FRA Certification Helpline: (216) 694-0240

On March 13, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Rail Subcommittee hosted a roundtable discussion to examine safety issues in the railroad industry. BLET Vice President & National Legislative Representative Vince Verna represented BLET. During his remarks, Brother Verna caught the attention of rail industry executives when he said, “No one should die at work.”

He also told legislators about Precision Scheduled Railroading rearing its head again, with a recent rise in rail worker furloughs, deferred maintenance, and reduced inspections. Brother Verna asked Congress to pass rail safety legislation that would mandate a minimum crew size, a maximum train length, and establish standards for wayside detectors. He also spoke about the benefits of an industry-wide C3RS pilot program.

Verna said that neither the full House T&I Committee nor the Rail Subcommittee have hosted a formal hearing on rail safety since the East Palestine derailment in 2023. The Rail Subcommittee Democratic leadership hosted the March 13 roundtable instead, which was technically not a hearing.

It was part of a busy week for the BLET National Legislative Office. In addition to the March 13 Congressional roundtable, Brother Verna also testified at a Federal Railroad Administration hearing on autonomous train car technology on March 12.

A video of Brother Verna’s comments at the rail safety roundtable discussion is available here.

A video of the entire roundtable is available here.