President Joe Biden and passenger rail advocates on Friday hailed announcement of two major Federal Railroad Administration programs — one providing $8.2 billion in grants for construction of passenger-focused projects [see “FRA announces $8.2 billion in Federal-State Partnership passenger grants,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 8, 2023] and the other announcing routes selected for further passenger development, either as new or extended routes, or with increased frequencies [see “Full list of passenger routes …,” News Wire, Dec. 8, 2023].
Biden highlighted the $6.1 billion for the Brightline West and California high speed projects included in the Federal-State Partnership funding during an appearance Friday in Las Vegas, Nev., saying “world-class high speed rail” had been one of his commitments as a presidential candidate. “Today I’m here to deliver on that vision,” he said. “You have no idea how much this pleases me.
WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement applauding the Department of Transportation’s decision to award $3 billion each to California High-Speed Rail and Brightline West through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program, , as part of $8.2 billion in […]
WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement in response to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed rule to require drug and alcohol testing for safety-sensitive workers at foreign air repair stations: “For more than 20 years, we have called for greater federal […]
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the modernization of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). TTD consists of 37 affiliated unions, representing the totality of rail labor and first responders who are vital to the safe transportation of hazardous materials. We therefore have a vested interest in this matter. Additionally, TTD endorses the comments of our affiliates, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD). We respectfully request that the PHMSA take our feedback into consideration.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) notice regarding a joint Request for Amendment (RFA) received from 20 rail carriers to modify their FRA-approved Positive Train Control Safety Plans (PTCSP) for their Interoperable Electronic Train Management Systems (I–ETMS). TTD consists of 37 affiliated unions representing the totality of rail labor and we therefore have a vested interest in this matter. Additionally, TTD endorses the comments of our affiliate, the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD).
TTD has previously commented on how Positive Train Control (PTC) systems provide an additional layer of safety for rail workers and the public. These systems are designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zones, and movements of trains through switches left in the wrong position. The National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) first recommended that PTC be required in 1969 and Congress subsequently mandated PTC systems in the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) to save lives and reduce injuries.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Zach Nunn (IA-03) and Don Davis (NC-01) today introduced legislation to protect Iowa’s jobs in the face of increasing automation in the workforce. The bipartisan Workforce DATA Act requires the U.S. Department of Labor to develop a plan to ensure that automation is a tool to make work easier, not an excuse to eliminate jobs. […]
December 1, 2023 The Honorable Mike Johnson Speaker United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Sam Graves Chairman United States House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Washington, D.C. 20510 Speaker Johnson and Chairman Graves: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), representing the totality of U.S. freight rail workers, I […]
December 1, 2023 The Honorable Chuck Schumer Senate Majority Leader United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Mitch McConnell Senate Minority Leader United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), representing the totality of U.S. freight rail workers, I urge […]
Prospects for rail safety legislation in Congress to move forward in the waning weeks of 2023 appear dim, given other pressing national issues and even “mental exhaustion” among politicians, according to a former U.S. Department of Transportation official who now heads a consulting firm.
“I think the bottom line is that it’s probably unlikely at this point that we’re gonna see any legislation this year. And next year — being an election year — is also looking pretty grim as far as prospects for the bill,” said Loren A. Smith Jr., president of Skyline Policy Risk Group, a research and consulting firm focused on the supply chain. Smith previously served as deputy assistant secretary for policy at DOT.