Issue Date: October 13, 2008
Railroad Safety Bill Sent to White House
Congress has given final approval to a wide-ranging $1.6 billion rail safety bill. The bill requires the installation of new anticollision technology to help prevent accidents and limits the number of hours train crews can work consecutively. It also authorizes the hiring of 200 new safety inspectors and creates a position of chief safety officer at the Federal Railroad Administration. President George W. Bush is expected to sign the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (H.R. 2095) into law. Under the legislation, several types of rail lines, including those that transport extremely hazardous chemicals, are required to install "positive train control" equipment by 2016. The technology is designed to electronically detect, and possibly prevent, a collision or derailment by automatically applying brakes when engineers miss red warning signals. Chemical companies rely on rail transportation to deliver 170 million tons of products to customers each year.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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