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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

12/29/2003    Freight News

Rail News: Mechanical

BLE: Another city seeks safer locomotive remote-control guidelines

Central City, Ill., recently enacted a locomotive remote-control (LRC) safety resolution — the 47th local government body to request that the Federal Railroad Administration issue comprehensive guidelines governing LRC use, according to a Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers statement.

So far, 33 cities — including Detroit, Boston, Cleveland and St. Louis — and 13 counties have passed similar resolutions.

Ten AFL-CIO state federations also have passed LRC resolutions, including Arizona, Texas, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Georgia and Illinois.

BLE officials believe LRCs can be dangerous if operated by employees who are "less-trained and less-qualified than locomotive engineers." In January, an arbitrator determined LRCs are not "specifically reserved" for operation by engineers, enabling United Transportation Union-represented train and engine-service workers to operate remotes per a 2002 agreement with the National Carriers' Conference Committee.

FRA is monitoring U.S. railroads' LRC use and trying to identify any safety risks, administration officials said earlier this year.

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