The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has challenged the Freight Rail Industry (FRA)’s push for rule mandating two-person crews on trains.
“Safety is this industry’s number one concern, but there is simply no safety case to be made for a regulation that requires two-person crews, especially where Positive Train Control is fully operational. Worldwide, trains safely operate with one person in the cab, including here in the United States with passenger and commuter trains and some short line freight railroads. Major European railway systems running many mixed freight and passenger trains per day have safely implemented single-person train crews,” said Edward R. Hamberger, AAR president and CEO.
“Even the FRA concedes they have no ‘reliable or conclusive statistical data’ to suggest that two-person crews are safer. I encourage the FRA to reexamine the facts and exercise sound regulatory judgment before finalizing a rule that lacks empirical support,” he added.
He also pointed out that Class 1 freight railroads remain committed to two people in the cab for trains operating on mainline track that is not equipped with Positive Train Control (PTC). PTC will be in operation for 60,000 out of the nation’s 140,000-mile freight rail system.