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BLET, BMWED officials from five states, D.C. form lobbying coalition

Members of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) legislative boards in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., recently formed the "Keystone Corridor Project" to coordinate lobbying efforts for security and safety issues affecting freight and passenger trains operating in those Mid-Atlantic regions.

The project will support a "variety of rail transportation initiatives important to the safety and security of the general public, as well as rail users, passengers and employees through coordinated grassroots efforts," said Pennsylvania BLET Legislative Board Chairman Ken Kertesz in a prepared statement.

BLET and BMWED representatives in the regions plan to coordinate legislative agendas, and grassroot and public information campaigns for the 2005-2006 legislative session, and expand the project throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region (including Maryland and Delaware) to include other transportation unions.

Immediate action needs to be taken to protect freight and commuter trains throughout the regions, project leaders believe. One of the project's primary concerns is the safety of trains carrying hazardous materials.

"Since 9/11, no significant action has been taken to improve safety and security for the general traveling public or the thousands of communities through which deadly hazardous materials travel every day," said Kertesz.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/10/2005