Serious remote control mishap leads to safety resolution in Ky.

CLEVELAND, January 14 -- On January 13, the Greenup County Fiscal Court in Greenup, Ky., passed a resolution condemning remote control train operations after a CSX employee lost part of his leg in a remote control switching accident on December 15.

CSX employee Lloyd “Shane” Bishop, 29, was performing rail switching operations by remote control in Russell Yard last month when the accident occurred. One of his feet was crushed by a rail car, causing amputation above the ankle.

The Greenup resolution states, “We, the Fiscal Court of Greenup County, hereby, resolve that we are acutely aware of the recent accident that occurred at the Russell Yards in December 2003… If we identify safety problems associated with the use of this technology, we will aggressively move to mitigate and furthermore, alleviate the use of remote controls at said yard.”

So far, 47 cities and counties across the United States have passed resolutions calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to adopt enforceable regulations to make remote control operations safer. To date, no such regulations have been issued and major railroads in the United States are operating remote control trains under recommended safety guidelines.

Tommy Mayne, Chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen’s Kentucky State Legislative Board, attended the Fiscal Court’s January 13 meeting.

Brother Mayne reported the officers and members of BLET Division 271 in Russell, Ky., are deserving of praise for their hard work in lobbying for passage of the resolution. He noted the exceptional efforts of: Eddie May, President of Division 271; Tim Braden, Local Chairman of Division 271; Randy Sowards, Secretary-Treasurer of Division 271; Daniel Maynard, Legislative Representative; and Eddie Stump, Member of Division 271.

The December 15 accident in Russell happened just days after a Union Pacific worker was killed in a remote control switching accident in San Antonio.

On December 7, Union Pacific employee Jody Herstine, 37, was struck and killed by a locomotive that he was operating by remote control at a rail yard in San Antonio.

A copy of the resolution is on the BLET website at:

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

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