SMART TD comments to FRA in support of discretionary sounding of train horns

Published: September 28, 2017

In comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), SMART TD’s National Legislative Director John Risch wrote in support of allowing train crews to sound train horns at their discretion when traveling through rural America.

The comments were written in response to the Strasburg Railroad Company’s (SRC) request that their train crews be allowed to sound horns at their discretion due to livestock often grazing on farmsteads bordering tracks in Amish country.

“SRC’s request is not only reasonable, this is the way train crew members have conducted themselves for the past 140 years prior to the enactment of mandatory whistle rules,” Risch wrote. “This isn’t just an issue for Amish country – it’s an issue for all of rural America where farmers oftentimes herd livestock near a crossing and where people ride horses near the railroad track. Our nation’s operating crews should all be allowed the discretion in sounding or not sounding a locomotive horn when these situations arise.”

Risch went further in his letter to not only support SRC’s request but to also request that the FRA extend the waiver request to all railroads with the caveat that carriers be prohibited from disciplining crews from using their discretion.

Click here to read the full letter.