Digest: Pacific Harbor Lines, BLET sign new labor agreement

News Wire Digest second section for Sept. 17: Amtrak inspector general finds flaws with track maintenance planning; retired railcars to be used for artificial reefs off Long Island
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Pacific Harbor Line genset locomotives switch a refinery in San Pedro, Calif., in February 2018. The railroad and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have signed a new five-year contract.
TRAINS: David Lassen

More Thursday morning rail news:

Pacific Harbor Lines, BLET sign five-year labor deal
Pacific Harbor Lines and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have signed a new five-year labor agreement, the railroad said in a press release. The contract, ratified Sept. 4, takes effect Sept. 20 and includes wage increases, a matching 401K savings plan, and a signing bonus, along with no increase in employee costs for health benefits over the life of the contract. The BLET represents more than 150 employees at the railroad, owned by Anacostia Rail Holdings.

Amtrak inspector general sees areas for railroad to improve maintenance planning
While Amtrak has improved its planning process for major track projects, the railroad could still take additional steps to reduce service disruptions and increase its maintenance work windows, the Amtrak Office of Inspector General said in a report issued Wednesday. Among the problems: at least five departments are involved in coordinating track outages, and the roles of each are not clearly defined, and employee planning is a time-intensive process involving data from 12 different systems and software tools. The report also recommends longer-term planning; current, the company plans for only one year at a time, citing the unpredictability of federal funding. The report is available here.

Retired railcars to be used to build artificial reefs for New York
A retired centerbeam flat car was dumped into the waters off Long Island on Wednesday as part of an artificial reef to bolster marine life. The Hornell Evening Tribune reports the car donated by Wells Fargo Rail Corp, and a retired 70-foot tugboat, were a program now in its third year. Wells Fargo is donating 75 cars in all; 15 more will be dropped at Hempstead Reef as part of the first phase of deployment.

 

 

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