Metra, unions implementing a C3RS

Management and transportation unions at Chicago’s Metra regional/commuter rail system have entered into an agreement to create a Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) designed “to proactively address safety issues and create a more positive safety culture,” the agency said.

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.

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.

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.”