Raising the Bar for Crude by Rail Shipments DOT issues emergency order for SERC Notification: On behalf of families and communities along the rail lines nationwide, emergency responders in those communities, and those who move the trains, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued an emergency order on May 7 requiring all U.S. railroads operating trains containing large…

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Ryan Budget Passed by Narrow Margin On April 10, the House passed Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget, which includes $5.1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years without closing tax loopholes. The measure passed 219 to 205, with 12 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting no. A swing of just seven Republican votes would…

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BLET National VP/NLR John Tolman Testified at House Subcommittee Hearing Regarding Rail Safety On February 26, BLET Vice President & National Legislative Representative John P. Tolman testified at a House subcommittee hearing, emphasizing the importance of timely implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC), and other measures to boost rail safety and improve the quality of…

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BLET Proclaims Support of High Speed Rail Funding Provisions in California In a January 13 News Release, the BLET praised California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal to help fund bullet train construction with $300 million in revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program. BLET National President Dennis Pierce expressed his support of the proposal, stating: “High-speed…

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Two-Year Budget Bill Signed into Law   President Barack Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 on December 26, providing $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. The bill also includes $85 billion in deficit reduction. Savings in the bill come from a new airport security tax…

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BLET Lobbies for Two-Person Train Crew Bill A horrific accident occurred last July when a runaway train plowed through the small town of Lac Megantic in Quebec, Canada, resulting in the destruction of many buildings in the downtown area and the death of approximately 50 people. That incident heightened awareness of the risk of single-person operations, prompting…

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With Congress having been consumed with budget battles and the debt ceiling, there hasn’t been a lot of other business being taken care of.  It has been reported that even though there are many pending issues that still need to be addressed, Speaker Boehner has had trouble filling up the remaining 16 working days left…

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Legislation to Require 2-Person Crew Size Introduced In August, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation International Association (SMART) jointly filed legislation in Congress to require at least two crew members on all freight trains in the United States. Initial sponsors for…

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Passenger Rail Supporters Help Beat Back Anti-Amtrak Amendments Many thanks to all BLET members, spouses, and their families, as well all passenger rail supporters across the nation, who took the time to reach out to their members of Congress urging them to defeat the amendment presented in the House this last week by Representative Paul…

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Committees in both House and Senate pass appropriations bills for Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development On June 27, the committees in both the Senate and the House passed bills that will decide funding for transportation, housing and urban development programs in fiscal year 2014. The Senate version includes funding for many of the country’s most important community development…

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