PTC on Marion Subdivision

When operating south to or or out of Paducah on the Marion, don’t forget that PTC is effect on the Marion Sub between MP 323.95 and MP 337.0. When you get your track warrant that covers these limits, it is important to open up the “Authority” menu and check to see that your track warrant is in the system and correct. If you are operating with PTC and it is not in there, as soon as your train drops to 15 MPH in those limits, the system will engage and think that you do not have authority. It will then put you into penalty or emergency. 


One possible cause for your track warrant for authority for that segment not showing up in the PTC computer is your train destination may have changed in route. For example, a Chiles train changed to a P&L train. If this happens your train symbol may have been changed without you knowing it. Although your track for authority on paper is correct, in the PTC system it is actually issued to the new train symbol. To correct the issue, you will have to have the dispatcher change your track warrant for bulletin number and train symbol. 

After this is done, log out of PTC and reinitialize with the new track warrant for bulletin number. After the system synchronizes, your track warrant for authority should now appear in the AUTHORITY menu. Verify that it is correct. 


If going south with a load, I would recommend not going by King if your track warrant for authority covering the PTC limits is not in the PTC computer. This is because when the PTC system stops you, you will be on the steep part of the hill. 




   I have included some information on Bed Bugs. This seems to be a problem with a few of our hotels. If you find any of these condiditions please get the information back to me ASAP. 
  With That said I would like to remind everyone that with this ongoing problem we need to remain processional with the hotel staff. They are looking to place the Magnifying glass back on to us.... 



2017 Back Pay Synopsis

File attachments: 
PDF icon 2017_BackPay_Synopsis_Communique_2.pdf152.84 KB

"No on Proposition A" Campaign

Attached is a brief message guidance document for you to use when talking about Proposition A or Right to Work. The facts listed are sourced in the footnotes. These facts are the most up-to-date available. 

File attachments: 
PDF icon Messaging Document from We Are MO.pdf415.47 KB

Fair Fare Passenger Safety Act (HB1600) Hearing Schedule in Jefferson City

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m. the House–Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee will be hearing HB 1600 sponsored by Rep. Galen Higdon.  HB 1600 enacts a “Fair Fare Passenger Safety Act” prohibiting the use of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device to text or take part in a telephone call when operating a moving motor vehicle and is receiving compensation for the transportation of passengers.
The hearing will provide an opportunity to inform the committee members of the dangers of cell phone use while driving. This proposal passed the House last year but died in the Senate.
Below is a link to the bill.
This Bill was written by and is being advanced by MOSLB Chairman Brian Kelley and its main purpose is train crew safety in crew vans.


If you catch a UPS train, be sure to read your Form C System Bulletins page in your warrant for bulletins. It recently changed to say that the Northern Region will use PTC on these trains.


Also, with the PTC rule migrating from the Superintendent Bulletins to the System General it is important to read it. There have been a few changes, one of which is use of Energy Management with PTC. If your PTC screen states that ENERGY MGMT SETUP REQUIRED, you must initialize and run auto control on the PTC screen, not engineer’s control screen. If you are using PTC, do not log-into Trip Optimizer on the engineer’s control screen. This is a change from the Superintendent Bulletin that said to log into but not to utilize.



There should be a course in your learning plan that shows how to set up and use Leader and Trip Optimizer with the PTC screen. If it is not, you can add it yourself. PTC Integrated EM System (PTCEM)

Pay implementation

TO:   BLET & SMART-TD General Chairpersons:

Due to the increasing number of inquires our office is receiving regarding the 2017 National Agreement implementation with regard to new rates and back pay,  I thought I would give you an update.  Feel free to share this with your local leadership if you wish.  

Timekeeping has completed updating CMTS to reflect the 7/1/16 (2.0%) and 7/1/17 (2.0%) rate increases agreed to in the 2017 BLET & SMART-TD National Agreements.  The two rate increases will be implemented and show an effective date in CMTS of1/1/18 and reflect the compounded equivalent (4.04%) of the two rate increases.  All rate tables and trip rates have been updated.   We are still in the process of updating those classes of time (arb codes) that are subject to increase as well as guarantee rates. Everything will be completed before Jan 1st in order for CMTS to automatically apply the new rates for trips/claims that are initiated 1/1/18 or later. 

 Below is quick reference guide on how to look up rate tables and trip rates in case you wish to preview the new rates.  All chairpersons have access to the rate & trip rate screens.  If you have a question about how a rate was derived or believe there is a mistaken, please contact me directly.    At this time, we do not have a feature that would allow you to view future dated values for arbitraries and guarantees.  If there is a specific arb code or guarantee rate you are interested in knowing before January 1st, feel free to email me toward the end of the month. 


On another note, our goal is to have back pay computed and included with the first half January earnings for deposit on 1/25/18.  I want to reiterate this is a goal and we are doing everything we can to achieve that goal.   With the new rates being implemented on Jan 1, we cannot determine the final back pay amounts until after we close the last half of December payroll.  Due to Christmas and New Year holidays, internal vacations, and the complexity of this process, it is a challenging timeline, but one we hope to be able to meet. 


Brother Doug Frick asked me to pass along an issue regarding PTC with Form B’s. There has been a form B the past few nights on the Jefferson City Sub that starts at 18:00 and ends at 03:00. The limits are exactly the same milepost with the same foreman. However, it is actually two different Form B bulletin numbers. One covers from 18:00 to 00:00 and the other from 00:00 to 03:00. If you are going through at midnight, the PTC system will make you confirm clearance through each bulletin separately. 



Make for certain, that when you get your clearance, if you will be overlapping the time frame, to have the foreman clear you with both bulletin numbers. We are not supposed to select confirm on the screen until we have the actual clearance. With two separate bulletin numbers, managers could be a little nit-picky here. With Form B violations possibly resulting in a decertification, we don’t want to take any chances. 

Tax Bill Could Stop Railroad Unemployment and Sickness Benefits


BLET Action Alert: Republican tax bill on track to put Railroad Retirement Unemployment & Sickness benefits in the siding


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, December 15 — The Republican tax bill currently working its way through the House and the Senate could have a devastating impact on Railroad Retirement Unemployment and Sickness Benefits, according to analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the General Counsel of the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). All active and retired BLET members and their families are urged to contact their Senators and Representatives immediately and urge them to vote “No.” A vote is expected to take place next week.

According to CBO’s analysis, the 2010 “Pay-As-You-Go” Act (or PAYGO) requires automatic reductions in federal spending to offset increases to the national debt. This is also known as sequestration, which already has negatively impacted Railroad Unemployment and Sickness Benefits for the past several years.

According to published media reports, the proposed tax bill would add $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion to the national debt, in effect triggering “sequestration on steroids.” Through sequestration, the PAYGO act would trigger drastic cuts at all levels of all programs listed in the federal budget including the RRB’s Railroad Unemployment and Sickness program.

The RRB’s General Counsel warns, “This would have the practical result of a 100% sequestration of all non-exempt direct spending accounts including the funds from the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund which is used to pay unemployment and sickness benefits.” The result: about $18 million — all of which is paid by employers subject to the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) on an experience-rated basis — would be taken from the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to pay for tax breaks for others — corporations and the nation’s wealthiest private citizens.

Please call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and ask to speak with the House of Representative Member from your Congressional District. If you do not talk directly with your Member of Congress, then ask to speak to the staff member who handles Labor issues. When speaking to staff, please be respectful just as you would if you were personally speaking with your member of Congress. Also follow these procedures when contacting each of the two Senators from your state.

Contact information for your member of the House can be found online here: Contact information for your Senator can be found online here.

“RUIA taxes are paid by the railroad industry to help our Brothers and Sisters who are injured or out of work,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “If this threat to their economic security doesn’t make you furious then you aren’t paying attention. The wildly irresponsible Republican tax proposal would rob hard working Americans to give tax breaks to wealthiest Americans and to even wealthier corporations. I urge each and every member of the BLET and their families, as well as those in the BLET Auxiliary, to lobby their Representatives and Senators and demand that they vote ‘No’ on this outrageously unfair tax bill.”