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Two-person crew rule in limbo NEWSWIRE

By R G Edmonson | February 13, 2017

Obama administration returned FRA proposal to the agency for consideration by Trump officials

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration’s proposal to put two crew members in most locomotive cabs has been caught in limbo between two administrations.

A senior FRA official speaking on background tells Trains News Wire that the Department of Transportation had forwarded the final proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget for approval back in December. It was a routine step in the regulatory process. The Obama administration’s budget office returned the rule to transportation department so Trump administration officials could consider it.

FRA officials are now waiting for a meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao to consider the crew rule among others, the official says. Chao took office on Jan. 31.

The rule calls for two crew members in a locomotive, unless a railroad asks for a waiver for single-person operation. Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor, certain commuter lines, and short lines now operate with one crew member in the cab. Class I and short line railroads worked against the proposal, arguing that crew size was an issue to be negotiated with labor unions.

Just after the new Congress convened, U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, introduced a bill calling for two-person crews. At the same time, a handful of states are considering their own crew size legislation.

7 thoughts on “Two-person crew rule in limbo NEWSWIRE

  1. Someone please introduce a bill to put 2 people in most truck cabs. Some good statistics on how many people are injured or killed in truck accidents would be helpful as well.

  2. We will not need anyone in the cab of a truck. It will be self driving. And nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wron, o w ong… g wr ng…

  3. Save the Two man crews. Look at it this way, President Trump would you fly in Air Force One with one man in the cockpit. Do we really need those extra men?

  4. With all the investment in PTC, the railroads will have the infrastructure to support automated trains. The sole employee on the locomotive will be there to ensure safety, not run the train.

  5. Roger Keay – bingo.

    And the unions should be in favor of this. The more efficiently trains are run, the lower their cost. The lower the cost the lower the freight rates. The lower the freight rates then more traffic will be attracted to the rails. More traffic means more trains means more jobs.

    And the opposite is true. In the end, causing higher costs through two man crews will just lose the railroads business. Less business, means fewer trains, means fewer jobs.

    The unions and the railroads should work together to drive costs down.

  6. Being a Conductor for a Short line, I do see a continued need for the two person Crew from Short lines to long haul. While our technology has made great leaps and bounds, we are still hampered by the physical nature of our infrastructure and equipment. It’s not like we no longer have track issues that PTC won’t see/detect or that we no longer have pull-aparts or broken drawbars. I see the need for two person crews more from a safety issue. I can well imagine a situation where the Engineer would have to leave his cab and walk back to see what the issue is that caused the emergency brake application on his mile long train. Then once found would need to walk back to the cab to build air and try to make the hitch, then go back and connect the air line, then walk back to the cab.
    No two person trains are a need not a luxury.

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