Suit Against UP Gains Class Action Status

LEWISVILLE, Ark. — The families of Arkansasans who were either killed or injured in accidents between 1992 and 2005 involving Union Pacific and who later settled with the company have been certified as a legal class to pursue additional compensation for their claims. On April 11, 2008, Lafayette County Circuit Court Judge Jim Hudson determined that a class action should proceed in a case against the railroad, according to the Duncan Firm. The suit does not include railroad employees. The suit alleges that Union Pacific violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices act. The railroad is accused of pressuring families and

STB to Hold Hazardous Materials Hearing

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing next month to discuss “issues related to the common carrier obligation of railroads—the duty of railroads to provide transportation or service on reasonable request—with respect to the transportation of hazardous materials.” The hearing follows one held in April on the general topic of the common carrier obligation of railroads. The July 16 hearing “will provide a forum for a more detailed discussion of issues specifically pertaining to the railroads’ common carrier obligation regarding the movement of toxic by inhalation hazards and other hazardous materials,” the STB said in a

FRA: Train Crews in Wrecks Have Better Chance of Survival

WASHINGTON — Train crews involved in a locomotive collision will have a better chance of survival with reduced injuries as a result of the first-ever federal freight locomotive crash worthiness standards issued, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph H. Boardman said. The regulation is intended to prevent the locomotive cab from being crushed during a head-on collision with another locomotive, or when it strikes the rear of another train, a shifted load on a train on an adjacent track, or a vehicle at a highway-rail grade crossing, Boardman said. “This regulation will give engineers and conductors a better chance to walk away

RailWorks Appoints Holt President of National Transit Division

NEW YORK — RailWorks Corp. has appointed Michael P. Holt as president of the National Transit division of its transit systems subsidiary, L.K. Comstock & Company Inc. Holt comes to L.K. Comstock with more than 30 years of construction experience in the public and private sectors, focusing on heavy civil, building, and water and wastewater treatment facility projects. He most recently served as vice president and East Coast regional manager for MWH Constructors Inc., an international program management, consulting and construction services firm. Prior to that he held leadership positions at a range of respected construction companies, including Holt &

Eastman Chemical Recognizes Norfolk Southern With Innovation Award

NORFOLK, Va. — Eastman Chemical Company has awarded Norfolk Southern Corporation its 2007 Global Logistics Supplier Innovation Award. The award recognizes Norfolk Southern for the development and implementation of a new process for delivering coal to Eastman’s Kingsport, Tenn., chemical manufacturing plant. Norfolk Southern’s creative redesign of its service plan for the plant resulted in significant improvements in delivery schedules, consistency of operations, and efficiency for both Eastman and Norfolk Southern. “Norfolk Southern’s work in improving our coal handling delivery process exemplifies the purpose of the Innovation Award,” said Terry Begley, Eastman Chemical vice president, global supply chain and quality.

One Injured in CTA Derailment

CHICAGO — One person was injured when a Chicago Transit Authority train derailed, according to published reports. The derailment on the CTA’s red line comes a week after a green line train derailed. Fourteen people were injured in the Green Line derailment. None of the four cars in today’s derailment overturned, and all of the train passengers walked to a nearby station. — Railfanning.org News Wire

Norfolk Southern Names Voyack to Government Relations Post

WASHINGTON — Frank Voyack has been named Norfolk Southern Corp.’s government relations director. Headquartered in Washington, Voyack will be responsible for lobbying Congress, coordinating government relations programs and policies and implementing legislative strategies. He will report to Marque I. Ledoux, assistant vice president government relations — federal. Voyack started his work on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman Norman Sisisky of Virginia before moving to the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers, where he spent 18 years in various legislative positions. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and Georgetown University. “Frank’s breadth of experience

Six Killed in French Grade Crossing Collision

MESINGES, France — Six people were killed and dozens more injured after a train collided with a school bus that was blocking a grade crossing, authorities said. Five of the six killed were school children. “Five children were killed. Four passengers on the bus were seriously injured — it is not known if they are children or adults — and 27 children were slightly injured,” AFP news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying. The crash happened about 2 p.m. Monday, June 2, local time. More than 30 people were injured, and some of the injured may have been passengers

China to Finance Jamaican Rail Overhaul

KINGSTON, Jamaica — China has agreed to finance much of a $354 million project to overhaul Jamaican railroads, officials said. Jamaica is building 18 new stations as part of what is expected to be a three-year overhaul. Once completed, railroads will connect many of the island’s major cities, including Montego Bay and Kingston. As part of the agreement, China will loan Jamaica 85 percent of the $354 million needed for the project. “The passenger and freight rail service is intended to significantly impact on the rising fuel cost, with the Government focused on getting much of the island’s freight transportation

Man Faces Trial for Fatal Calif. Derailment

LOS ANGELES — A man authorities say is responsible for a fatal January 2005 Metrolink train wreck apologized for his actions, according to media reports. Juan Manuel Alvarez is on trial for first-degree murder and other charges. His trial could continue until July. Police initially said Alvarez parked his SUV on the Metrolink tracks with the intent of killing himself, but changed his mind, left his SUV on the tracks and watched the wreck unfold. However, prosecutors are challenging whether Alvarez was trying to commit suicide when he parked his SUV on the tracks and now say he may “have

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