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Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

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Everything is changing: Impact of Verso Paper mill closing will ripple beyond Bucksport

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on October 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

BUCKSPORT, Maine — It has been a week since David Milan, the economic development director for the town of Bucksport, was blindsided by the news that the Verso Paper mill will close in December.

 

“We were sucker-punched,” he said of the Oct. 1 announcement that caught town officials and millworkers alike off-guard.

 

Milan said he didn’t sleep well that first night, worried about what the closure of the mill, which pays about 44 perce...

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Deal on rail network close

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on October 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Canadian Pacific Railway is "close to completing a transaction" to sell the former Delaware & Hudson Railway network south of the Capital Region, top officials at CP Rail told analysts last week.

 

Hunter Harrison, the railroad's CEO, and James Clements, vice president, strategic planning and transportation services, told analysts the company was close to completing a deal during a two-day meeting with analysts in White Plains.

 

Canadian Pacific woul...

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Pan Am train derails in Greenfield

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on October 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

GREENFIELD — Last week, emergency responders gathered to plan how they’d handle a fiery train derailment.

 

Wednesday morning, responders found themselves faced with something less dangerous but real — when a freight train derailed on a stretch of tracks just near Hope Street.

 

But this time, in real life, there was no fire, no hazard and no injuries.

 

According to Cynthia Scarano, the executive vice president of Pan Am Ra...

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Pan Am Railways loses lawsuit against newsletter publisher from Freeport

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on October 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

A federal judge has rejected a defamation lawsuit brought by Pan Am Railways and its former president against a small industry newsletter in a case that First Amendment advocates say demonstrates an important safeguard for the online publishing industry.

 

Pan Am Systems, Springfield Terminal Railway Co. and its former president, David Andrew Fink, sued Chalmers “Chop” Hardenbergh and his newsletter Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports, saying the railroad and Fin...

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Canadian railway to end service to Auburn

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on August 31, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Canada’s largest freight railroad is ending service to Maine’s truck-and-rail hub in Auburn, citing insufficient freight volume for a move that jeopardizes the future of the only such transportation center in the state.

 

The 35-acre terminal, which opened 20 years ago, connects Maine shippers with the Canadian National Railway and its straight run across the continent to the port of Vancouver and a new container terminal in Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

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Portsmouth strikes deal with Sea-3 for safety study

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on August 31, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

PORTSMOUTH — The city has reached an agreement with the attorney for the Sea-3, propane facility in Newington, which may delay Monday's scheduled hearing before the Newington Zoning Board of Appeals, according to Portsmouth staff attorney Jane Ferrini.

 

The ZBA is scheduled to hear the Portsmouth's appeal of the Newington Planning Board's decision to approve the expansion of the propane facility, but Ferrini said Monday afternoon the city agreed to delay the hearing be...

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Great Bay rail line raises fear

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on August 31, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Robert Hassold looked at pictures of the Pan Am Railways rail trestle that crosses Great Bay and worried about the condition of the bridge crossing.

 

"They look rickety, they look like they're in desperate need of repair," Hassold, a tugboat captain, said this week at his home in Portsmouth. "Personally, I don't think you'd walk over those bridges."

 

His concerns were shared by Great Bay Piscataqua Waterkeeper Jeff Barnum as he looked at a map showing the t...

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Union wants charges dropped against railway employees in Lac-Megantic disaster

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on August 31, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

MONTREAL — The union and lawyers representing two railway employees accused in the Lac-Megantic disaster are urging the Crown to drop the charges in light of recent findings by the Transportation Safety Board.

 

Engineer Tom Harding, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, the manager of train operations, each face 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death — one for each victim of last summer’s oil-train derailment in the Quebec tow...

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Life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance benefits under BLET National Agreemen

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on August 31, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, August 27 — Active and retired railroad employees covered under The Railroad Employees’ National Health and Welfare Plan may be eligible for Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefits from MetLife.

 

For eligible active employees covered by the above policy, the death benefit is $20,000, and there may be an additional AD&D benefit that could pay up to $16,000, should circumstances permit. For eligible retired employees, the deat...

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In the line of duty: Chance J. Gober

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on August 31, 2014 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, August 28 — Chance Jason Gober, 40, a member of BLET Division 182 (North Little Rock, Ark.), was killed in the line of duty on August 17, 2014.

 

He was one of two crew members killed when two Union Pacific trains collided head on near the town of Hoxie, Ark. Brother Gober was born on November 12, 1973, in Sacramento, Calif. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

 

After serving his country in the United States Navy, Brother Gober hired o...

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Your Health FSA: What expenses are covered? How can you use it?

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on August 6, 2014 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, August 1 — If you have a Health Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA), it’s important to know how you can use it and what expenses can and cannot be covered with the Health FSA funds. To learn more visit the following website: http://www.yourtracktohealth.com and click on "Latest News."

 

Except as noted at the end of this paragraph, locomotive engineers and Tex-Mex train service employees covered by the Health & Welfare portion of the most recent...

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End of the line for conductors?

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 24, 2014 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

GALESBURG — A BNSF Railway union met Wednesday to discuss a new contract that would remove the conductor from the cab of a freight train in an effort to cut costs.

 

The Galesburg committee of Adjustment GO-001 and other SMART-Transportation Division union members gathered to discuss and debate the union-drafted contract that would affect that largest skill group at BNSF. Conductors and ground service workers make up 60 percent of the work force.

 

Gen...

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Man struck, killed by train in North Berwick

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 24, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

NORTH BERWICK, Maine (AP) — Authorities say an Amtrak Downeaster train has struck and killed a person on the tracks in North Berwick.

 

The train, full of passengers, struck the person just after 7 p.m. Wednesday.

 

His name has not been made public but authorities say he lived in town.

 

An Amtrak spokesman says 88 passengers were on board the northbound train, but no passengers or crew were injured.

 

The death caused...

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Lister waiting on response from Hassan regarding Sea-3

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 24, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

PORTSMOUTH — Mayor Bob Lister is tired of waiting for a response from Gov. Maggie Hassan's office to a request he made in a June 18 letter sharing his concerns about the expansion of the Sea-3 propane facility in Newington.

 

"I would have appreciated at this point a response back from the governor's office," Lister said during an interview Monday. "We need to have a combined effort on this."

 

Lister and the City Council have been fighting the expansio...

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Pan Am train, logging truck collide in Livermore Falls

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 24, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

A train and logging truck collided in Livermore Falls on Wednesday afternoon, blocking Main Street to traffic for several hours but resulting in no serious injuries.

 

The crash happened at 3:15 p.m., when a logging truck traveled into the path of a Pan Am Railways train and was struck, causing it to tip onto its side and lose its load, railroad spokeswoman Cynthia Scarano said late Wednesday afternoon.

 

The truck was in the railroad crossing when the collis...

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Pan Am Railways train derails in Lawrence, Mass., and no one was injured.

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

LAWRENCE, Mass., July 11 (UPI) --A 14-car train derailed Friday morning in Lawrence, Mass., causing no injuries.

Eight cars of the Pan Am Railways freight train came off the track around 11 a.m., Lawrence firefighter Chad Nickerson told the Boston Globe.

 

The four cars at the front of the train and two locomotives at the back stayed on the tracks.

 

Deputy Fire Chief John McInnis said no one was injured in the accident and no hazardous materials were s...

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BLET to open new Education & Training Center

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, July 18 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen is proud to announce the opening of its state-of-the-art Education & Training Center. Located at BLET National Division headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, the new facility will host its first class on July 21, 2014 — a workshop for BLET General Chairman.

 

Construction of and equipment for the Training Center was funded primarily by a grant from the Teamsters Rail Conference. The new tech...

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MetLife provides grief counseling resources for comfort and support

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, July 16 — Facing a loss is never easy, and how you cope and grieve is very personal. No matter the circumstances, whether it’s a death, an illness, a divorce, or even a child leaving home, there are resources that can help.

 

BLET members covered by the MetLife Group Term Life portion of the Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan (GA-23000) and the NRC/UTU Health and Welfare Plan (GA- 690100) are hereby advised that they are eligible for fr...

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BLET, Operation Lifesaver condemn train hopping

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 13, 2014 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, June 26 — Operation Lifesaver, Inc. has taken the lead in condemning a recent magazine article that glorifies railroad trespassing and train hopping. Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, said the BLET supports Operation Lifesaver’s position and also objected to the article.

 

Published in the June 10 issue of Outside Magazine, the article titled “My Train-Hopping Odyssey Through the America...

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Standard Building to be sold

Posted by Matthew P. LaFrenier on July 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, June 30 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has sold its landmark Standard Building to Weston, Northeast Ohio’s largest privately held industrial building owner and manager, in a deal that is scheduled to close on Monday, June 30.

 

Built in 1924 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Standard Building – originally named the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Cooperative National Bank Building – is an elegant 21-...

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