SB 24

  • Link passes rail safety initiative

    Senator LinkSPRINGFIELD – Freight trains in Illinois would be required to be operated by a crew of at least two people under a safety proposal introduced by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate this week.

    “Incidents across the country continue to highlight the importance of two-person crews on freight trains,” Link said. “It is simply a matter of public safety. Two-person crews can react more efficiently to mechanical failures or equipment malfunctions and can potentially save lives in a serious situation.”

    Link’s measure – contained in Senate Bill 24 – requires freight trains to be operated by a crew of at least two individuals until a federal rule or law is adopted that addresses how many crew members should operate a freight train.

    If passed and signed into law, Illinois would join Wisconsin, California and Arizona in enacting some form of train crew requirement.

    “We feel this is a commonsense measure until there is a federal law put in place,” said Bob Guy, SMART TD Legislative Director for Illinois. “Trains break down on a daily basis. A minor issue can bring a train to a halt. What happens when that is in the middle of a community?”

    Senate Bill 24 passed the Senate on Thursday on a 35-19 vote. Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) will be sponsoring the proposal in the Illinois House.