News & Reviews News Wire Virginia two-person crew bill goes to governor

Virginia two-person crew bill goes to governor

By Trains Staff | March 4, 2024

| Last updated on March 12, 2024

Significantly amended legislation narrowly passes General Assembly

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Seal with woman standing on top of man
The state seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia legislation requiring two-person crews for freight trains in the state has passed the legislature and been sent to Gov. Glenn Youngkin for his signature, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports.

The bill that passed narrowly passed both houses of the General Assembly — 51-49 in the House of Delegates, and 20-19 in the Senate — has been significantly amended from the legislation introduced in January by Delegate Shelly A. Simonds (D-Newport News) [see “Virginia legislator introduces rail regulation bill,Trains News Wire, Jan. 9, 2024]. It originally included provisions limiting train length and setting penalties for blocking grade crossings for more than five minutes. The Virginian-Pilot reports votes in both houses were along party lines, with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing. This may suggest odds are not good that it will be signed by Youngkin, also a Republican.

Simonds, who introduced similar legislation in 2023, told the newspaper she will try again if Youngkin veotes the bill.

2 thoughts on “Virginia two-person crew bill goes to governor

  1. Would this affect shortlines in the state or just class 1s? If so, they might need a three person crew – two always in the cab and the conductor performing work on the ground.

  2. While this proposed legislation mandating two-person train crews MIGHT have been well-intended, it seems the legislators in the Virginia Assembly don’t understand (or don’t care) about the fact that railroads are “interstate commerce” and regulated on these matters by the federal government (not the states).

    Ergo, should this legislation be signed by Governor Youngkin, and it sounds like it might not, it will be overturned in the legal appeals process …

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