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Rail worker security training bill enters House


Last month, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) introduced the Rail Worker Emergency Training Act of 2005 (H.R. 4372), which would mandate security training for railroad workers.

The bill would appropriate $100 million to the U.S. departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation to provide grants to railroads to cover training costs. Rail workers would be trained to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks, natural disasters and other emergencies.

Training programs would be required to address critical infrastructure and equipment security inspection; hazardous material storage, transportation and monitoring; evacuation procedures in the event of a fire, explosion, natural disaster or other emergency; unauthorized rail yard access and yard security; live training exercises; procedures for reporting suspicious activity and security breaches; how to notify law enforcement and other appropriate officials about an emergency; how to communicate with passengers during an emergency; and how to secure a locomotive cab.

H.R. 4372 also would require railroads to file specific training plans with DHS within a year or face non-compliance fines

“This bill goes a long way towards addressing the woeful lack of security training given to railroad workers,” said Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen National President Don Hahs in a prepared statement. “It recognizes that these men and women are our first line of defense against terror on the railroads.”

The bill has been referred to the House’s Homeland Security, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/7/2005