WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), issued this statement after the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a safety advisory regarding accident mitigation and train length:
“We welcome recent rail safety actions from the Federal Railroad Administration, including the safety advisory drawing attention to the complexities of long freight trains. Currently, there is no maximum train length established by federal law. Rail corporations are increasingly running heavier and longer trains that are often several miles long.
“As train length has increased in recent years, safety concerns have also increased. Train length is recognized as a contributing factor in derailments. Long trains have notoriously blocked crossings, to the detriment of many small towns across America, and have also led to technical challenges, including the loss of signal and radio communications.
“Unfortunately, rail workers are all too familiar with the dangers posed by long trains and are eager to see greater federal regulation of freight train length, weight, and composition.”