Wyoming lawmaker seeking two-crew minimum for trains

Monday, February 3, 2020

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A state lawmaker proposes to require that trains have at least two crew members in Wyoming.

A bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Stan Blake, of Green River, would apply to trains on Wyoming’s nearly 2,000 miles of Class I railroad, all of which is owned by BNSF and Union Pacific.

Blake is a Union Pacific employee.

A similar bill failed in the Wyoming Legislature in 2019 amid concern about interference with private businesses and collective bargaining.

“My contention is this is about safety,” Blake told the Casper Star-Tribune.

Railroad unions support minimum train-crew requirements but the Association of American Railroads opposes them, arguing there’s no evidence two-person crews are safer than one-person crews.

The requirement would impose undue costs and stifle emerging automation technology, Association of American Railroads spokesman Ted Greener said in a statement.