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House bill seeks to allow some online training of new railroad hires

By | August 3, 2022

Ohio congressman says legislation would streamline training process

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WASHINGTON — An Ohio congressman has introduced a bill which would allow trainees for railroad jobs to complete some aspects of their training online.

Man in suit standing in front of American flag
U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson

U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville, Ohio) introduced the Rail Employee Training Modernization Act last week, saying that existing regulations require employees to take part in classroom instruction, which delays training because it only begins when enough new hires are available to fill a classroom.

“Modernizing these requirements should be a no-brainer,” Balderson said in a press release. “We must take every possible step to streamline regulatory barriers that are worsening labor shortages in the freight rail industry, without compromising safety, standards, or effectiveness.”

The Association of American Railroads supports the legislation, with AAR CEO Ian Jefferies saying, “this smart solution would go a long way to helping the industry reach that goal [of getting new employees to work] without compromising safety.”

The bill, H.R. 8598, has been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

8 thoughts on “House bill seeks to allow some online training of new railroad hires

  1. I speak from experience in the use of computer based training in the railroad industry. It’s absolutely terrible and if the industry wants even less knowledge by its employees then let ‘em have it. Classroom interaction has and will always be far better then someone staring at a computer screen with Ben Stiller from Ferris Buellers day off teaching them with his monotone voice. They already have web based training in certain aspects of our recert programs and it’s the pits, but as usual the railroads have found a politician to yet again sponsor a way for them to cut corners and save them money. Yet if you ask the railroads everything they do in relation to government is wholesome and pure and no one else can compare to that.

  2. Instructed some new employees. Our lesson plan had some at home work. However,at home program was not robust enough to prevent cheating on answers to questions. Could not get 1st answer to lock out any later replys so I could re quiz at comppany”s class lroom. Had to quit it after meeting with my boss.

  3. If political leaders want to do everything online , let’s make them do the training also. There’s more to railroading then looking at a computer. The railroads think everything can be learned from a video.

  4. I’m trying to figure out what exactly could be done at home. Everyone knows that great percentage would be testing with book open. No open discussions of the material covered would be possible. Some of the best instruction is a group session where questions are asked and people can speak from their experiences. Want to make a change railroads? When you agree to hire someone just give them the material to go over and a study guide for them to use to go through the book. Then at least those who are serious will have some knowledge when training starts, BUT NO SHORTCUTS

  5. Since so much railroading is . hazardous, book learning needs a hands on component. Hanging on the side of a railroad car in the rain can not be experienced on a computer. Rules can be taught but they are learned best by being shown why the rules were made.

  6. The training should also include a session involving “The Talk”. In person, current T&E, MOW, and Craft employees detailing exactly the benefits and challenges of 24/7 railroading.

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