Legislation Transportation

Senate bill would create ‘Short Line Rail Safety Institute’


Washington – A bill introduced June 17 by two members of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee would authorize a new safety institute for short-line railroads.

The legislation, introduced by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), would authorize funding to support grants for the Short Line Rail Safety Institute. Among the goals for the institute: assess operations and safety programs, develop best practices, and provide onsite safety training for employees of short-line railroads.

The senators requested support for the creation of the institute in a letter sent May 15 to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. They stated that short-line railroads receive fewer federal resources – including funding for emergency response training – than larger railroads that make up most of the U.S. freight network.

Short-line railroad companies operate more than 50,000 miles of track – nearly a third of the national railroad network, according to a press release from Murray’s office.