Cedar Rapids, IA — Oelwein City Councilman Warren Fisk pushed back on the idea of government intervention into railroad crew size staffing in a recent op-ed for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Cautioning Iowa’s lawmakers against crew size legislation requiring two crew members in the cab of a locomotive, Fisk writes that this type of mandate could undercut railroads’ ability to innovate and compete with other modes.
“While we’ve seen this proposed legislation before, career professionals are confident that its unnecessary and counterproductive. Earlier this year, for example, the Federal Rail Administration (FRA), the freight rail industry’s top regulator in the federal government, reversed a proposed rule similar to the current bill. That decision was based on hard data that showed that crew staffing-size regulation neither makes freight rail safer nor more efficient. In fact, the FRA declared that there have been no previous rail accidents involving one-person crews that would have been avoided by the presence of a two-person crew.”
“Like any other industry in our state, Iowa’s freight rail industry must be allowed the economic and regulatory freedom to invest in itself and grow. Lawmakers should support legislation that improves business conditions in our state and stand against regulations that will hurt Iowans and work against their economic interests.”