Posts Tagged ‘two-person train crew bill’

SLB calls Ohioans to action on two-person crew bill

two-person_crewSMART TD Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner is calling members to action in response to the introduction of Senate Bill 229 (SB 229), the two-person crew bill introduced in the Ohio senate Oct. 14. The bill has been referred by the senate to the Public Utilities Committee.

“The call to action is this: I am requesting that every member in Ohio contact the Senators of the Public Utilities Committee and urge them to support SB 229,” Gardner said. “Email and call your state senator and tell them you want them to support SB 229 for the safety of our members and the general public that reside near the railroad tracks.

“Your message should be short and concise and to the point. We want them to understand that this is an important safety issue to you, your family and the public.

“I want you to understand that this is the first step. We want SB 229 to pass through this committee with a majority of votes. If SB 229 doesn’t get the majority of the votes in committee, it will die then and there.”

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Below are the members of the Public Utilities Committee and their contact information.

Senator Phone # Email Address Alt. Email Address

Cliff Hite
(R – Dist. 1)

614-466-8150 hite@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_01@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Ruby Marcum ruby.marcum@ohiosenate.gov
Kevin Bacon
(R – Dist. 3)
614-466-8064 sd03@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_03@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Caryl Philips caryl.philips@ohiosenate.gov
Bill Seitz
(R – Dist. 8)
614-466-8068 sd08@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_08@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Amanda Connell amanda.connell@ohiosenate.gov
Joseph Uecker
(R – Dist. 14)
614-466-8082 uecker@ohiosenate.com Senate_District_14@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Lindsay Riley  lindsay.riley@ohiosenate.gov
Bob Peterson
(R – Dist. 17)
614-466-8156 peterson@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_17@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Lucas Houghton lucas.houghton@ohiosenate.gov
John Eklund
(R – Dist. 18)
614-644-7718 Eklund@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_18@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Elizabeth Lust elizabeth.lust@ohiosenate.gov
Troy Balderson
(R – Dist. 20)
614-446-8076 balderson@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_20@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Sarah Huffman sarah.huffman@ohiosenate.gov
Sandra Williams
(D – Dist. 21)
614-466-4857 williams@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_21@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Brook Felts brook.felts@ohiosenate.gov
Tom Patton
(R – Dist. 24)
614-466-8056 patton@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District24@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Charles Trefny ctrefny@ohiosenate.gov
Tom Sawyer
(D – Dist. 28)
614-466-7041 tomsawyer@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_28@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Cindy Peters cindy.peters@ohiosenate.gov
Lou Gentile
(D – Dist. 30)
614-466-6508 sd30@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_30@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Maria Haberman steven.blalock@ohiosenate.gov

Unions advancing new two-person train crew bill

Previsich_150_px

Previsich

Continuing a cooperative effort to promote safety in the railroad industry, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers International Association (SMART) have jointly announced that legislation requiring at least two crew members on all freight trains in the U.S. has been introduced in the 114th Congress.

The Safe Freight Act (H.R. 1763), introduced by U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) April 13, would require two crew members — one certified locomotive engineer and one certified conductor — on all freight trains. The newly-introduced legislation mirrors H.R. 3040, which had more than 80 co-sponsors last year prior to conclusion of the 113th Congress. H.R. 1763 has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. 

H.R. 1763 would require that “no freight train or light engine used in connection with the movement of freight may be operated unless it has a crew consisting of at least 2 individuals, one of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a locomotive engineer pursuant to section 20135, and the other of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a conductor pursuant to section 20163.”

pierce

Pierce

The joint effort reflects heightened concerns over crew size arising from the July 6, 2013, derailment of a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic (MM&A) oil train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, which killed 47 people and destroyed the center of the town. The MM&A train was crewed by a single person. Since that time, there has also been movement by major freight railroads to seek collective bargaining agreements to allow for widespread use of one-person train operations.

“The BLET continues to oppose and condemn single-person freight operations as adverse to worker and public safety,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “All parties involved must understand that as things stand today, there are only two ways to end one-person train operations: federal laws or regulations that outlaw this dangerous practice, or collectively bargained contract language that requires two crew members on every train. We will continue to work to protect contractual language to defend two-person crews, and it also is our goal to protect the safety of railroad workers and the general public by advocating for passage of H.R. 1763.”

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich said, “The SMART Transportation Division has always espoused that the safest rail operation is a two-person crew operation. With several major train derailments having occurred in the last few months, most notably the oil train derailment and explosion near Charleston, W. Va., in February, our lawmakers and the general public must understand that multi-person crews are essential to ensuring the safest rail operations possible in their communities. I would like to thank Cong. Don Young (R-Alaska) for his leadership on this critical rail safety issue. No one would permit an airliner to fly with just one pilot, even though it can fly itself. Trains, which cannot operate themselves, should be no different.”

Young is serving his 22nd term as Alaska’s only representative in the House and is a former Chairman of both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (2001-2007) and the House Natural Resources Committee (1995-2001).