Marysville, Mich., passes remote control safety resolution

Fourth U.S. city asks FRA to adopt enforceable guidelines to regulate remote control trains

The City Council of Marysville, Mich., unanimously adopted a resolution calling for improved federal safety regulations to govern the operation of remote control locomotives.

The December 2 resolution asks the Federal Railroad Administration to, "conduct a comprehensive and thorough review of the safety of remote control locomotives and develop comprehensive regulations for the use of remote control locomotives"

The City Council cited its duty to provide for the public safety of its citizens as well as a U.S. Department of Transportation warning about possible terrorist attacks on passenger and freight railroads as reasons for adopting the resolution, according to BLE Michigan State Legislative Board Chairman Greg Powell, who worked with the Metro Detroit Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, to have similar legislation adopted by the City Council of Detroit, Mich.

Like Marysville, city councils in Baton Rouge, La., Shreveport, La., and Detroit, Mich., have adopted similar - but more strict - resolutions, which also ask the FRA to adopt comprehensive regulations to govern the operation of remote control locomotives. The Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Detroit city councils, however, called for an outright ban of remote control trains and specifically asked railroad companies to refrain from operating remote control trains within city limits until certain safety requirements have been met.

Several other U.S. cities are also considering similar resolutions to ban remote control locomotives.

The resolution, No. 32-02, reads as follows:


WHEREAS, the City of Marysville has a duty to provide for the public safety of its Citizens; and

WHEREAS, railroad equipment, including the use of remote control locomotives, is known to present significant danger to persons and property from collision, derailment, and possible release of hazardous materials; and

WHEREAS, the United States Government has issued a safety alert against vandalism and terroristic threats against railroads;

WHEREAS, the City desires to give additional instruction and direction to the City Manager;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Marysville requests that in the interest of the safety of the Citizens of the City of Marysville that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) conduct a comprehensive and thorough review of the safety of remote control locomotives and develop comprehensive regulations for the use of remote control locomotives to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens of Marysville will not be jeopardized by the use of such devices.


 

© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers