Federal ruling on freight train crew size has states and unions up in arms

By David Lester, Managing Editor, RT&S Magazine; August 16, 2019

On May 29 of this year, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) withdrew from its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the issue of the number of crew members on a freight train.  According to the Federal Register, the FRA said “In withdrawing the NPRM, FRA is providing notice of its affirmative decision that no regulation of train crew staffing is necessary or appropriate for railroad operations to be conducted safely at this time.”  Later in the notice of withdrawal, the FRA says ” . . . this notice of withdrawal provides FRA’s determination that no regulation of train crew staffing is appropriate and that FRA intends to negatively preempt any state laws concerning that subject matter.”

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