News & Reviews News Wire Iowa legislation to limit train length takes first step forward

Iowa legislation to limit train length takes first step forward

By | January 27, 2023

Subcommittee advances bill proposing 8,500-foot limit for freight trains

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

DES MOINES, Iowa — Legislation seeking to limit the length of freight trains in the state of Iowa passed its first legislative hurdle Thursday, moving through a subcommittee to the state House Transportation Committee.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports a three-member subcommittee voted unanimously to advance House Study Bill 88, which would limit freight trains to 8,500 feet. A similar bill failed to advance out of committee last year [see “Rail union seeks Iowa bill …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 27, 2022].

Subcommittee member Rep. Brent Siegrist (R-Council Bluffs) supported advancing the legislation but said he is not yet sure he will support it in committee, telling the newpaper, “I want to hear more. … I have some questions, but at the same time, I’m not totally opposed to it.”

Unions have lobbied for the legislation for safety considerations. Railroads argue that the matter is one of interstate commerce, which can be regulated only by the federal government.

13 thoughts on “Iowa legislation to limit train length takes first step forward

  1. If 33 states out of the 50 attempt to pass railroad legislation like this, I am sure it would get some attention. Otherwise it falls to the courts and they will overrule.

  2. Interstate commerce, yes? If the Iowa legislature passes this law and it is signed by the governor, it will not doubt be appealed through the federal courts and likely thrown out ….

  3. There was a time, I believe, when the State of Indiana limited the number of cars allowed in a freight train. That may have been 70 or more years ago. Some railroads had yards right on the state line for that purpose. I’m not sure how Indiana was able to pull that off.

    1. different law. But class 1s should look out. Congress might legislate ability of states to app;y some limits on RRs. A lot of states are pointing out some of these problems to the congress persons.

  4. These fools know that this will be successfully appealed by the railroads, and it will never happen but now they can tell their constituents that they tried to do something, and they should be voted back into office because they are not competent to hold a real job.

  5. Leadership a complete lack of leadership, politicians at one time were proactive, now they are reactive. They fail at business so they run for government. The result lets limit commerce instead of investing in infrastructure. Sadly our governments are reactionary.

  6. While were at it, lets limit the amount of cars/trucks/semi’s that can be on interstate 80 at any given time too….why stop with the trains?

    1. In California many entrance ramps in urban areas have lights on them to restrict the numbers of vehicles that can enter the freeways.
      Even I-80 in both Sacramento and the Bay Area.

  7. Complete waste of time and energy. Just like state laws attempting to limit the amount of time a grade crossing can be tied up, this too will get tossed. Railroads can only be regulated by the ICC, not states.

You must login to submit a comment