Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Labor


Rail News: Labor

BLET asks FRA to set maximum train length for Class Is


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) National President Eddie Hall is calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to set a maximum train length of 7,500 feet for the nation's Class Is.

In an Oct. 9 letter to FRA Administrator Amit Bose, Hall said that 5-mile-long trains recently have been put into operation. Hall wrote that the FRA's April 11 safety advisory — which instructed Class Is to reexamine train length — doesn't go far enough.

Hall asked the FRA to implement a train-length maximum by emergency order. Train size and length have been cited in recent derailments in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Ohio, he wrote. Carriers have lengthened trains "without training engineers to handle these monstrous trains properly," his letter stated.

Class Is have implemented longer trains without considering the impact on passing sidings, grade crossings, cross-over switches and proximity to schools and hospitals, Hall added.

"This was never an issue with trains within the 7,500-foot length," Hall wrote. "Best practices and operating techniques have been developed over decades for train crews to rely on to operate the 'normal' sized trains safely. Now, very long trains are the 'new normal.'"

To read Hall's letter in its entirety, click here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/16/2023