BNSF, SMART seek historic crew consist revision

A gutsy, proactive, and far-sighted collaboration between BNSF and a general committee of its largest labor union has produced a tentative agreement to allow freight trains equipped with Positive Train Control (PTC) to operate as early as next year with a lone engineer in the cab and no conventional on-board conductor between specific territories in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

BLET ratifies Metra contract

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with Chicagoland’s Metra, affecting approximately 200 locomotive engineers, who operate trains in more than 100 communities at 241 stations in the Greater Chicago area.

SEPTA braces for regional rail strike

SEPTA management appears willing to endure a strike to its regional rail system, possibly beginning this Saturday, June 14, 2014, rather than delay such action until winter, when weather is more severe and system ridership is higher.

Two unions ponder SEPTA strike

Engineers employed by SEPTA’s regional rail operations plan to vote on authorizing a strike against the five-county authority, the national office of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said Friday, May 16, 2014.

UTU-SMART, BLET to take two-person crew laws to the state level

As part of their ongoing effort to secure a law mandating a minimum of two crew members in all locomotive cabs, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the United Transportation Union-Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (UTU-SMART) have provided their state legislative boards with model legislation to secure minimum crew size laws on the state level.

Data drought haunts FRA crew-size mandate

By the Federal Railroad Administration’s own congressional testimony, the years 2012 and 2013 were among the railroads’ safest on record, while the relatively few train crashes were mostly the result of human error and track defects.

Pacific Harbor Line, BLET sign pact

Short line Pacific Harbor Line, Inc. (PHL) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) announced Monday, July 15, 2013, they have signed a new five-year labor agreement covering PHL’s operating and maintenance of way employees.

The camera never blinks

“Here’s looking at you, kid,” is a cherished line from the movie Casablanca,but when the looking is through a hidden camera lens in the locker room or even visibly trained on crewmembers inside a locomotive cab, well, you won’t hear the more famous line, “This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.”

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Railroad strike averted as BLET, ATDA settle with NCCC; BMWE remains

Represented by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, the major U.S. railroads late Thursday reached tentative agreements with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the American Train Dispatchers Association, which together represent about 26,500 employees in collective bargaining. The last remaining union without a settlement, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE), agreed with the railroads to extend the “cooling off” period until Feb. 8, 2012, eliminating the immediate threat of a national rail strike, which could have occurred as soon as Dec. 6.