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Letter dated June 10, 1968, submitting requested comments on
tables appearing in the supplementary memorandum prepared
Comment on May 8, 1968, news release of Association of American
Railroads on 1967 railroad safety record
Compilation of Federal railroad safety acts administered by the
Department of Transportation...
California Public Utilities Commission, telegram from William W.
Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee:
Correspondence between Chairman Staggers and A. H. Chesser,
chairman, RLEA Safety Committee
Correspondence between Chairman Staggers and Chairman
O'Connell, National Transportation Safety Board, re use of
reports of accident investigations
Correspondence of 1966 between Chairman Staggers, John W.
Bush, Chairman, ICC, Daniel P. Loomis, president, AAR,
and J. E. Wolfe, chairman, NRLC.-
Correspondence of 1966 between John W. Bush, Chairman,
ICC, and G. E. Leighty, chairman, RLEA.
Additional material submitted for the record by—Continued
Kansas State Corporation Commission, telegram from Dale E.
Haswell, executive director---
amendments to H.R. 16980.-
Letter from L. J. Dorr, executive secretary--
Statement of Sam Hall, chairman, Legislative Committee---
Letter dated June 4, 1968, from A. H. Chesser, chairman, RLEA
Committee on Safety -
mentary memorandum prepared by Winfield M. Homer,
Labor Bureau of the Middle West --
Letter dated June 18, 1968, re section 11(c) of H.R. 16980, pro-
tection of accident reports; and "Preliminary Report of Rail-
Brown and letter of June 5 from Chairman Staggers.--
Average employee cost, Bureau of Railroad Safety, letter
dated June 7, 1968.-
FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RAILROAD SAFETY
TUESDAY, MAY 21, 1968
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to notice, in room 2123, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Harley O. Staggers (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
This morning the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce is commencing hearings on H.R. 16980, a bill drafted by the Secretary of Transportation which would establish safety standards, rules, and regulations for railroad equipment and facilities, and railroad operations.
This committee has had a longstanding interest in the field of safety of transportation operations, an interest that has been enhanced in recent years with the changing technologies and the changing requirements of today's modern transportation systems.
In 1958, this committee engaged in a thorough revision of the Federal Aviation Act with especial attention to the safety of aviation.
In 1965, the committee considered and the Congress enacted a bill providing for safety in oil pipeline operations.
In 1966, the committee considered and the Congress enacted a new and sweeping statute relating to the creation of safety standards for motor vehicles, both passenger cars and trucks.
The committee has just reported out a bill having to do with the safety standards for natural gas pipeline facilities.
This morning we come to railroad safety where for many years the Federal interest has been concerned only in a very limited way.
In the last few years there has been a steady increase in the number of railroad accidents. Five years ago it was said that part of this increase was attributable to a change in the statistical reporting requirements. But by 2 years ago when the report of the Bureau of Railroad Safety and Service of the Interstate Commerce Commission for fiscal year 1965 was issued, there could be no doubt that the increased number of railroad accidents was not a statistical fact but a most serious and grave situation.
When that report was issued, I wrote to President Daniel Loomis of the Association of American Railroads and to the then Chairman Bush of the Interstate Commerce Commission, asking of them what was causing this dismal picture and what could be done to improve the situation. This correspondence I will introduce as part of this record. (See pp. 392–406.)
Later in 1966 a subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations issued a report on the operations of the Bureau of Rail. road Safety and made a number of recommendations regarding the
improvement of the operations of that Bureau which it hoped might result in reducing these train accidents.
Subsequent to that time the Bureau of Railroad Safety was transferred to the Department of Transportation. That Department has necessarily become involved in doing something to improve safety for the record seems even worse now than it was 2 years ago.
It is my hope that in the course of the hearings on this legislation we may receive some encouragement as to what can be done about providing greater protection for passengers, for property, and for employees.
Āt this point in the record we shall insert the bill under consideration and such agency reports thereon that are available. (The bill, H.R. 16980, and departmental reports thereon, follow :)
(H.R. 16980, 90th Cong., 2d sess.) A BILL To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to establish safety standards, rules,
and regulations for railroad equipment, trackage, facilities, and operations, and for
other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1968".
(1) "Board” means the National Transportation Safety Board.
(2) "Chairman” means the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
(3) "Department" means the Department of Transportation.
(4) “Person" means any individual, firm, copartnership, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association, or body politic; and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative thereof.
(5) "Railroad” means any contrivance now known or hereafter invented, used or designed for operating on, along or through a track, monorail, tube, or other guideway.
(6) "Rail commerce" means any operation by railroad' in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or the transportation of mail by railroad.
(7) “Rail carrier" means any person who engages in rail commerce.
(8) "Rail facilities and equipment" include, without limitation, trackage, roadbed and guideways, and any facility, building, property, locomotive, rolling stock, device, equipment, or appliance used or designated for use in rail commerce, and any part or appurtenance of any of the foregoing.
(9) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Transportation.
FEDERAL SAFETY REGULATION
SEC. 3. (a) The Secretary is empowered and it shall be his duty to promote safety in rail commerce by prescribing, and revising from time to time
(1) minimum standards governing the use, design, materials, workmanship, installation, construction, and performance of rail facilities and equipment;
(2) rules, regulations, and minimum standards governing the use, inspection, testing, maintenance, servicing, repair, and overhaul of rail facilities and equipment, including frequency and manner thereof and the equipment and facilities required therefor; and
(3) rules, regulations, or minimum standards, governing qualifications of employees, and practices, methods, and procedures of rail carriers as the Sec
retary may find necessary to provide adequately for safety in rail commerce. (b) Within ninety days following the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe as interim Federal rail safety regulations the specific safety requirements prescribed in or under the statutes repealed by section 13. The interim regulations shall remain in effect for two years or until modified, terminated, superseded, set aside or repealed by the Secretary whichever is earlier. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act shall not apply to the establishment of interim regulations. In construing any interim regulation, all