Wis. unveils rail safety bill in wake of derailments

Published: November 13, 2015

safety_signWisconsin State Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) on Wednesday introduced legislation aimed at improving rail safety in her state.

Co-authored by Wisconsin State Sens. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), the bill would provide for more state rail track inspectors; require railroads to submit prevention and response plans to the state; provide training for local emergency first responders along railroad routes; and create guidelines for coordination and response timelines in the event of a derailment.

Billings introduced the bill in the wake of two derailments in Wisconsin over the past week: a BNSF Railway Co. train derailed in Alma that led to an ethanol spill, and a Canadian Pacific train that derailed in Watertown, spilling hundreds of gallons of crude oil. CP determined that a broken rail caused the incident, the Associated Press reported.

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Click here to read the full content of the proposed legislation.