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DIVISION 191

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BLET mourns loss of National Division staff accountant Denise Sears

Posted on July 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, July 11 — The National Division is saddened to announce the passing of our colleague, staff accountant Denise Sears following a long battle with illness on July 3, 2014. She was 60 years old.

 

Denise is survived by her beloved son, Joshua Allen, grandson Joshua Allen, Jr., father and stepmother, James and Sylvia Hill, Sr., sisters Terrie Kelly and Deborah (Stephen) Howard and brother James Hill, Jr. She leaves behind many loving cousins and friends. Denise ...

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State buys property to expand Portland container terminal

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Expansion of the International Marine Terminal in Portland could begin this summer, after the Maine Department of Transportation bought about 15 acres of land and railroad lines along Commercial Street.

Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot confirmed Monday the department finalized the purchase of about 15 acres from Pan Am Railways.

 

Talbot did not have information on the purchase price, but said the acreage along West Commercial Street to Cassidy P...

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City votes to appeal Newington's approval of Sea-3 expansion

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

PORTSMOUTH — The City Council unanimously voted Monday night to direct the city's legal department to file an appeal of the Newington Planning Board's decision to approve the expansion of the Sea-3 propane terminal.

 

Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine made the motion for City Attorney Bob Sullivan to take “any and all actions necessary and appropriate to appeal the decision” made by the Newington Planning Board two weeks ago.

 

Numerous area offic...

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Stubborn rail delays motorists, Downeaster passengers

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

A stubborn length of rail along the Downeaster line in Saco delayed a couple hundred train passengers Thursday afternoon and sent crews scrambling to fix the problem before service resumed Friday morning.

 

Pan Am Railways maintenance crews were doing scheduled rail work in Saco but had more difficulty than expected removing the rail at the crossing with Main Street, said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which operates t...

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Tankers carrying oil derail, catch fire in Va.

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Multiple CSX train cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire Wednesday along the James River, with three tankers ending up in the water and leaking some of their contents, becoming the most recent crash involving oil trains that has safety experts pushing for better oversight.

 

Nearby buildings were evacuated for a time in downtown Lynchburg, but there were no injuries, authorities said. CSX said the train was on its way from Chicago to an unspec...

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Day of Action: Fast Track is the wrong track!

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, April 29 — On April 30, BLET members are encouraged to participate in the Teamster Fast Track Day of Action. As background, the fair trade movement has been successful thus far in delaying a vote on Fast Track legislation, which would allow potentially harmful "Free Trade" agreements to sail through Congress and ship American jobs overseas.

 

While a vote doesn’t seem likely any time before the midterm elections, the Teamsters are continuing to keep th...

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BLET and SMART to seek two-person crew laws on the state level

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, April 23 — As part of an ongoing effort to secure a law mandating a minimum of two crew members in the cab of all locomotives, 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) have provided their State Legislative Boards with model legislation to secure minimum crew size laws on the state level.

 

The state-lobbyin...

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Splaine: Signs point to Sea-3 approval

Posted on April 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

PORTSMOUTH — Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine believes the Newington Planning Board will ultimately approve the request by Sea-3 to expand its propane terminal, resulting in more rail cars carrying propane on Seacoast tracks.

 

"They're about to say yes," Splaine said Wednesday. He has attended multiple Newington Planning Board meetings as it has reviewed the expansion request. "I got that feeling from the board meeting the other day. They don't want to consider the scope of...

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Crude by rail in Maine by the numbers

Posted on April 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Railroads carried 4.2 million barrels of crude oil — enough to fill up 267 Olympic-size swimming pools — through Maine last year, up from 25,000 barrels in 2011 and down from 5.2 million barrels in 2012.

 

The 2013 amount does not include the months of April to August when Pan Am Railways temporarily stopped reporting how much crude oil it shipped into Maine and paying into the state’s 3-cent-per-barrel oil spill cleanup fund, according to Department of Envi...

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Fitchburg, Palmer rail projects receive state grants

Posted on April 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

BOSTON — The Patrick administration has awarded seven grants totaling $2.5 million for industrial rail projects as part of the 2014 Industrial Rail Access Program, including money for Fitchburg and Palmer works.

 

Omnova Solutions is receiving $500,000 for the 123 Industrial Park Rail Siding Phase II rehabilitation on Pan Am Southern in Fitchburg.

 

New England Central Railroad is receiving $499,800 for the industrial park freight capacity expansion p...

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Sale of bankrupt Maine railroad delayed

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

A New York investment firm’s purchase of the bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway has been delayed, as Canadian regulators say they don’t have all the paperwork needed before they can approve the deal.

 

The sale of the railroad, which was responsible for last summer’s deadly train derailment disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, was expected to close by March 31, according to the asset purchase agreement signed by the buyer, Railroad Acquisition Holdin...

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Extension of Maine's passenger train service explored

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Municipal leaders and rail advocates offered ideas Wednesday night for extending passenger train service south to New York City and north to Augusta, Auburn, Bangor and Montreal.

 

But the existing Downeaster service between Brunswick and Boston must be improved before any expansion will be possible, said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which runs the service.

 

“It is a trunk of a tree,” sh...

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Volatile oil, aging tank cars raise stakes for rail safety

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Every day, as many as 10 oil trains a day leave North Dakota and six to eight travel through Minnesota.

 

They pass through places like Perham, a town of 3,000 about 65 miles southeast of the Fargo-Moorhead area, in the heart of lakes country.

 

Around the clock, semitrailers rumble across the Burlington Northern Santa Fe mainline railroad tracks to and from the factories. Last year, trains hit trucks crossing the tracks three times. Trains have derailed four...

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Freight railroads plan to spend $26 billion on network improvements and hire 12,000 in 2014

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The nation’s freight railroads this year project they will spend approximately $26 billion to build, maintain, and upgrade their nationwide rail network, according to an estimate released today by the Association of American Railroads. Railroads also expect to hire more than 12,000 people in 2014, for jobs throughout all areas of the industry and located all across the U.S.

 

“This year’s projected record investments continue a decades-l...

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BLET sponsors 2014 Operation Lifesaver national conference

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

CLEVELAND, March 10 — The BLET National Division is a national sponsor of Operation Lifesaver’s 2014 National Leadership Conference, which will be held May 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.

 

The educational conference provides Operation Lifesaver state program leaders, authorized volunteers, coaches, trainers, presenters and other partners with the latest information and tools for reducing vehicle-train collisions and pedestrian rail trespass incidents. The theme of th...

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Safety still No.1 concern as Sea-3 hearings continue: Newington board hears from Pan Am, track and state officials

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

NEWINGTON — More than 100 people packed a Newington Planning Board hearing where they grilled representatives from Pan Am Railways and Sea-3 about the local facility’s plan to expand its propane terminal and put more cars carrying propane on area railroad tracks.

 

Although the project involves Sea-3’s Newington plant, the hearing room at Newington Town Hall was filled with residents and city officials from Portsmouth as well.

 

Catherine Di...

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Political heat added to debate on propane plan

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation on Wednesday called on the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct an inspection of railroad tracks being eyed as part of a controversial proposal to transport liquefied petroleum gas.

 

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., and U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., made the request in support of the local communities of Newington, Stratham, Greenland and Portsmouth. The communities recently began ...

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Train fire required extreme caution, chief says

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

NEWFIELDS — Fire Chief Jeff Buxton said crews responding to a locomotive fire Tuesday night had to be careful battling the blaze that consumed the engine because “water and electricity don’t mix.”

 

“You have to be careful where you put the water so your firefighters don’t get electrocuted,” Buxton said.

 

The chief said when firefighters from Newfields and Newmarket responded to the fire in an idle Pan Am Railways tr...

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Westford still awaiting answers on derailment

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

WESTFORD -- A spokeswoman for Pan Am Railways said her company continues to investigate what led to five freight cars derailing last Wednesday in town.

 

Pan Am Vice President Cynthia Scarano said she could not provide any more updates on the situation but expected her organization -- headquartered in Billerica -- to have a cause by the end of the week.

 

"We have the black-box readouts, and you can also inspect all the cars and the track to see if there wa...

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Propane train plan raises Seacoast concerns

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

NEWINGTON — Several area communities are looking for safety assurances from the Federal Rail Administration, following a proposed increase in rail traffic of propane, to a Newington-based company.

 

In February, New Hampshire's congressional delegation joined with Newington, Portsmouth, Greenland and Newfields and Stratham in calling for the FRA to ensure the safety of a rail line proposed to carry propane cars to and from Sea-3 Inc., a division of Trammo, which operate...

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