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FRA's upcoming RCL safety report will raise questions about using remotes on mainlines, AAR says

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) soon will release a report on remote-control locomotive (RCL) safety to Congress, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

That report will show that railroads using RCLs in yards reported fewer injuries and recorded lower injury rates compared with conventional switching operations, AAR officials believe.

However, in a Sept. 9 letter on the report sent to the AAR and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, FRA officials expressed concern about non-incidental use of RCLs on mainlines and employee training on remotes.

“The rail industry is committed to the safe implementation of this important technology,” said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger in a prepared statement. “We believe that these concerns can be addressed satisfactorily and look forward to working with FRA to resolve them.”

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More News from 9/21/2005