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2/25/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Pine Bluff bans locomotive remote controls within city limits, BLE says


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The city of Pine Bluff, Ark., recently passed a resolution banning locomotive remote controls (LRCs) within city limits until safety issues are resolved, according to Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.


Baton Rouge and Shreveport, La.; Detroit and Marysville, Mich.; Boston; and Cleveland already passed or are considering similar resolutions.


Pine Bluff officials are concerned about LRCs role in grade-crossing safety, the threat of terrorism and hazardous-material dangers, BLE said.


To track LRC legislation and accidents/incidents, present BLE and newspaper articles, and promote "informational" rallies, the union recently set up a Web site, www.ble.org/remotecontrol.


In mid-January, BLE filed a dissent to an arbitrator's Jan. 10 ruling, which determined there's no national rule or precedence in national bargaining that specifically reserves LRC operations to BLE, or prohibits a carrier from assigning remote-control work to other crafts (represented by United Transportation Union) or eliminating engineer jobs.


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