Train length bill headed to interim study

Bill to regulate train length stalls

HENSLEY, AR (KAIT/KARK) - A bill that would seek to regulate the length of a railroad train going on a main or branch line in the Natural State will get more study as both sides agree something must be done on the issue.

According to a report from Little Rock television station KARK, the bill - House Bill 1961 - was sent to interim study Thursday.

Wayne Denson, who represents the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, said the issue must be addressed.

“The safety of the public should be placed first,” Denson told KARK.

The bill from Rep. Jay Richardson (D-Fort Smith) would set a 1.6 mile maximum length for any railroad train running in the state. Richardson told KARK that he wanted to ask for the interim study due to a federal study on the issue being released in about 90 days.

The interim study should take about 18 months to do, Richardson said.

However, Richardson said the safety issue is important to him.

“I worry about somebody’s mom or somebody’s grandma having a house fire (or) having a heartache and ambulance service being blocked (by the trains),” Richardson said.

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