Internal bill seeks to allow online training for new railroad recruits

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Ohio congressman says legislation would streamline training process

WASHINGTON — A congressman from Ohio has introduced a bill that would allow interns for railroad jobs to take some aspects of their training online.

U.S. Representative Troy Balderson

U.S. Representative Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville, Ohio) introduced the Railroad Employee Training Modernization Act last week, saying existing regulations require employees to take classroom courses, delaying training because it only begins when enough new recruits are available to fill a classroom.

“Modernizing these requirements should be a no-brainer,” Balderson said in a press release. “We must take all possible steps to streamline the regulatory barriers that exacerbate labor shortages in the rail freight industry, without compromising safety, standards or efficiency.

The Association of American Railroads supports the legislation, with AAR CEO Ian Jefferies saying, “This smart solution would go a long way in helping the industry achieve that goal.” [of getting new employees to work] without compromising security.

The bill, HR 8598, was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.

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