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Rail News: Safety

Four congressmen introduce Rail Safety Enforcement Act

In response to a string of accidents on MTA Metro-North Railroad, four congressmen — three from Connecticut and one from New York — yesterday unveiled a bill aimed at improving rail safety.

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D.Conn.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced the Rail Safety Enforcement Act, which would:
• require that every control cab have an "alerter," an automatic failsafe device that sounds an alarm when a train engineer seems idle while the train is in motion;
• require every rail carrier to develop a fatigue risk plan within 60 days and submit it to the U.S. Department of Transportation;
• require every carrier to report on their progress in implementing positive train control within 180 days of enactment;
• require the U.S. transportation secretary to issue regulations mandating redundant signal protection for workers on the track; and
• mandate that railroad employees are provided with predictable and defined work and rest schedules.

"The Rail Safety Enforcement Act is comprehensive, common-sense legislation that will improve rail safety all across the nation. Our first responsibility for our train systems has to be ensuring the public safety," said DeLauro in a press release.

"Metro-North's string of accidents and delays over the past year is unacceptable and inexcusable," added Himes. "One of the busiest commuter-rail lines in the country must be safer and must be more reliable – it is critical to our safety and to our region’s continued economic vitality."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/9/2014