New York State legislation to address railway safety
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--Some New York State lawmakers concerned about railway safety pass legislation in the most recent legislative session in Albany, that would require certain trains to have a crew size no less than two people.
“I think that is a bare minimum. I think we need to make sure that there are human beings who can take control of that equipment should something go wrong,” said Assembly Member William Magnarelli (D-Assembly District 129).
John Feltz, railroad division director for the Transport Workers Union of America said a two person crew including the engineer and the conductor are crucial for railway safety.
“If you do have a problem with a train when it’s on the road and a car inspector isn’t close enough to get there, you have that conductor to go down, research or search the train to see what the problem is,” he said. “You can never have enough people."
The legislation passed both houses and currently awaits review from Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Some transportation experts said in addition to crew size, railway safety can be improved through more advanced braking systems and train cars.
Lawrence Levine, a transportation engineer, said there are more and more derailments due to aging infrastructure. He said the inherent problem is old tracks and their ability to handle trains today.
“There are new tracks and so forth, but they were laid out, they weren’t handling the weight, the speeds, and the frequency that they do now,” he said.