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Mr. Brown. I want to ask one more question. Section 3(a) (3) says:
“The Secretary is empowered and it shall be his duty to promote safety in rail commerce by prescribing, and revising from time to time—(3) rules, regulations, or minimum standards, governing qualifications of employees, and practices, methods, and procedures of rail carriers as the Secretary may find necessary to provide adequately for safety in rail commerce."
It is your contention, Mr. Secretary, that that does not apply to hours of service?
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir. That is my contention. The Hours of Serrice law is a law enacted by the Congress, signed by the President. It is not being repealed by this legislation.
Mr. Brown. The only comment I could make, Mr. Secretary, is that the breadth seems to cover almost everything including the kind of soap used in the washroom.
Mr. FRIEDEL. What page are you reading from?
Secretary Boyd. It does not purport to supersede the Hours of Service Act.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. FRIEDEL. Mr. Boyd, I want to get clear in my mind because I think the language is a little confusing when you say it does not affect hours of service, on page 3 in paragraph two, line nine, you say, "the use" and then you go down “of rail facilities and equipment.” Wouldn't that bring in hours of service "the use."
Secretary Boyd. Well now that might pertain to hours of service of equipment, yes, but I had understood that our whole discussion here on hours of service had to do with the hours the employees were either permitted or authorized to work. As I pointed out in discussions with Mr. Springer earlier, it is entirely possible-going back to your comments this morning on the effect of braking on the wheels of this high-speed train—that we might require an inspection of the train wheels after so many hours of operation. However, I didn't understand that that was the same thing we have been talking about in hours of service.
Mr. FRIEDEL. I am questioning whether we can read this into it because you say, "use, inspection, testing, maintenance, servicing, repair, and overhaul of rail facilities and equipment."
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir; but that does not include employees.
Mr. Brown. Well, Mr. Secretary, in response to questioning about whether or not the Department of Transportation and the agency which Mr. Lang heads under this legislation
Mr. FRIEDEL. Would you yield a second.
I want to announce, and very proudly so, that I have 100 pupils from my district from Windsor Mill School, which is a fine group, and they are accompanied by Mrs. Thomas.
I want to welcome you here. You are seeing Government in action. We have a very complex hearing here on railroad safety and I am glad you are here to witness our Committee at a hearing.
You may now proceed, Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown (continuing). I have only one final comment, Mr. Secretary, and that is with reference to the testimony on this legislation and with reference to language in the legislation itself.
On the first day in the course of Mr. Lang's testimony before the committee, Mr. Kornegay asked if this legislation covers "the man who takes the tickets? Does it cover the president of the railroad too!”
Mr. Lang said, “You bet it would." Mr. Kornegay said: “And it would give the Secretary the authority to have the final say to pass on the qualification of the people that I have enumerated, such as ticket taking, ticket selling, and the president of the railroad?
Mr. Lang replied, "Only to the effect that these may have bearing on the problem of safety."
I think Mr. Kornegay points out very pertinently that he does not feel the bill says that specifically.
Mr. Lang has a difference of opinion on whether or not the language does specify that. But it seems to me that this is extremely broad language. I can't think of any area in the railroad operation that the Department of Transportation would not have authority to go into and issue regulations if it can relate these regulations in some way to safety. That applies not only to the operation of the trains by the railroad executive decision, but also the operation of the trains in detail by the employees of the railroad even down to the least of the employees. With all due respect, Mr. Secretary, speaking for myself as a member of the committee, I should like to tell you now, so that you don't react unfavorably when it occurs, that I look to this language as being much more severely proscribed than it is in the legislation presented to us. That is why I suggested to the chairman that it may take more than next Monday for us to report the legislation out.
Mr. WATSON. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Watson. Mr. Chairman, really I wanted to just say a word to these students. I wanted to tell them they have a very able and fine representative here, and he is doing an admirable job in chairing this committee. I am sure if you had known what I was going to say you would have recognized me.
May I ask one question, now that the gentleman has yielded to me.
Mr. Chesser is a fine gentleman and he is chairman of the committee on safety in the Railway Labor Executive Association. He makes a statement on the bottom paragraph of page 6 of his statement and I quote him: “Thousands of train accidents and a large portion of the train service casualties which occur each year are directly attributable to the acts of personnel which are subject only to the operating rules of the carriers."
Is it your idea that you are going to get into establishing specific operating rules for all of the carriers ?
Secretary Boyd. I am not sure that I understand what the definition of operating rules is. I will tell you what we specifically propose to do with this legislation. As we discover areas which seem to require regulation for the improvement of safety, we will issue proposed regulations covering all of the operations which are pertinent. Whether or not this has anything to do with operating rules I don't know.
Mr. WATSON. Here is one other thing that he states. On page 6 he questioned the effectiveness of the Locomotive Inspection Act as I read his testimony. He says it just hasn't worked at all.
How do you propose to implement yours to make it more effective?
Secretary Boyd. This raises the question that Mr. Brown just commented on. The legislation that we have had in the past has been fairly circumscribed and what we are seeking is broad general authority to issue regulations to the extent they seem to make sense and not be limited to something which the Congress tries to spell out.
Now, it may be that you gentlemen have the vision to see where the problem areas are now and where they are going to be in the future. I hope you do but the purpose of this legislation if enacted would be to give us the authority to go to where the problem is in fact, propose regulations, get comments on them, put them into effect, and, if they don't work, pull back and try again. I don't have any reason to think that all of the regulations which may come down the pike are going to be good ones. They will be based on the best knowledge available at that time.
Mr. Watson. According to the knowledge that comes from the industry?
Secretary Boyd. Certainly.
Mr. WATSON. As far as saying we have the visionary outlook, I question whether the Department has the visionary outlook.
Secretary Boyd. I think that is very right.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Mr. Boyd I think you have made a very fine witness although I don't agree with everything but I think your testimony will be very helpful.
I would like to ask the children of the three grades of School 87 to walk by here and we will distribute one of these little books from my office.
I understand that there are three teachers here. I said Mrs. Thomas. We also have Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jerry Perkins.
I want to thank you for being here.
(Whereupon, at 12:40 p.m., the committee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 7, 1968.)
FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RAILROAD SAFETY
TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 1968
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to notice, in room 2123, Ray. burn House Office Building, Hon. Harley O. Staggers (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. We have as our first witness this morning Mr. Louis W. Menk. For the record, we are in a continuation of the hearings on H.R. 16980. Mr. Menk, would you come forward, sir?
I would like to make this announcement now, that our intentions are to close these hearings tomorrow, and, if they are not closed by tomorrow noon, they will go tomorrow night until 7:30 and continue until they are finished, if it is the next day. I understand that we have two or three men who want to put their statements in the record and that there are one or two who want to appear. So that, the intention of the Chair is to finish tomorrow sometime. We will come in tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock to give extra time. I think everybody will have plenty of time. I don't think by the time we are through that anyone will say he has not had his say and that there has not been enough time for questioning.
I might announce now that we do start tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock. I hope that we probably will get to one or two more this morning.
Mr. Menk, you may proceed, sir. You have given your statement, have you not? Your are just here for questioning. Am I correct in this? FURTHER STATEMENT OF LOUIS W. MENK, PRESIDENT, NORTHERN
PACIFIC RAILWAY, APPEARING ON BEHALF OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS; ACCOMPANIED BY WILLIAM M. MOLONEY, GENERAL COUNSEL
Mr. MENK. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Friedel. Mr. FRIEDEL. Mr. Menk, before I ask a question or two, do you have any answers to some of the questions that were asked yesterday or prior to the meeting on which you would like to make a statement?
Mr. MENK. Do I have any answers to the questions?
One of the areas that Mr. Crotty, who represents the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, got into, among others, was the use of trucks. He made a considerable point of the fact that trucks as
they were were unsafe, that they carried tools with the men, that oftentimes they carried gasoline in the same truck, barrels of gasoline or other flammables.
This, insofar as my personal experience is concerned, is not so, and I have brought along some pictures of the type of truck that Northern Pacific is using, which is a two-cab affair where the driver and some employees ride in the front section, and the rest of the gang ride in the back section.
It is sort of a piggyback affair. They come in all sizes, half-ton, three-quarter, and these trucks are used in the maintenance of our property. In fact, we have built roads alongside of our right of way, along the railroad, in order that we could use these trucks.
There are two primary purposes for the trucks. One is, of course, to adopt the new technology. We have mechanized a lot of maintenance of way, but equally as important is to get the motor cars that have heretofore carried the employees to and from their work off of the railroad and away from the hazard of being struck by a train or derailing or something like that.
The statistics prove that this has lessened the number of motor car accidents. In fact, since 1958, it has cut them by 50 percent.
I would ask that the committee members, if they so desire, look at these. There are several types of these. One of the members of the committee said to Mr. Crotty "What you are suggesting is a bus."
In actuality we do use some buses for large gangs.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Mr. Menk, there were remarks made that you use open trucks with no seats or benches and no rails and people might fall out. I have not seen the pictures yet.
Mr. MENK. Mr. Friedel, if you will look at the pictures, they are the trucks that we are using now. I personally have no knowledge of anybody using open trucks to transport people, trucks without seats in them. I don't know what happens on all the railroads, but insofar as my personal experience is concerned, and I have been the president of three railroads, I don't know of anything of this kind occurring.
There are the van-type trucks such as the Frisco Railroad uses with tool boxes under the seats, cushioned seats for the men to sit in, in the back of the van. In these trucks there are openings for communication between those in the rear and those in the front. They have first aid kits. They have fire extinguishers.
As I say, one of the primary purposes is to get the man off the railroad track and into what we consider to be a safer mode of transportation so that the truck, far from being an unsafe device, is as we see it a tool for the implementation of safety.
Mr. FRIEDEL. In other words, safety is foremost in your mind? Mr. MENK. Indeed it is. The CHAIRMAN. So you wouldn't mind any safety regulations being put in? You say that they are so safe so that you wouldn't mind standards being put in?
Mr. MENK. We have our own standards, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I am saying that you might have, but you wouldn't mind for the Nation, if we said, "We shall make these things safer"? Would you mind that?