Status Check on the Railway Safety Act
The Railway Safety Act, which has been at a standstill since May 2023, was put together following the East Palestine in Ohio derailment. When the bill was first introduced it stated it would require two-person crews, wayside detectors, training for first responders, and increased rules for hazardous materials – all in an effort to try and prevent similar derailments.
Since the introduction of the bill, more changes have been made, some that include doubling the interval of manual locomotive inspections, a crew-size mandate, etc., Trains.com reports.
This has led some industry stakeholders to wonder why the need for all these extra “unrelated” additions in the bill, which were not in the first introduced bill. And currently, it looks like it will be a bit before this bill gets set for a vote in the Senate.
Weekly Rail Traffic for the Week Ending January 13th, 2024:
- Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 457,453 carloads and intermodal units – which was down 4.1 percent compared to last year at this time – according to AAR data.
- U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 244,176 containers and trailers – which saw a 1.9 percent increase from this same period last year.
- Chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, and forest products all saw increases. While coal, grain, and non-metallic minerals all saw decreases.
- For the first two weeks of this year, rail volume in North America was at 1,222,708 carloads and intermodal units – a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to last year.
You can check out other rail news from previous weeks, here.