BLE membership skyrockets
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers has gained over
1,300 new members in four months by holding a string of successful "Town
Hall" meetings across the Union Pacific property.
Four rail brotherhoods commit
On December 6 and 7, 1999, four transportation unions met
to discuss issues and methods to improve the working and living conditions
of their memberships. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE), the
Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes
(BMWE) and the American Train Dispatchers (ATDD) made specific commitments
to work together collectively for such improvements and develop an ever
BLE issues in-depth report on
positive train control
With an eye toward the future, and in a continued effort
to protect the safety of all operating employees, the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Engineers co-authored an in-depth report submitted to the FRA's Rail Safety
Advisory Committee regarding the benefits and potential dangers of Positive
Train Control (PTC).
Part 1: Reliance and Distraction
effects in Positive Train Control automation
By T. B. Sheridan (MIT), F. C. Gamst (Univ. of Mass., Boston),
and R. A. Harvey, BLE
This document was requested by T. Raslear of the Federal
Rail Administration (FRA) on 3/3/99 of the PTC Human Factors Team in conjunction
with ongoing discussions of PTC standards. The charge was to investigate
the "reliance effect" and the "distraction effect,"
where definition and focus were left to the authors.
Legislative Update: Briefs
- Legislation would stop locomotives from operating in
- Staff changes at FRA
- SOFA Working Group studies switching operations, safety
- Three rail safety bills currently pending before Congress
- BLE, Steelworkers protest use of non-union rails by BART
In the Line of Duty: Yvan Theriault
Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fiery
crash of two Canadian National freight trains on December 30, 1999 in Mont-St.-
Hilaire, Quebec. Two railroad workers were killed, including BLE member
Yvan Theriault. Also killed was Conductor Paul Davis.
Mort Dans L'Exercice De Ses Fonctions:
Les enquêteurs essaient de trouver la cause d'une
collision extrêmement violente de deux trains marchandises du Canadien
National le 30 décembre 1999 au Mont St-Hilaire, Québec. Les
deux travailleurs du chemin de fer ont été tués, incluant
le membre de la FIL Yvan Thériault. Le chef de train Paul Davis est
aussi décédé lors de la collision.
In the Line of Duty: R.A. Oertwig
BLE member R.A. Oertwig was killed, and two others were
injured, when a Union Pacific freight train struck a tractor pulling a manure
trailer tank November 6, 1999, in rural Hardin County, Iowa.
Merger mania continues: BNSF,
CN propose $19 billion combination
On December 20, 1999, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and
Canadian National confirmed rumors that had been circulating for several
weeks and announced they would merge into a $19 billion holding company
to create North America's largest railroad. The new company, to be called
North American Railways Inc., will be based in Montreal and will boast almost
50,000 miles of track, stretching from Halifax on the Atlantic coast to
Vancouver on the Pacific and southward to New Orleans and Los Angeles.
BLE halts bogus UP safety
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was victorious
over the Union Pacific Railroad on December 16 as it obtained a temporary
restraining order that halted the railroad's implementation of a bogus "Safety
Awareness Training" program.
BLE fights for worker safety
on Montana Rail Link
On December 9, the United Transportation Union's fog machine
was cranked into high gear -- injecting a couple of atoms of fact into a
55-gallon drum of fantasy -- concerning a move by Montana Rail Link (MRL)
to introduce remote-controlled locomotive operation in its Laurel, Montana
Who are the three members of
the NMB panel?
The three members of the panel chosen by the National Mediation
Board to resolve the BLE-UTU dispute are noted for their vast wealth of
experience and knowledge in labor relations.
BLE scores big win for post-85
engineers on NS
Setting the tone for the current round of national wage
negotiations, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers has reached a tentative
agreement with Norfolk Southern that will have a positive impact for post-85
Rail retirees meet in Trenton,
An invitation has been extended to railroad retirees from
the Pennsylvania Railroad, Amtrak, Conrail, Reading Railroad, and New Jersey
Transit, to meet with other retirees who get together on a regular basis
for snacks and conversation.