Public support needed

The Ohio Sate Legislative Board needs the public’s support to reach out to Ohio Republican Congressmen: David Joyce, Troy Balderson, Bill Johnson and Michael Turner to follow the example set by fellow Ohio Republican Congressman Steve Stivers in supporting and Co-sponsoring H.R. 1748 — The Safe Freight Act.

H.R. 1748 is a common sense approach to railroad safety, that would not cost the Class 1 Railroads in the United States any more money, simply because Two-person Freight Train Crews have been the norm since 1992.

H.R. 1748 — The safe Freight Act Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

– The Safe Freight Act would require that freight trains are operated by a crew of at least two individuals- a certified conductor and a certified engineer.

Why is this legislation necessary?

– This legislation is critical to ensuring the safety of our nation’s railroads and the millions of Americans who live in the surrounding communities.

– While almost all freight trains are currently operated by two-person crews, some rogue operators have begun operating with a single crew member.

– July 6, 2013, an unattended freight train carrying 72 tank cars of crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 people and destroying the town. The train rolled away from its parked position because the single crew member could not properly secure it alone.

– Locomotive engineers and conductors are each responsible for a long list of unique duties, most of which must be carried out simultaneously.

– Two-person crews not only help prevent potential accidents or derailments, but also play a critical role in mitigating emergency situations when they do occur.

– Having two-person crews is one of the most effective ways to combat fatigue among operating employees- the most critical safety issue facing the rail industry today.

– Positive Train Control (PTC), while and important safety technology, cannot replace the vital role of a second crew member.

– No one would approve of a commercial airliner being operated by a single pilot, even though a plane can fly itself: a freight train, which cannot, should be treated no differently.

Stuart Gardner