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Rail

One Year after Tragic Lac-Megantic Accident a Reminder of Unfinished Business

By Ed Wytkind

This week marks the one year anniversary of a tragic rail accident – a runaway train carrying 72 cars of crude ran into Lac-Megantic, Quebec killing 47 people and demolishing an entire town.  While millions of carloads and containers traverse the country safely each year, too many accidents have occurred lately both in the freight […]

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1-Person Train Crews? No Thanks

By Ed Wytkind

15,000 ton freight trains carrying hazardous materials across America using 1-person crews sound like a bad idea? We think so and fortunately so do the government’s chief rail safety regulators at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The FRA announced that it will issue a proposed rule requiring two-person crews on crude oil trains, and establishing […]

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Tired Freight Rail Employees? You Bet

By Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

A short quiz for you. If you had anything to do with the safe movement of a 10,000 ton freight train, does it make sense for you to routinely show up to work tired? Hint: NO. That’s the problem we have today in the freight rail industry. Too many tired employees are involved in operating […]

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If Congress Funds It, The People Will Ride It

By Ed Wytkind

Members of Congress responsible for our nation’s transportation systems, including our national passenger rail system, are once again considering the reauthorization of Amtrak. The choice is clear: give Amtrak the resources it needs, or choose the routine ritual of starving it and wondering why we don’t have faster trains and more service. As a backdrop, […]

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Time to Connect the Dots Between High-Speed Rail and Middle-Class Jobs

By Ed Wytkind

The questions of how to generate more high-paying jobs in America and how to regain our pre-eminence as the world leader of safe and efficient transportation  are ones that shouldn’t be asked on separate tracks. We need a transportation network in this country that is interwoven and properly funded from our waterways to our railways to our […]

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Time to Coddle the Middle Class for a Change

By Ed Wytkind

As the fiscal cliff looms, it is becoming nauseating to listen to extremist political operatives and special interest lobbyists argue we should hurt working people, the sick and elderly to ensure the super-rich don’t pay their fair share of the tax burden. Someone should tell the special interests who coddle millionaires at everyone else’s expense […]

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Austerity Measures Would Drive Us Over the Fiscal Cliff

By Ed Wytkind

“Too many in Washington are fixated on cutting public spending to balance the budget, not on how to put people back to work and get our economy moving.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  These are the words of 350 leading economists who offer our political leaders a solution to our anemic economy at […]

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Rep. Paul Ryan, Soup Kitchens and Transportation

By Ed Wytkind Earlier this week, the VP nominee Rep. Paul Ryan stopped at an Ohio soup kitchen for a campaign photo op to show his concern for those less fortunate than himself.  Only one problem with this display of caring as he rolled up his sleeves and did the dishes — the director of […]

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We've Seen This Dog and Pony Show Before

By Ed Wytkind

Rep. John Mica (R-FL) continued his “holy jihad” against Amtrak, its 30 million riders and thousands of employees last week by holding his 10th hearing in the 112th Congress  demonizing Amtrak. The last three by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee focused on what Mica thinks is wasteful Amtrak spending.  Speaking of waste, let me […]

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Plan to Grow Amtrak Doesn’t Add Up

By Ed Wytkind

I’ve got to hand it to House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Republicans—they sure have nerve. The day after Amtrak reported its 11th consecutive year of ridership growth, setting best-ever records for each month of 2012, Chairman John Mica (R-FL) held a hearing on Sept. 11—not to review the state of transportation security, but to rail […]

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