A leading economic group in the state of New Jersey, comprised of labor and business leaders, is supporting national legislation that would mandate two-person train crews throughout the United States.
The New Jersey Society for Environmental, Economic Development (NJ SEED) recently issued a letter supporting the BLET’s efforts to advance H.R. 3040 in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as similar legislation on the state level.
“NJ SEED is committed to working to preserve two-person crews for the … safety of our railways and citizens,” wrote Michael K. Drulis, Executive Director of NJ SEED. “The stakes are too high to do otherwise; the safest and securest workplace for the nation’s railroads, their employees and the public at large is one that includes a minimum of a two-person crew.”
H.R. 3040, also known as the Safe Freight Act, would mandate that “no freight train or light engine used in connection with the movement of freight may be operated unless it has a crew consisting of at least 2 individuals, one of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a locomotive engineer pursuant to section 20135, and the other of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a conductor pursuant to section 20163.”
“Both the engineer and conductor are critical to train operations — working symbiotically — dependent on one another for proper and sound procedures,” according to NJ SEED’s letter of support. “Paramount to the issue of crew size for train operations is ensuring safety on the nation’s rails. Instances in the past have proven that two-person crews play a vital role in working with first responders to protect the public and work in effort to guarantee safe practices.”
Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the BLET, thanked Executive Director Drulis and NJ SEED for supporting two-person train crews and recognized Brother Matt Kronyak, Chairman of the BLET’s New Jersey State Legislative Board, for educating the members of NJ SEED regarding this important safety issue.
NJ SEED is the leading voice in New Jersey for environmental balance and economic growth, focusing on issues such as maintaining New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure and its port facilities.
For a copy of NJ SEED’s letter, please click here.