The Department of Transportation today proposed a new regulation requiring railroads operating within Kansas to maintain a minimum of two crew members in the control compartment of the lead locomotive unit of a train.
“Kansas has faced issues ranging from crew member fatigue to derailments which pose a threat to our safety and security – but by maintaining the current practice of requiring a two-person crew we can ensure the health and safety of Kansas workers,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This proposed regulation is a commonsense, necessary measure to protect our state’s railroad crew members and keep every community along the tracks safe.”
The regulation reads as follows:
K.A.R. [36-43-1]. Crew Requirements.
(a) Railroads operating within Kansas shall maintain a minimum of two crew members in the control compartment of the lead locomotive unit of a train.
(b) Compliance with subsection (a) of this Section shall not be required during switching operations, brake testing, safety inspections, or while performing setouts in conjunction with road service.
The benefits of the proposed rule and regulation is railroad and community safety, including the role two-person crews can play in helping to prevent potential accidents or derailments and in emergency situations.
Other states that have enacted legislation on minimum railroad crew requirements are Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon, California, West Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, and Illinois.
Nearly all railroads in Kansas are currently operating two-person crews and will have no increased labor costs from the implementation of this regulation.