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Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation

1/30/2024



Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA: Norfolk Southern first Class I to join close-call reporting system


"We are greatly encouraged by Norfolk Southern Railway’s decision to enter the program with some of their employees represented by BLET and SMART-TD," said FRA Administrator Amit Bose.
Photo – Federal Railroad Administration

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The Federal Railroad Administration yesterday announced that Norfolk Southern Railway will join a pilot program of the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) in partnership with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD).

As a result of the agreement, NS employees represented by BLET and SMART-TD in Atlanta, Elkhart, Indiana, and Roanoke, Virginia, will be able to confidentially report unsafe events that they experience while being protected from NS discipline. The program has been proven to improve rail safety.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called on all Class Is to join the reporting system nearly a year ago, after an NS train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. NS is the first Class I to join the system.

"Norfolk Southern has taken a good first step, and it’s time for the other Class I railroads to back up their talk with action and make good on their promises to join this close call reporting system and keep America’s rail network safe," Buttigieg said in a press release.

FRA has encouraged the Class Is to join C3RS for years, having achieved significant growth in the program from about 15 participating short line and passenger railroads covering 23,000 employees in 2019 to 27 such railroads and more than 32,000 workers covered today, FRA officials said. To date, FRA has received nearly 31,000 reports through C3RS.

"We are greatly encouraged by Norfolk Southern Railway’s decision to enter the program with some of their employees represented by BLET and SMART-TD," said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. "However, it’s been nearly a year and no other Class I freight railroads have made good on their promise to join the program — it's time for action."

 



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