About SMART/UTU Local 1626


SMART/UTU Local 1626 is one of over 500 SMART transportation locals and represents over 150 train and engine service employees in service on both the Alaska Railroad and White Pass & Yukon Railroad.


Every year SMART Local 1626 railroaders move over 4 million tons of freight and nearly a million passengers, providing safe and efficient transportation support to Alaska's economy, tourism industry, and its residents. The local is headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska.


The SMART Transportation Division (SMART TD) labor union is headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted, Ohio and represents nearly 125,000 active and retired railroad, bus, mass transit and airline workers in the United States and Canada.




History of SMART TD

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Founded in June of 1883 at Oneonta, NY, when eight brakemen crowded into diminutive D&H caboose No. 10 to change rail labor history, the Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen was formed. In 1889 the union changed its name to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT) to reflect its expansion into other crafts, with membership reaching out to include rail workers in 14 different trade classifications. Later, in 1933, the BRT organized interstate bus operators.













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BRT was the largest of the UTU’s predecessor unions and represented Alaska Railroad train and engine service employees through the Federal ownership years until the BRT was merged with three other brotherhoods to form the United Transportation Union (UTU) in 1968.









utu logoIn 1968 exploratory talks among four railroad brotherhoods’, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, Switchmen’s Union of North America, and the Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen resulted in the merging of the four operation unions into a single organization to represent all four operating crafts.


In August of 1968 it was announced that the name of the new organization would be the United Transportation Union and the target date for establishing the UTU was January 1, 1969.






smart logoIn January of 2008,  the United Transportation Union (UTU) and Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association merged to form the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation International union (SMART Union) and it was then that the UTU became known as SMART TD. Combined, these unions hold over 200 years of history and tradition in the fields of rail, transit, aviation and sheet metal.


With offices in Cleveland and Washington, D.C., SMART TD is the largest railroad operating union in North America, with more than 500 locals. The SMART TD represents employees on every Class I railroad, as well as employees on many regional and shortline railroads. It also represents bus and mass transit employees on approximately 45 bus and transit systems and has recently grown to include airline pilots, dispatchers and other airport personnel.


Membership is drawn primarily from the operating crafts in the railroad industry and includes conductors, brakemen, switchmen, ground service personnel, locomotive engineers, hostlers and workers in associated crafts.