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In other words, this job on our railroad goes on, on the maintenance lines, on a program that makes it go over at least every 1 in 6 years.
That is, entirely renewing that segment of the track, so that you develop this continuity, and theoretically and in practice, the railroad is completely maintained insofar as the main line sections are concerned about once every six years.
And with respect to bridges, we are—the track supervisors and the bridge supervisors are continually inspecting them and then once a year, we have a program on our railroad, and I think again this is true on most railroads in the United States, that there is a formal bridge inspection when a crew of officers go over the railroad, inspecting every bridge, or culvert, or whatever it might be, no matter how large or how small, noting any defects that are necessary to correct, and then it is programed to take care of whatever might be deficient in the structure.
It does not mean that the structure necessarily has become weakened, but it means that there may be a bend, or a pile, or a stringer that needs replacement, and that is programed to be done.
Then we develop from that an overall bridge program and we spend whatever amount of money is necessary to maintain the entire bridge structure.
With respect to the rail, we are continually going over our railroad-we have two of what are called rail detector cars. They are cars equipped with electronic devices that examine into the rail, they go over the rail, and they develop whether in the rail structure there is a hidden weakness, such as a fissure. A fissure in laymen's terms would be a cancer, generally in the web of the rail, sometimes in the ball, which developed as a result of improper cooling in the rail during its manufacture or something like that.
This really can't happen or does not happen much any more, because the steel industry has developed a technique called controlled cooling, and has eliminated most fissures, but it also finds such things as split heads, maybe weaknesses in the base, anything else that might contribute to a failure.
Well, these cars, two of them on our property—and we own our own. Most properties lease their cars on a trip basis from the Sperry Rail Service Co.—now these cars are going over the rails continually.
There again, we find out what rail we have that should be replaced, and this is more of a cyclical thing, and we decide, we establish a capital budget, and budget the amount of money necessary to buy the rail that we need to either upgrade or continue at the same standard the type of maintenance we have.
On our railroad, the new rail program is running about 80 miles a year, putting in about 80 miles of new rail a year. Did you want me to go into locomotive? Mr. FRIEDEL. No, I think my time has expired, and I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Nelsen. Mr. NELSEN. Yesterday, Mr. Moloney, you made a statement regarding Arizona, and I made some notes. Is your feeling that under the provisions of this bill, that the authority of the State regarding their decision as to the use of radio would be preempted by this Federal act?
Did I understand you correctly?
Mr. NELSEN. Did you indicate a concern about this happening?
Mr. MOLONEY. We simply pointed to the fact that this bill is broad enough to include this type jurisdiction, and right at the present moment, there is a conflict already existing between the jurisdiction of the Arizona Commission in this area to prohibit, so to speak, the use of radio in this, in connection with train operations.
Mr. NELSEN. Well, I was a little concerned about it because it seemed to me that the testimony on the part of labor and management, goes to the point that radio communication is an effective safety factor. If this be true, I wonder if there would not be some need of the Federal Government's overall preemption to move in that direction, if we have accepted the fact that it is a safety factor.
What is your feeling about it?
Mr. MOLONEY. We think that there exists that today, that the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to authorize use of radio in train operations, which authority was granted, which license was issued, in order to improve safety, and so on, is self-sufficient to cover that area.
And I simply attempted to call attention to the possible or even probable conflict of jurisdiction between the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Transportation should this bill become law.
Mr. NELSEN. In what manner does radio contribute to safety in railroading?
Mr. MOLONEY. I would like to refer that question to Mr. Menk, who is much more familiar with the railroad operations and the use of this.
Mr. Nelsex. I would be happy if the gentleman would respond.
Mr. MENK. Thank you, Mr. Nelsen, Actually, in listening to Mr. Crotty, I was a little surprised that he brought the subject up as an antisafety device, so to speak.
The railroads have acquired radio frequencies and spent enormous sums of money on radios, in the interest not only of efficiency, but also have felt very sincerely in the interests of safety, and I might talk about a few examples, for instance, in freight trains.
Freight trains have become longer and longer, as you know, and formerly the only way that the member of the crew on the rear end could communicate with the member of the crew on the head end, in the engine of a freight train, was through hand signals, and they would get out--let's say, they pulled a coupler; they would get out in the field and far off on the right-of-way and try to signal the man back by hand signals by day or by lantern signals at night or maybe get up on top of the car or someplace like that.
Now we have instant communications which means we have a radio in the caboose and one on the engine, the way we do it now, and a man will simply get out and make the observation to how close the cars are to the coupling and say move back four cars, three cars, two cars, one car, OK, stop, and the car is coupled.
Certainly that is a great deal more efficient, and in my judgment a lot safer than the old system. We also have radio to communicate with engines in yards again to improve our efficiency but also in the interests of safety.
Mr. Crotty went into the matter of maintenance-of-way crews and flagging protection and the way that radios are used. Our experience
has been that the radio promotes safety and our maintenance-of-way crews, both their trucks and the men themselves, are equipped with some type of radio.
They are able to keep in constant contact with the traincrews along the line, and know where they are, and be able to clear the track or instruct the train to stop, or whatever, despite the fact that in addition to this our rules provide for specific placing of flags, which will stop the train anyway, and in instance here where it is necessary, a live flagman.
Now bear in mind, gentlemen, these are the same type of radios that are used on our planes when every day we have got thousands and thousands of airplanes flying all over the country which are depending almost solely on radio, well, solely on radio for their communications with the various fields and if our radios are ineffective you must believe that theirs are and I just don't believe this.
Mr. BROTZMAN. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. BROTZMAN. This is a question I wanted to ask too, and I heard your testimony the other day, and it is related. There seems to be some sort of contention here, Mr. Menk, I would say, then, between management and labor.
I listened to the testimony about the radios and I can't help but believe from my experience that radios should be a better means of communication, or else we would not be doing it in other modes of transportation.
I don't quite understand what the real problem is. It would seem, as you said a moment ago, it would now in fact be safer, as distinguished from running the other way in the spectrum.
It is your opinion it is safer; am I correct?
Mr. BROTZMAN. I asked a question. I will take it off my time, if he could answer it.
Mr. FRIEDEL. I would like to say that at 10:30 we will have the Secretary of the Department of Transportation before the committee, and we just have a couple more minutes before he goes on.
Mr. BROTZMAN. That is why I thought that he would answer my question.
Mr. NELSEN. Mr. Chairman, I hope the gentleman can supply that information because this is a bewildering difference of opinion that I don't really understand. That is what I have really been trying to get at.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Will we be allowed to question the gentleman later on? I would rather question him than the Secretary of Transportation.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Well, we have him coming at 10:30. We have until 10:30. Do you want to go on?
Mr. BROTZMAN. If he could just answer the one question on the radios. Would you just respond to that?
Mr. MENK. The answer is “Yes," I can't relate radios to anything but sa fety in operations. I don't see that there is anything hazardous in
the use of radios, and I know of many, many instances where the radio has been most helpful, in the interests of safety. And I can document this.
Mr. WATSON. Mr. Chairman. Mr. FRIEDEL. Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson. Do I understand that both of these gentlemen will come back and give us an opportunity?
Mr. FRIEDEL. I understand that Mr. Menk cannot return, but Mr. Moloney will be here.
Mr. KORNEGAY. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WATSON. Mr. Chairman, let me again make an observation. I appreciate the fact that we want to hear from the Secretary of Transportation, but I assume these gentlemen have got to keep the railroad going, and employees have got to be working, and the Secretary of Transportation is a Government official.
I would hope that we would show them a little consideration somewhere along the line, too.
Mr. KORNEGAY. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FRIEDEL. We are going to try to do that. This is by agreement that we have the Secretary here at 10:30. Mr. Menk.
Mr. MENK. May I suggest I don't have to leave until 1:30. My plane does not leave until 1:30 and if you have finished with the Secretary, I will be just delighted then to stay.
Mr. FRIEDEL. He will be standing by.
Mr. MOLONEY. May I suggest this, too, Mr. Chairman, that I am sitting at the witness chair here, now theoretically at least in the position of counsel, not necessarily a witness. I am available for questioning and you asked me to return today. I will be available any time today.
Mr. FRIEDEL. All right, thank you. You are excused, gentlemen.
The Chair will now state that at the request of several members of the committee we have had Mr. Boyd come here to clear up a lot of questions.
I understand you have a very short statement, and your statement will be included in the record, and we will go right on with the questions.
STATEMENT OF HON. ALAN S. BOYD, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION; ACCOMPANIED BY A. SCHEFFER LANG, ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION; J. THOMAS TIDD, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL FOR LEGISLATION
Secretary Boyd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Mr. Secretary, there have been several questions raised as to the meaning of the language in this bill, which relates to injunctions. Is it your intention that the injunctive relief sought by section 11 should override the Norris-LaGuardia Act?
Secretary Boyd. No, sir; we have not understood it to do that. Mr. FRIEDEL. You did not understand it to be that way. And that is clearly not the intention to override?
Secretary Boyd. Clearly not the intention to override the NorrisLa Guardia Act.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Is it your intention that the power of the Secretary to establish qualifications of employees contained in section 3(a) (3) should override the agreements reached under the Railway Labor Act?
Secretary Boyd. Well, it is entirely possible that it would; yes. And in the identical fashion that regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration may or may not have that same result, because both aviation and railroad agreements are under the Railway Labor Act,
It would be no different from the functioning of the Federal Aviation Administration in this regard.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Well, would you go into the wages and hours of service?
Secretary BoyD. No. That is not related in either case. Those are not involved.
Mr. FRIEDEL. It could override agreements reached under the Railway Labor Act. I know you have some jurisdiction over the airport, aviation, but
Secretary Boyd. Under the Railway Labor Act?
Mr. FRIEDEL. But if the management and unions enter into an agreement, you could override that agreement ?
Secretary Boyd. The regulations could, in a theoretical sense, Mr. Chairman. The Federal Aviation Administration has safety regulations which require the air carriers to utilize people who have certain qualifications.
Now if the railroads and the brotherhoods were to reach an agreement that would say, by way of a very exaggerated example, that a man to be a locomotive engineer did not have to understand the signal system, or if it were silent on that subject and the Federal Railroad Administrator acting through the Secretary had issued regulations saying that in order to be qualified to operate a locomotive an engineer must understand the signal system on the railroad, then the law and the regulations would override the contract.
Mr. FRIEDEL. On the other hand supposing the management and unions agree that the locomotive engineer should be employed to the age of 65, if in good health, and you come out with regulations that 60 would be the age limit.
Would your decision override their agreement?
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir. That has been done. That is a good case in point, although I don't know that there is any contemplation that that would be done in the railroad industry.
Mr. FRIEDEL. I was just using that as an example.
Mr. SPRINGER. A parliamentary inquiry. Are you going to allow the Secretary to read his statement ?
Mr. FRIEDEL. I understand it is a printed statement, and I asked him to put it in the record.
Mr. SPRINGER. Well, I believe this statement ought to be read. There are some important questions I think would be in this statement.