U.S. railways oppose proposed rule mandating two-person crews on trains

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) urged the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Friday to withdraw its proposed rule mandating two-person crews on railroads. In comments filed with the FRA, the AAR said that the proposal not only lacks any data-driven justification but could also undermine efforts to improve freight rail safety.

“There is no greater priority for the freight rail industry than safety, but this proposed rule offers no safety benefit to railroads, their employees or the public,” said Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO of the AAR. “There is absolutely no data to support the view that a second crewmember enhances safety. This regulation is trying to solve a problem that does not exist.”

In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published on March 15, the FRA acknowledged that it lacks any data to support the assertion that two-person crews are safer than one-person crews. In fact, the FRA notes that “it is possible that one-person crews have contributed to the improving safety record” of the rail industry. The NPRM also largely ignored studies provided by AAR in January 2015 that quantify the strong safety record of single-person operations, which are used all over the world.

“With no evidence that one-person operations are less safe, there is simply no basis for enacting a general prohibition on crew size reductions,” Hamberger said.

Source: AAR

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