Erie-Lackawanna wrote: ↑Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:46 pm
So based on this, what is the difference between SunRail and Tri-Rail? Tri-Rail T&E crews have been in the RRB system since 2017. My understanding is that they got into the RRR system thanks to an agreement between the union and the employer.
here's what i got, directly from an ex-operations manager:
tri-rail went through an initial period, of struggling to find engineers, and having multiple de-certs from the ones they had. the sfrta put out a "request for bid" for the operating contract, after veolia's tenure. a stipulation for this new contract was to include rrb payments by the new operator. (payment into rrb is actually voluntary, to a degree, and a non-railroad is under no obligation to participate)
with the airport and amtrak connections, and the need to pull engineers from other carriers tri-rail had many offers in the beginning, from talented engineers, but they mostly rejected the work, when they found rrb wasn't on the table. the contract was awarded to herzog, and rrb payments were part of sfrta's terms and conditions, in the bid packet.
so, while not being mandatory for sfrta to participate, they did foresee the need to get "real" engineers to help run the railroad, in a safer and more efficient manner, and their participation got them the experienced engineers they were looking for. as for brightline and sunrail, it remains to be seen if they'll follow suit, but bombardier was pretty adamant about not paying in, under the contract that's set to expire this year. brightline currently has shown no interest in the program. it seems some guys just want to run really fast, and aren't so concerned about their pensions.