Ohio State Senators Kenny Yuko (D) and Michael Skindell (D) are leading the effort to make Ohio railroads safer for crews and communities. The following three railroad legislative initiatives are scheduled for a first hearing Thursday, May 4 at 9:00 am at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. Hearings are open to the public.
Click on the following three senate bills to support the legislative efforts introduced by Sens. Yuko and Skindell:
 Ohio Senate Bill 74 – Two Person Crews on all Freight Trains: A minimum of two crew members on all freight trains operating in Ohio.
Ohio Senate Bill 89 – Rail Yard Lighting: To establish standard for lighting in a rail yard; and to establish penalties for railroad companies that are in violation of those standards.
Ohio Senate Bill 90 Use of Walkway Stone in Rail Yards: Establish standards for walkways in rail yards; and to establish penalties for railroad companies that are in violation of those standards.
Take another minute to ask your federal representatives to support H.R. 233, the Safe Freight Act, which would mandate a minimum of two-person crews on all freight trains operating anywhere in the U.S. 
Click here in support of H.R. 233.
Click here for more information on H.R. 233, the Safe Freight Act.

SMART TD’s John Risch, fourth from left.

WASHINGTON – John Risch, SMART TD National Legislative Director, participated in hearings as a member of the Roundtable on Emerging Railroad Technologies on March 21, 2017. Discussion focused on new and emerging trends in railroad safety including train crew size, recent advancements in train brake technology, and early warning systems.
“Thank you Chairman Schuster, Subcommittee Chair Denham, and Ranking Member Capuano for inviting me to the roundtable discussion on emerging railroad technologies. With nearly 40 years in the railroad industry, I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the importance of maintaining minimum crew sizes, implementing Positive Train Control (PTC), and most importantly investing in the installation of Electronic Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes, which are vital to safety of our railroads,” said John Risch, SMART-TD National Legislative Director.
“I look forward to working with the members of the committee to improve railroad safety as we discuss opportunities to strengthen our nation’s infrastructure,” Risch continued.
Click here to read Risch’s complete notes from the hearing.
Click here for information on participants and to view video.

RUGBY, N.D. – A 25-foot wall of snow stopped an eastbound Amtrak train in its tracks for twelve hours. Fortunately, no one was injured. Passenger services aboard the train remained operational, making the long wait more bearable. Read more from Bismarcktribune.com here.

ABCNews.go.com reported that federal regulators are concerned about the lack of progress from NYC commuter rail in implementing potentially lifesaving Positive Train Control (PTC) technology.  “The nation’s three busiest commuter railroads — which together serve nearly 1 million riders in the New York City area each day — continue to lag behind their smaller West Coast counterparts in installing sophisticated train-control technology that’s seen as an antidote to crashes involving speeding and other human factors…” Read the complete article here.

In light of the deadly NJT September 29th transit crash in Hoboken, NJ, that killed one person and injured more than 100, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, the top-ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate subcommittee that oversees passenger rail safety, and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, the top-ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate mass transit subcommittee, submitted a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx , calling for DOT to investigate the long list of safety violations, accidents and apparent systemic failures that have plagued the  NJT in recent years. The NTSB is currently investigation the crash. Read the complete article posted in NJ.com, here.

The Times-Herald RecordOnline reported that on October 21, 2016, a joint state and federal legislative commission will begin hearings with New Jersey Transit (NJT) administrators in the wake of the September 29 Hoboken, NJ transit crash that injured more than one hundred and killed Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, a young mother and lawyer who had recently moved to New Jersey with her husband and one-year-old daughter. Read the complete article here.