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Federal inspectors warn of ‘important threat to rail security’ after reporting alarming variety of Union Pacific defects | The Global Today

Federal inspectors mentioned they discovered an alarming variety of defects within the locomotives and railcars Union Pacific was utilizing on the world’s largest railyard in western Nebraska this summer time, and the railroad was reluctant to repair the issues.

Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose wrote a letter to UP’s high three executives Friday expressing his concern that the defects signify a “important threat to rail safety ” on the Union Pacific railroad.

Bose mentioned the 19.93% defect price on rail vehicles and the 72.69% price for locomotives that inspectors present in July and August are each twice the nationwide common. However the letter didn’t element what sort of defects inspectors discovered within the Bailey Yard in North Platte, and there are a myriad of federal guidelines.

“The compliance of the rolling inventory (freight vehicles and locomotives) on the UP community is poor, and UP was unwilling or unable to take steps to enhance the situation of their gear,” Bose mentioned in his letter.

Bose questioned whether or not the current layoffs of 94 locomotive craft staff and 44 carmen throughout the Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad that is likely one of the nation’s largest left UP with out sufficient individuals to finish the required repairs.

Kristen South, a spokeswoman for Union Pacific, mentioned Sunday that the layoffs weren’t an issue, and the railroad stays dedicated to security.

“Union Pacific won’t ever compromise on the security of our staff. Security is all the time our first precedence, and we’re reviewing and can tackle the issues raised by the FRA,” South mentioned.

Railroad safety has been a key concern nationwide this 12 months ever since one other railroad, Norfolk Southern, had a train derail and catch fireplace in japanese Ohio in February. That East Palestine derailment prompted regulators and members of Congress to name for reforms, however few significant changes have been made since then.

South mentioned the railroad has applicable staffing ranges with sufficient capability to have “a buffer to permit for the pure ebb and move nature of our enterprise.”

These layoffs that UP introduced late final month got here after the FRA wrapped up its inspection, they usually signify a tiny fraction of the railroad’s workforce that numbers greater than 30,000.

Union Pacific’s new CEO Jim Vena simply took excessive spot on the railroad final month. Union Pacific has a community of 32,400 miles (52,000 kilometers) of observe in 23 Western states.

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