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Two-person crew law victory for people of Wisconsin

Monin applauds state's strong stand on safety

CLEVELAND, December 16 ­ A law signed yesterday by Gov. Tommy Thompson requiring two-person rail crews "is a victory for the people of Wisconsin," said Clarence Monin, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. "With this law, the state is taking a strong stand for the protection not only of rail workers but of Wisconsin communities."

Monin thanked Gov. Thompson for helping to quickly move the law through the legislature. It passed unanimously in both chambers ­ 99-0 in the state Assembly and 33-0 in the Senate.

"As we told the Federal Railroad Administration at its hearing in Appleton last December, remote-control technology cannot replace qualified operators," Monin said. "We have maintained all along that one-person Engineer-only crews are inherently unsafe."

Under the law, passed as Assembly Bill 35, all Wisconsin rail operations must have both a qualified Engineer and a qualified Conductor on each train. "With two people, there will be accountability and assistance if human failure occurs," Monin said.

A.B. 35 was introduced largely in response to a March 4, 1996 derailment of a Wisconsin Central freight train in Weyauwega, Wis. Fourteen derailed propane tanks forced the evacuation of 2,300 residents for 19 days within a two-mile radius of the crash.
Updated Tuesday, December 16, 1997
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