SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Moving forward to establish an increased presence of crew members on Illinois railroads, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, is advancing legislation to require that all freight trains be outfitted with at least two railroad engineers.
“Currently, there are not any state or federal laws dictating how many crew members are necessary to safely operate freight trains on Illinois railroads,” Hoffman said. “The bill I’m advancing seeks to alleviate growing concerns by requiring a minimum of two crew members to effectively operate freight trains across the state.”
In 2014, then-President Obama launched a formal process which would have authorized the administration to implement rules and procedures requiring two member crews on all domestic freight traffic. In 2017, however, the Trump administration later struck down Obama-era efforts which sought to govern crew size.
Hoffman’s Senate Bill 24 is in response to lacking federal and state guidelines, coupled with rising concerns on the adequate number of crew members needed to operate freight trains in Illinois. The bill states that freight trains would be operated by a crew of at least 2 engineers and would remain effective until any future federal law were to overrule the legislation if it became law in Illinois. Additionally, it authorizes the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) the ability to intervene in the enforcement of crew size.
“This bill is an effort to ensure that freight train engineers have the necessary support and flexibility they need to adapt in situations of mechanical breach or failure,” Hoffman said. “This is a huge public safety issue.”
Rep Jay Hoffman
Assistant Majority Leader
300 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
312 S. High St.
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 416-7409 FAX