Evansville, Ind., says no to remotes

The Evansville, Ind., City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing remote control locomotives on April 7, becoming the 15th U.S. city to take action against unmanned trains.

The resolution states that, "The members of the Evansville City Council are concerned about the public safety of the citizens of Evansville, and the use of remote control locomotives is known to present significant dangers to persons and property from the possibility of collisions, derailments, and the release of hazardous materials."

The City Council also unanimously agreed that the Federal Railroad Administration should conduct a comprehensive and thorough review of the safety of remote control locomotives, and that it should develop comprehensive regulations (not "guidelines") to ensure that citizens are not at risk by their use.

The resolution also formally requests that remote control operations not be implemented or used in Evansville until the FRA develops more comprehensive guidelines to ensure public safety.

William M. Verdeyen, Chairman of the BLE's Indiana State Legislative Board, said that Division 742 Legislative Representative Ray Ford did a "fantastic job in talking to all members of the City Council" regarding remote control operations.

Evansville joins 14 other U.S. cities and seven counties in citing public safety concerns in the adoption of resolutions to restrict the operation of remote control locomotives in their communities.

The other 14 U.S. cities to pass resolutions opposing remote control locomotives are Belen, N.M., Alliance, Neb., Bakersfield, Calif., Beardstown, Ill., Baton Rouge, La., Shreveport, La., Detroit, Mich., Marysville, Mich., Boston, Mass., Cleveland, Ohio, Pine Bluff, Ark., North Little Rock, Ark., Woodbridge, N.J. and Maple Heights, Ohio.

In addition to the 15 cities, seven counties have passed resolutions against remote control operations - Douglas County, Wisc., West Baton Rouge Parish, La., Point Coupee Parish, La., Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Huron County, Ohio, Whitley County, Ky., and Unicoi County, Tenn.

A copy of the Evansville resolution is available on the BLE website at:

http://www.ble.org/pr/pdf/evansville.pdf

 

© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers