Frank N. Wilner, Contributing Editor

Frank N. Wilner, Contributing Editor

Frank N. Wilner is author of six books, including, Amtrak: Past, Present, Future; Understanding the Railway Labor Act; and, Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and labor relations from Virginia Tech. He has been assistant vice president, policy, for the Association of American Railroads; a White House appointed chief of staff at the Surface Transportation Board; and director of public relations for the United Transportation Union. He is a past president of the Association of Transportation Law Professionals. Wilner drafted the railroad section of the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Change (Volumes I and II), which were policy blueprints for the two Reagan Administrations; and was a guest columnist for the Cato Institute’s Regulation magazine.

Monday, 18 September 2017 22:26

NMB nominees and labor talks advance

Senate confirmation of two new Republican members to the three-member National Mediation Board (NMB), and confirmation of a Democrat to a third NMB term, is anticipated in the next few weeks. The NMB will then be under Republican control for the first time since 2009.

Friday, 15 September 2017 16:12

Alt-Facts Tar A Low-Road Assault

Watching Washington, September 2017: How will we ever communicate without communication?” was asked in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1958 musical, Flower Drum Song. Six decades later, communication is under assault from so-called “alt-facts”—intellectual vandalism polluting social media.

Thursday, 31 August 2017 10:46

Who is John Galt?

Watching Washington, August 2017 Railway Age: Free-market philosopher Ayn Rand, an émigré from the economic horrors of the command-and-control Soviet Union, was celebrated as the Reagan Administration’s “novelist laureate.” Alan Greenspan, who served as Federal Reserve chairman to four U.S. Presidents (1987-2006), is a Rand disciple. House Speaker Paul Ryan requires his staff to read her books. President Trump named Rand his “favorite” author.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 20:52

Irrepressible coal baron takes aim at CSX

The luster is fading from Hunter Harrison’s “Dr. Fixit” image faster than an old jalopy’s back-alley paint job. His boisterous March arrival as CEO of CSX put in motion warp-speed, backfiring directives changing culture, operating practices and marketing practices.

Monday, 14 August 2017 21:32

Fifty shades of shipper vexation

The 50 shades of vexation venting from self-described captive shippers over delay by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in considering their petitions to dilute rail regulatory freedoms is matched only by their asserting last year a contradictory 50 shades of encouragement that the Board do just that.

In a major victory for freight railroads, a Surface Transportation Board (STB) attempt to revive what previously was ruled an unconstitutional regulatory scheme has been blocked by the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Monday, 10 July 2017 14:29

FELA: Durable and still going

It was an accessory to the jailing of three labor union presidents. It may encourage bad decision-making by rail managers. Its lottery-like jury awards seduce plaintiff attorneys. It can send an injured rail worker to the poor house. And it encourages adversarial relationships in the workplace.

Thursday, 06 July 2017 14:31

Rail labor talks await logic, reality

Nineteenth century economist Thomas Malthus is associated with a failure to recognize improved productivity as a tide lifting humankind’s standard of living.

Legislation to improve rail safety through amplified use of the free-market forces of competition and innovation has been introduced in the Senate by Surface Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).

Friday, 23 June 2017 09:38

Fauth Trump’s second NMB nominee

Gerald W. (Trey) Fauth III will be nominated by President Trump to the second of two open Republican slots on the three-member National Mediation Board, according to a June 22 White House press release.

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