Support H.R. 3040 The Safe Freight Act
On July 6, 2013 a runaway train carrying 72 tank cars of crude oil derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, just 10 miles from the Maine border. Subsequent explosions and fires killed nearly fifty people, destroyed more than forty buildings, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental damage. Prior to the derailment, the nearly mile long train carrying hazardous material had been operated by a single-person before it was left unattended for the night with the locomotive running. Since the accident, lacking sufficient liability insurance, the railroad has filed for bankruptcy . Layoffs and subsequent service disruptions have caused economic ripple effects for hard working families and businesses throughout Maine.
The tragedy in Lac-Megantic highlighted the significant dangers of single-person train crews. Freight railroads are present in nearly every district and they play an integral role in the American economy. Industries throughout the country depend on rail for the daily shipment of raw goods and hazardous materials. But as the hazardous shipments they carry traverse our cities, towns, and communities, we must make safety the highest priority.
The Safe Freight Act will improve railway safety by eliminating the risky practice of single person train crews. It would ensure each train is operated by a crew of at least two people, including a certified engineer and a certified conductor.
Please contact your Representative to urge them to support the Safe Freight Act.