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Union Wants Feds to Mandate 2-Member Train Crews
07/24/2013 04:24 PM ET  

In the wake of the Lac Megantic rail disaster, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen is encouraging U.S. officials to mandate at least two crew members for freight trains in the U.S.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A union wants to end the practice of using single-person crews for freight trains in the U.S. following a runaway train derailment, explosion and fire that killed 47 people in Canada.

Canadian officials on Tuesday banned single-person train crews for dangerous cargo. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen is encouraging U.S. officials to mandate at least two crew members.

There's nothing to indicate that extra crew would have prevented the July 6 disaster in Quebec. Canadian officials say the train rolled away because of insufficient brake force.

Nonetheless, the disaster put focus on a Maine-based train operator that placed one person in charge of a train carrying 72 tankers filled with crude oil. In the U.S., the Federal Railroad Administration doesn't mandate the size of crew for freight trains but says one-crew trains are "very rare.''


 

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