saving her young life after a train rolled over her three decades ago in Havelock, but she has always wanted to thank Joe.

She finally got that chance on Friday night.

Alvelo completed a decade-long search for the railroad worker she credits with saving her life when she talked with Joe Dunn on the phone on Friday night.

Dunn is a member of local 1129 out of Raleigh, N.C.

Read more from the StarNews Online.

Academy adds rail degree program

IAHA logoVANCOUVER, Wash. — The International Air and Hospitality Academy has added a new program called the Northwest Railroad Institute. The new degree program will be the fourth such program offered in the U.S.

Students taking the six-month program will be provided with training for freight railroad careers including freight conductors, conductor trainees, brakemen, switchmen and yardmen. Training for engineers and passenger conductors is not yet available.

The degree will consist of nine units including yard switching operations, air brakes and train handling rules and hazardous materials practices and handling.

The institute reckons that nearly 20 to 25 percent of the rail workforce will be eligible for retirement within the next couple of years and entry-level jobs will become available.

“A diploma from the Northwest Railroad Institute soon will be a ticket for landing an entry-level job in the railroad industry,” said Terry Keene. Keene is a member of the school’s advisory committee and worked for BNSF Railway for 39 years and was a member of UTU Local 1977.

To start the academy will only be accepting 50 students to the program. Students must have a high school diploma or GED to apply and be at least 18 years of age. The school will start to accept applications for the program beginning June 15 and classes are set to start July 15. 

Similar programs are offered at two locations of Modoc Railroad Academy near Sacramento, Calif. and Marion, Ill., and at the National Academy of Railroad Sciences at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan.

Szabo: Rail investment spurs manufacturers

The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo:

In his State of the Union Address last week, President Obama spoke about the importance of investing in our infrastructure as a path to create new jobs and lay a foundation for America’s economic success.

Joe Szabo

In the last three years, American businesses have added 6 million new jobs, including a half-million in manufacturing. But there’s more to be done. And while construction jobs are often the most visible, our investments can continue remaking America as a magnet for manufacturing.

In a new report, the Environmental Law and Policy Center highlights the scope of the railway supply industry in the Midwest.

The report found 122 suppliers in Ohio, 99 in Indiana, 49 in Michigan, 84 in Illinois, 73 in Wisconsin, 26 in Minnesota and seven in Iowa. The Midwest is not alone. Railway suppliers are located in 49 out of 50 states and employ 94,000 people.

Manufacturers like Cleveland Track Material in Ohio are benefiting from the $12 billion the U.S. DOT has invested in passenger rail over the last four years. Started by Vietnam Veteran Bill Willoughby in 1984 in an impoverished section of Cleveland, the company was one of 53 across 20 states that received an order from Maine’s Downeaster service expansion project. Last year, Cleveland Track invested over $5 million in new production equipment at their plant. The company employs 300 people in Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. 

Manufacturers are opening new plants in the United States. Recently, the state of California awarded the newly-opened Nippon Sharyo plant in Illinois with a contract to build 130 rail cars that will run on the state’s existing corridors.

Amtrak and California High Speed Rail Authority have answered our call to work together to explore a bundled procurement for the next generation of high-speed rail equipment – equipment designed to reach up to 220 mph. Combining orders will provide incentives to high-speed rail manufacturers to build factories domestically, creating new high-quality jobs and tremendous opportunities for suppliers.

Investments in freight rail will also mean new jobs at suppliers. Last week, the Association of American Railroads announced the industry would invest more than $24 billion this year in its network.

President Obama also recently signed into law the Shortline and Regional Railroad 45G Tax Credit. The Railway Tie Association estimates that when the 45G credit is in effect, between 500,000 and 1,500,000 additional railroad ties will be installed each year.

For the first time in more than a decade, America is adding new manufacturing jobs. Continued investment in our rail network will put Americans to work in factories today, and lead to economic expansion over the next generation.

A president embraces the iron horse

In his state-of-the-union speech Jan. 26, President Obama mentioned the word “railroad” eight times — the most mentions of “railroad” in more than 30 years of state-of-the-union messages delivered by five different presidents.

Yes, there are those who keep count.

In fact, the Washington, D.C., public policy advocacy firm of Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell used their research skills to trace back to the turn of the 20th century — more than 110 years ago — mention of the word “railroad” in state-of-the-union speeches.

As the table below indicates, railroads were a pretty common topic of statecraft prior to World War II, not the least of reasons being that they were the primary means of moving people and freight in America. That, of course, was before commercial air travel — especially jet aircraft — and Interstate highways. Indeed, Teddy Roosevelt said “railroad” a whopping 153 times in state-of-the-union speeches during his presidency (1901-1909).

The dearth of the word “railroad” in state-of-the-union speeches in the decades between Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) and Jerry Ford (1974-1977) ended with Jimmy Carter (1977-1981). Carter mentioned “railroad” 26 times in state-of-the-union speeches — and for good reason. During Carter’s presidency, railroad deregulation was among the top domestic priorities of his administration. It was Carter who signed into law the Staggers Rail Act, largely deregulating railroads, in 1980.

Comes now iron-horse champion Obama, who, in word and deed, is looking to resurrect rail passenger service — more precisely, world-class 21st century high-speed rail service — as a principal alternative to commercial airlines and automobiles.

Below is a table, courtesy of Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell, breaking down the mention of the word “railroad” in state-of-the-union speeches since 1901.

 

President Total “Rail” Used
Barack Obama 8
George W. Bush 1
Bill Clinton 1
George H.W. Bush 1
Ronald Reagan 3
Jimmy Carter 26
Gerald Ford 2
Richard Nixon 0
Lyndon Johnson 1
John Kennedy 1
Dwight Eisenhower 0
Harry Truman 2
Franklin Roosevelt 3
Herbert Hoover 14
Calvin Coolidge 29
Warren Harding 32
Woodrow Wilson 37
William Taft 62
Teddy Roosevelt 153
TOTAL 376

 

To read more about what President Obama said about railroads in his state-of-the-union speech, click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/news/obama-all-aboard-for-high-speed-rail-6/