With Railway Age since 1992, Bill Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age's leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts on operating passenger trains on freight railroads and communications-based train control.
Indiana Rail Road Company Thursday celebrated a major milestone in its history as a regional railroad, officially moving its two-millionth carload of revenue freight at INRD’s Senate Avenue Terminal in Indianapolis. INRD officials, including company founder, President, and CEO Tom Hoback, were on hand to mark the event. Indianapolis-based INRD says it took the company 18 years and 9 months to reach its first one million cars of revenue freight, in a span stretching from March 1986 to December 2004. But carload No. 2 million moved just six years and 11 months later. INRD said it hauls a variety of industrial and consumer products for companies in central and southwestern Indiana and central Illinois.
A message from United Transportation Union International President Mike Futhey, dated Nov. 10 and posted on UTU’s website, suggests the UTU is once more exploring a merger with the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SWMIA) . An arbitrator ruled last month that a merger UTU and SWMIA be implemented and that the presidents of the two unions—or their designees—meet to decide how the implementation is to proceed. Arbitrator Michael H. Gottesman said the merger agreement to create the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers Union is an enforceable agreement. Gottesman was named by AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka to decide the question of enforceability after binding arbitration was ordered by Federal District Court Judge John Bates.
Futhey, in his statement, says the UTU can now “move forward following the October 10 merger arbitration award. That arbitration ruling makes the merger look very similar to the merger we were initially promised—the merger the UTU membership and I voted for in 2007.” He continued, “The arbitrator recognized that maintaining the historical governance of the UTU was important by ruling that the UTU’s cherished craft autonomy, along with general committee autonomy, be preserved post-merger; and that changes to the UTU Constitution not be unilaterally made by the SMWIA executive council.” Futhey says a meeting recently with new SMWIA General President Joe Nigro “was productive and positive,” while another meeting earlier this month involving UTU international officers reviewed events of the past four years and agreed “it is now time to move forward—discussing with the SMWIA the rights and traditions of both organizations, and to collaborate constructively in finding the most efficient and equitable means of resolving any further outstanding differences, including pending litigation.”
Bill Sneed, a longtime employee with The Rails Co., died Nov. 3, 2011 at his home in Naperville, Ill., at age 85.
“His constant smile and many jokes, not to mention his product knowledge, made him many friends in the railroad industry,” said his nephew, Bob Sneed.
Though diagnosed with Parkinson's disease last spring, “As you would expect his outlook on life remained positive throughout this period,” the younger Sneed said. His work in the rail industry "was a big part of his life and I am sure that any of you that had the pleasure of knowing my uncle are better off for the experience.”
Bill Sneed is survived by his wife Jane, and by three nephews, four great nephews, and one great niece. His ashes were scattered at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill.