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Kansas DOT proposes safety rule requiring two-person train crews

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, July 28 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen is applauding the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for proposing a statewide two-person crew regulation to help ensure safe train operations within the state.

On July 27, KDOT proposed the new safety regulation, which would require railroads to maintain a minimum of two crew members in the cab of the lead locomotive while operating within the state.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said: “Kansas has faced issues ranging from crew member fatigue to derailments, which pose a threat to our safety and security — but by maintaining the current practice of requiring a two-person crew we can ensure the health and safety of Kansas workers. This proposed regulation is a commonsense, necessary measure to protect our state’s railroad crew members and keep every community along the tracks safe.”

The proposed regulation reads as follows:

“K.A.R. [36-43-1]. Crew Requirements.

“a. Railroads operating within Kansas shall maintain a minimum of two crew members in the control compartment of the lead locomotive unit of a train.

“b. Compliance with subsection (a) of this Section shall not be required during switching operations, brake testing, safety inspections, or while performing setouts in conjunction with road service.”

According to a KDOT press release, “The benefits of the proposed rule and regulation is railroad and community safety, including the role of two-person crews can play in helping to prevent potential accidents or derailments and in emergency situations. Nearly all railroads in Kansas are currently operating two-person crews and will have no increased labor costs from the implementation of this regulation.”

Other states with minimum train crew requirements are Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon, California, West Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Illinois.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said: “I thank Governor Kelly and the members of the Kansas Department of Transportation for this proposed safety regulation. It is essential to have two crew members inside the locomotive cab to save lives and to ensure the safe operation of trains throughout the state of Kansas.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
bentley@ble-t.org

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