Michaud, Pingree welcome FRA's strongly worded letter to MMA on one-man crews
(Source: Joint press release from the offices of Mike Michaud (D-ME) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME), August 22, 2013.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree praised Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Joseph Szabo for sending a strongly worded letter to the president of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway encouraging the company to change their operating procedures to use two-person crews in the United States. The company previously announced that they were making that change only in Canada.
“We agree with Administrator Szabo — it makes no sense to put two-person crews on trains operating in Canada and not in the United States. All of the communities that their trains pass through deserve the same protection that comes from increasing crew size,” said Michaud and Pingree.
In the letter to MM&A President Ed Burkhardt, Szabo wrote, “I was shocked to see that you changed your operating procedures to use two-person train crews in Canada, but not the United States. Because the risk associated with this accident also exists in the United States, it is my expectation that the same safety procedures will apply to your operations here.”
On August 2nd, Michaud introduced “The Safe Freight Act,” a bill that requires a minimum of two-person crews for freight trains. Pingree is an original cosponsor of the legislation. Following the rail accident in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada issued an emergency directive implementing several safety enhancements, including requiring a minimum of two-person crews for trains carrying hazardous materials. While no such requirement exists in the United States, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced support for multiple person crews, and the FRA’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee will examine the issue later this month.
A copy of Szabo's letter to Burkhardt is here.
Friday, August 23, 2013
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