Congressman Cohen Votes for Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act

October 17, 2007
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Steve Cohen voted for H.R. 2095, the Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2007. This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 377 to 38.

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation, which will improve the safety of railroads throughout the United States,” said Congressman Cohen. “The City of Memphis, which lies along the Tennessee border at the juncture of Mississippi and Arkansas, is a major hub for the railroad industry.”

The Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act reorganizes the Federal Railroad Administration as the Federal Railroad Safety Administration (FRSA) and requires the Secretary of Transportation to develop a strategy for reducing the number of rail accidents, injuries and fatalities.   The bill further increases penalties for violations of rail safety regulations and sets forth rail safety requirements concerning improvement of track management, employee training, conductor certification and treatment of employee injuries.   

 “The City of Memphis ranks third nationally in the number of class one railroads,” continued Congressman Cohen. “According to the Memphis Regional Chamber, 220 trains pass through Memphis every single day. Consequently, railroad safety is critically important to my district. It is integral that we improve conditions of railroad tracks and inspection equipment so that railroads throughout the country are up to par.”

Earlier this year, Congress passed and enacted H.R. 1401, the Rail and Transportation Security Act which enhances the security of railroad transportation systems.  Congressman Cohen introduced an amendment to this bill which called on the Secretary of Transportation to minimize the transportation of toxic inhalation hazardous materials. Revised comprehensive language of the same intent was included in the final bill, which was enacted into law as part of the Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007.

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Marilyn Dillihay, Press Secretary, Congressman Cohen (202) 225-3265/(202) 368-9275