Union Pacific Statement Regarding Train Crew Size
Union Pacific is not seeking to implement single-person crews at this time, but is opposed to legislation that would require two-person crews.
State legislation that attempts to alter terms of collective bargaining agreements would threaten the integrity of ratified local labor agreements and compromise future cooperation and negotiations on this issue.
Individual state laws mandating crew size will interfere with the ability of railroads and unions to fully bargain the best and safest crew size for each assignment. It would hinder investment and implementation of safe, cost-saving technology. This will put industries and shippers in those states at a competitive disadvantage with respect to other states that do not have these artificial restrictions. Interstate commerce also would be affected, due to operational challenges associated with differing state crew-size requirements.
Commuter agencies throughout the nation, including Amtrak, operate thousands of passenger trains daily with one person in the cab. The safety record for this practice is excellent and dates back to the early 1970s.
While the majority of Union Pacific’s operations currently use two-person crews, the railroad presently operates a number of single-person (one crew member) jobs, all of which use remote control locomotives.