January 30, 2018: U.S. Senator Introduced Bill Requiring 2 Person Crews on Freight Trains

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp introduced H.R. 233: The Safe Freight Act on January 30, 2018. The purpose of the Safe Freight Act is to set a mandatory minimum two-person crew on all freight trains and light engines used in connection with the movement of freight.
One of the crew members must be certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a locomotive engineer pursuant to section 20135. The other crew member must be certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a conductor pursuant to section 20163.
Senator Heitkamp said “When a disaster like the Casselton derailment sends shockwaves through our communities, we must do everything we can to prevent accidents and improve our ability to respond in the future. After the Casselton derailment, it was clear that having two crew members on board the train made all the difference to prevent the fire from escalating and threatening those living nearby. My legislation is a commonsense way to make our communities strong and safe while supporting an industry that is vital to North Dakota jobs and prosperity.”
Jim Chase, the North Dakota Legislative Director for SMART Transportation Division, stated “North Dakota’s rail workers are at the forefront of keeping communities safe while transporting the raw materials, goods, and products that keep our economy thriving. We strongly support Senator Heitkamp’s legislation to make rail transport as safe as possible for the general public as well as the men and women who go to work to keep the railroads running 24/7 each and every day.”

Senator Introduces Safe Freight Act

S.2360 – Safe Freight Act