KDOT proposes new rule regulating railroad crew size

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 3:07 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Department of Transportation has proposed a new safety rule that regulates the minimum size of a railroad crew.

Governor Laura Kelly says the Department of Transportation has proposed a new regulation requiring railroads that operate within Kansas to require a minimum crew of two members in the control compartment of the lead locomotive unit of a train.

“Kansas has faced issues ranging from crew member fatigue to derailments which pose a threat to our safety and security – but by maintaining the current practice of requiring a two-person crew we can ensure the health and safety of Kansas workers,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This proposed regulation is a commonsense, necessary measure to protect our state’s railroad crew members and keep every community along the tracks safe.”

Kelly says the new regulation requires the following:

  • Railroads operating within Kansas shall maintain a minimum of two crew members in the control compartment of the lead locomotive unit of a train.
  • Compliance with subsection (a) of this Section shall not be required during switching operations, brake testing, safety inspections, or while performing setouts in conjunction with road service.

Gov. Kelly says the benefits of the proposal are railroad and community safety, including the role two-person crews play in helping prevent accidents or derailments and in emergencies.

According to Kelly, other states have enacted legislation on minimum crew requirements such as Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon, California, West Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and Illinois.

Gov. Kelly says almost all railroads in Kansas now operate with two-person crews and will have no increased cost of labor for implementation of the regulation.

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