Headline News

BLET: House Democrats Unveil Major Rail Safety Legislation


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 4 — On June 3, 2020, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D–OR) and Railroad Subcommittee Chairman Dan Lipinski (D–IL) introduced a $500 billion transportation bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, titled the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, includes numerous significant rail safety improvements in Title V.

Many of the stand-alone bills that have been central to BLET’s legislative efforts since 2008 have been incorporated into the Act, including:

• Two-person train crews;
• Increased Amtrak funding;
• Fatigue mitigation;
• Unsafe train lengths, including the impact on blocked crossings;
• Safety culture assessments;
• Safe cross-border operations with Mexico; and
• Crew member assault prevention.

The Act mandates a minimum crew size of two — a certified engineer and a certified conductor — on trains carrying hazardous materials, as well as on trains over 7,500 feet in length. These requirements are effectively a repudiation of last year’s withdrawal by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) of pending two-person crew regulations, and that Agency’s attempt to preempt numerous state laws governing crew size.

Click here to read the entire article the BLET’s website.