9-20-14 petri introduces train crossing bill

Fond du lac congressman Tom Petri has officially introduced a bill to prevent trains from blocking railroad crossings.  Petri,  a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced legislation Thursday that would allow for a limited exception to federal hours of service regulations that contributed to a train blocking an intersection on Highway 175 south of  Fond du Lac earlier this month.  The bill would allow train operators to move a train off a road intersection even if they have reached their federal hours-of-service limits.  It is cosponsored by Wisconsin Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner and Sean Duffy.   “Since first learning about this incident, I realize there are many issues that can cause a train to block an intersection,” Petri said on introducing the bill.   “Trains can back up, replacement crews are still being hired, but the bottom line is that a train blocked an intersection for five hours and one of the reasons was because of these inflexible federal rules.  It’s simply unbelievable.  My bill would ensure that these rules are not the reason a train would be unable to move out of an intersection and hopefully prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future.”