Support Two Person Train Crews
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Sign to support legislation that will protect train employees and civilian population centers by making it a requirement for railroad carriers to have two-person crews.
With recent developments in technology, it is being argued that trains no longer require two-person crews (consisting of a Conductor and Engineer). This is a false narrative for several reasons.
Operating a Train is not a one-person job. The Engineer requires his position to be backed up by a Conductor. Over the course of a trip (that can span hundreds of miles). It is unsafe to expect a single person to navigate all hazards they will meet. Rather it is another set of eyes on the rails ahead to call out that there is a tanker truck on the crossing ahead, or to get on the radio and copy information being passed that impacts running the train. There are also times that uncommon events take place while en route and the conductors must look up proper procedures as the Engineer is busy "driving" the train. To combine these jobs at this time would be unsafe for everyone. The technology exists now to help mitigate some of these risks, which carriers are using to argue that a one person crew can work. This is not the case.
The argument is also being made that two-person crews can be a distraction. While it is inarguable that this can sometimes be the cause of incidents the truth is having that extra person there to keep you focused on the job prevents incidents. Reducing the crews to one person will unfortunately over time show just how many incidents having that second body prevents. I can attest that I have seen incidents avoided on several occasion for this reason. So however many incidents the "distraction" of another person has caused it doesn't outweigh (or even come close) to how many it has avoided. But you don't hear about those times because they didn't happen. Which is how being safe works, but apparently this has given the carriers a false sense of the realities of the jobs they have never worked. Which is why they are pushing for single person crews now.
This is truly a safety issue. Trains are being built heavier, and longer. With all kinds of hazardous material sprinkled throughout. Two-person crews prevent incidents. A reduction to a single crew member will cause an increase in incidents. Any railroader will tell you that. This is not an occupation you want any increase in incidents. We transverse every single city and environment in this country. We need to be as near to zero incidents as is humanly possible. Considering the Carriers disregard for what those who actually do the job have to say on the issue. It would appear that they have forced our hands and we need help to get the carriers to finally listen to the men and women of the rails. We and the public need TWO person Crews.
So we ask that you pass:
Senate Bill (SB 1187) and House Bill (HB 2423).
“I’ve worked in the industry including being the single person operating trains with PTC... nothing has been safer than two people in my experience so far. Technology fails, but good rules and good people are the key.”
“I have a lot of families that work for the railway and I speak to them quite often about this topic and how it would make it much more dangerous to have single man crews, what if something happened to that engineer? Now there is no conductor there to help him or call for help if needed. I work in an industry where a rule of thumb is to never work alone, always work as a minimum 2 man crew in case anything were to ever happen and having a second set of eyes and second opinion is always a good thing”
“Would you fly on a jetliner with only one person who is in the cockpit?”
“I'm signing for the reasons mentioned plus if there's one man crew and anything happens to you from heart attack to slip and fall there's no one to help you and your odds of dying dramatically increase”
“Two person integrity is needed in all critical situations, like flying a commercial jet.”
“I am a railroader and can honestly say it takes two. There were countless trips that it took both of us working together to get home safe. Long crazy hours take their toll on a person.”
“A lot can happen in 288 miles. Due to excessive tonnage, engine power reductions, track conditions, etc, we often pull hills at 12 mph and work 6-12 hours without stopping. Personal electronics have been outlawed to include music. More trains run at night than daylight. Fatigue is our biggest risk. A two man crew is a team of professionals trained to transport tons of cargo safely through cities without incident.
Just because we do that very well every day doesn't mean we should be punished and forced to attempt it alone. Best case scenario the lone engineer arrives safely. Engines and cars break down every day. Without a two man crew to get that train rolling again all trains ahead and behind it must stop. One man crews spell disaster any way you slice it.”
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