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(Source: Associated Press, April 2, 2024)

Major freight railroads will have to maintain two-person crews on most routes under a new federal rule that was finalized Tuesday. The Federal Railroad Administration released the details of the rule Tuesday morning, after working on it for the past two years.

Rail unions have long opposed one-person crews because of a combination of safety and job concerns. Labor agreements requiring two-person crews have been in place for roughly 30 years at major railroads, although many short-line railroads already operate with one-person crews without problems.

BLET National President Eddie Hall praised the Federal Railroad Administration for taking the step, which marks a milestone in labor’s long fight to preserve two-person crews. President Hall told the Associated Press that keeping two people in the cab of a locomotive is crucial now that railroads are relying on longer and longer trains that routinely stretch miles long. “As trains — many carrying hazardous material — have grown longer, crews should not be getting smaller,” he said.

Full story: Associated Press

Photo courtesy: Cory Rusch, BLET Division 659