The Federal Railroad Administration announced a proposed rule that would require two-person crews on crude oil trains and intends to establish minimum crew size standards for most passenger rail and main line freight cars. Although the current FRA regulations do not specify a minimum number of crew staff, the industry practice is generally to have at least two crew members on over-the-road operations.
Following the Lac-Megantic derailment last summer the Department of Transportation requested three Railroad Safety Advisory Committee Working Groups hold an emergency meeting to evaluate and consider proposals that would further enhance railroad safety. The deliberations focused on appropriate train crew size, securement and hazardous materials issues. Two of the Working Groups succeeded in producing recommendations that were accepted by the full RSAC. These recommendations will be considered in future rulemaking. In addition, the full RSAC also approved four other recommendations that focused on identification, classification, operational control and handling of certain shipments.
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