As the United States is known as one of the best freight moving rail systems, keeping both the rails and workers safe is of high priority. Wes Eckstedt with the SMART-TD Local 0445 Railroad Union, reports they are fighting for two person crews as the Railway Safety Act of 2023 is currently in the Senate:
“Over time they have cut down with workers and that comes to our recent issues that we are dealing with, which is keeping a two person crew in the cab. For those that don’t know, it is necessary for safety is keeping two people up there and it is also necessary for keeping your crossings clear. In order to cut a train in half and clear a crossing, you need two people. As corporations go, a lot of people know, they want more jobs and less people. Unfortunately, sometimes that comes at a risk of safety and it comes at a risk to the public, so we are trying to get a Rail Safety Act, which is going through the Senate currently, passed to guarantee that we would have two people on every train.”
The Railway Safety Act also includes pieces of legislation to mandate the use of defect detection technology, place safety requirements on certain hazardous materials, improves emergency response and railcar inspections, and increases penalties for violations.
Bipartisan Railway Safety Legislation Heads to Commerce Committee Vote – U.S. Se… (senate.gov)