PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine has introduced a bill that would mandate a minimum crew of two for freight trains.
Canada transportation officials issued a directive banning solo-operator freight trains following a train derailment in Canada that claimed 47 lives just 10 miles from the Maine border. A Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway executive blamed the train’s operator for failing to set enough hand brakes.
There’s nothing to indicate an extra crew member would have made a difference in the July 6 tragedy but some expressed surprise that one person had been in charge of an oil train that was nearly a mile long.
Michaud, whose bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, says there’s a significant safety advantage to having at least two crew members.