reported that a Tri-Rail train hit a garbage truck Monday morning, Jan. 4, in Lake Worth, Fla. 

More than twenty passengers were injured in the collision. Read the complete article here.

Tri-RailSMART Transportation Division represented engineers, conductors, and transportation specialists have ratified their tentative agreement with Tri-Rail/Transdev. 

The agreement, which passed by an overwhelming majority, provides members a fair wage with affordable healthcare for themselves and their families. 

“I would like to thank the members for staying united throughout the lengthy negotiations,” said GO-769 General Chairperson Dirk Sampson “We would not have been able to have this successful outcome without the assistance of SMART Transportation Division Vice President Jeremy Ferguson. Brother Ferguson, with the help of Local 30’s Local Chairperson Andy D’Egidio and Vice Local Chairperson John Britt, made a team that enabled us to negotiate an agreement that will provide the members with a 9.24 percent wage increase over the three-year period. It also maintains our high standards of health and welfare benefits with only a modest increase in bi-weekly premiums.” 

Members can expect to see the increase in bi-weekly contributions applied in the next pay period, and a retroactive wage payment that will follow. 

The Tri-Rail system serves a 72-mile corridor running parallel to Interstate 95 between West Palm Beach in the North to Miami in the South. It provides service to three major airports: West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. There are 18 stations en route, which provide ticket vending services for customers as well as electronic train information signs. The service is designed to integrate with local bus routes at every station to ensure excellent connections and seamless passenger service. Transdev employs 85 people who operate 50 trains each weekday, carrying 16,000 passengers every day.

The Board of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority unanimously voted Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, to award Veolia Transportation the three remaining option years for the company’s Tri-Rail contract. The contract now extends through June 2017.

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) originally awarded the operations contract for the Tri-Rail system to Lombard, Ill.-based Veolia Transportation in early 2007.

Read the complete story at Railway Age.


MIAMI — Florida East Coast Railway reportedly is in talks with the State of Florida to take over South Florida Tri-Rail management and operations, reports the Palm Beach Post.

South Florida Tri-Rail now operates over 71 miles of former CSX track linking West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, and is owned by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.

The UTU represents both sides of the cab and operations center employees on South Florida Tri-Rail, where Veolia Transportation holds the operating contract and Bombardier Transportation provides maintenance under contract. The Palm Beach Post says FEC “has never bid on those contracts.”

The state currently subsidizes the commuter rail operation with some $30 million annually, with another $13 million subsidy coming from local communities and additional funds from the federal government, reports the newspaper.

The Palm Beach Post says FEC wants to run the passenger trains on its own track, shifting the operations from CSX.

Reportedly, the talks with FEC were initiated by the Florida Department of Transportation. The state legislature would have to approve any transfer of operation.

The newspaper says Florida Gov. Rick Scott is anxious to transfer management and operation of South Florida Tri-Rail to the private sector.

MIAMI – By a four-to-one margin, UTU-member train and engine workers employed by Veolia Transportation — operator of South Florida Tri-Rail — have approved a new agreement. The UTU represents both sides of the cab on Tri-Rail.

The agreement includes pay increases retroactive to July 1, 2010, an increase in certification pay for engineers, certification-pay parity for conductors, overtime pay for employees assigned to training classes or examinations on rest days, improvement in bereavement leave, restrictions on the use of videos for purposes of discipline, a cap on health care insurance contributions, and the addition of a vision plan.

UTU International Vice President John Previsich assisted with negotiations. He congratulated the negotiating team, which included General Chairperson Roger Lenfest (Amtrak, GO 769), Local 30 (Jacksonville) Chairperson Andy D’Egidio and Vice Local Chairperson Steven Klemm for “an excellent job of bringing the membership’s wishes to the negotiating table.

“Because of their efforts, the negotiating team was successful in securing the excellent pay increases, certification pay and positive changes to the contract that the members desired,” Previsich said.

South Florida Tri-Rail operates over 71 miles for former CSX track linking West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, and is owned by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.

In January, employees of Tri-Rail’s operations center voted to be represented by the UTU.