FRA Proposes 2-Person Crew Rule

The Federal Railroad Administration has proposed requiring that trains have a least two crew members aboard.

The  proposed rule, which is to be published today in the Federal Register, would require at least two crew members for all railroad operations, with exceptions for operations that do not pose significant safety risks to railroad workers, the public or environment.

In a news release, the FRA said the rule would bring uniformity to the industry by replacing a patchwork of state laws regulating train crew size.

The FRA proposal includes requirements for the location of crew members on a moving train, and would ban the operation of some trains with fewer than two crew members from transporting large amounts of certain hazardous materials. 

FRA officials said the rule contains an assessment and annual oversight requirement to ensure that railroads fully consider and address all relevant safety factors associated with using less-than-two-person crews.

The proposed rule was rebuked by the Association of American Railroads as “misguided.”

In a statement the AAR said the FRA considered and rejected a similar two-person crew rule in 2019 after finding the absence  of a safety justification for it.

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