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BLET Urges Rail Infrastructure Investment At House Hearing

Safety of Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Discussed at Congress' Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

The need for proper infrastructure funding was a key point for Vice President and National Legislative Representative John P. Tolman as he delivered testimony on behalf of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, before Congress today in Washington, D.C. Vice President Tolman’s testimony also touched upon the need to address rail worker fatigue and maintain important rail safety regulations.

Vice President Tolman testified before the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials at a hearing titled: “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: The State of Railroad, Pipeline, and Hazardous Materials Safety Regulations and Opportunities for Reform.”

Regarding infrastructure, Vice President Tolman said, “The people want, need and deserve better and safer infrastructure. We should have the best airports, rail systems and freeways in the world. It was exciting during the presidential campaign to hear candidate Trump offer the idea of a big infrastructure project for the U.S. The public will is there, and the political will must address the needs of the people.”

The lack of proper infrastructure funding has had a major negative impact on rail commuters, especially those along the East Coast as evidenced by the recent slowdowns resulting from delayed infrastructure repairs at Penn Station.

“Tunnels are being used to carry passenger trains into and out of New York City that were built in the early 1900s,” Tolman said. “Penn Station in New York is forced to handle three times as many trains as it was designed to accommodate. And every day three railroads, scores of employers, and hundreds of thousands of commuters cross their fingers that this won’t be the day that infrastructure fails in a catastrophic way.”

To read the rest of the article from the BLET's website, please click here.

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