RAIL BRIEFS

RAIL BRIEFS

BN Plans to Use

Non-Union Rail UnitSaying that talks with its own unions on crew size had broken off, Burlington Northern Railroad on Monday announced plans to use a non-union subsidiary to operate trains between Seattle and the Midwest starting in April.

The railroad line, which had unsuccessfully sought work rule concessions to make it possible for Burlington Northern to run low-cost expeditor trains itself, said it would invite the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the United Transportation Union to begin talks with workers of its subsidiary, the Winona Bridge Railway Co.

Winona Bridge trains would use Burlington Northern tracks and equipment to provide unscheduled, low-cost transportation on a contract basis for new or additional business only, Burlington Northern executives said.

The railroad said Winona Bridge trains would operate with one engineer and one conductor. As a separate company, Winona Bridge would not be bound by the extensive work rules that apply to regular Burlington Northern trains. Railroad union leaders immediately charged that Winona Bridge-style operations could cost them as many as 1,600 jobs.

Burlington Northern said it decided to activate Winona Bridge after it was unsuccessful in winning union concessions needed to operate such expeditor

trains for new business directly.

ICC to Start Accepting

Credit Cards for Fees

WASHINGTON - The Interstate Commerce Commission will begin accepting credit cards for payments of charges for some of its services.

As of next Monday, the commission will accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards for such things as application fees, fines and tariff filing fees at its headquarters in Washington and its regional offices in Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.