Digest: STB delays action on North County Transit District request

News Wire Digest fourth section for Nov. 30: BART, unions agree to new contracts; CN employee seriously injured in yard accident
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The Surface Transportation Board will delay action on a petition regarding work along Southern California's Del Mar Bluffs, at the request of the North County Transit District.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Monday midday rail news:

STB to delay action on request over Del Mar Bluffs projects

The Surface Transportation Board will delay proceedings on the request by San Diego’s North County Transit District for an order on maintenance and safety-fence plans in the Del Mar, Calif., area, as requested by the NCTD. The STB said it will hold the proceeding in abeyance until March 30, 2021. The district made the request on Nov. 6, saying it had had constructive discussions with the California Coastal Commission and City of Del Mar, and wanted more time to see the parties could resolve their issues [see “North County Transit District asks STB to delay action …,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 7, 2020]. The district originally filed its petition in August, seeking a ruling that would prevent the commission and city from taking action that might impede its ability to continue bluff-stabilization work, as well as the installation of a fence to deter trespassers [see “Digest: San Diego transit agency seeks STB ruling on coastal maintenance work,” News Wire, Sept. 15, 2020].

BART, unions agree to new three-year contracts
Bay Area Rapid Transit and its three largest unions have agreed to new three-year labor contracts more than six months before the current contracts expire. The deals were announced in a joint statement from BART general manager Bob Powers and officials of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1555; Service Employees International Union, Local 1201; and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Local 3993. The agreements have been ratified by union members and are to be formally approved by BART’s board of directors on Dec. 3. The new contracts, effective July 1, 2021, through June 20, 2024, do not include a wage increase the first year and have conditional wage increases in the second and third year if average weekday ridership reaches at least 60% of pre-pandemic levels. The statement calls the early agreements “an extraordinary process of cooperation between represented workers and BART executive staff.”

CN employee seriously injured in Vancouver yard accident
A Canadian National crew member was seriously injured in a Nov. 26 yard accident in Vancouver, British Columbia, one of three incidents in a 24-hour period which led CN to issue a safety alert in its Western Region. In the incident at Vancouver’s main yard, the advisory reports the employee was working to build a train when he attempted to kick a drawbar into position, missed, and had his foot crushed as two groups of cars were coupled. The advisory says the employee’s foot will be amputated. The other incidents involved a sideswipe incident in Houston, B.C., and a train overrunning the limits of its authority in Camrose, Alberta.

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