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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
Bill would mandate two-person crews on freight trains
U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has re-introduced legislation that would require a minimum of two crew members on all freight trains.
The "Safe Freight Act of 2017 " (H.R. 233) would require that "no freight train or light engine used in connection with the movement of freight" may operate unless it has a crew of a certified locomotive engineer and a certified conductor on board.
Introduced Jan. 3, the bill mirrors legislation Young introduced last year. Requiring two crew members on all freight trains is supported by rail labor organizations, such as the SMART Transportation Division.
"After several major train derailments, we must send a clear message to our lawmakers and the general public that multi-person crews are essential to ensuring the safest rail operations possible in their communities," said SMART TD President John Previsich in a press release.
Legislation that mandates two-person crews on freight trains has been opposed by the Association of American Railroads.
Young's bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.