Senate Majority To Pass Rail Safety Bills Following Recent National Train Disasters

NYS Senate Democratic Majority

May 23, 2023

(Albany, NY) Today, the Senate Democratic Majority will advance legislation to improve rail safety. This package of legislation seeks to minimize the risks of train derailments and enhance the maintenance and safety procedures of freight trains traveling within the state. This legislation builds on the Senate’s recent budget victory adding $800,000 in additional funding for 10 state railroad inspectors, bringing the total allocation to $1.75 million. This comes in stark contrast to threats by House Republicans to default on the national debt, which would cut roughly 7,500 rail safety inspections and leave 30,000 fewer miles of track inspected on a yearly basis. While communities continue to grapple with the deadly consequences of these disasters, we cannot place a price on greater rail safety. 


Follow Up Freight Train Inspections: This bill, S.6926, sponsored by Senator John Mannion, requires the Department of Transportation to conduct a follow up inspection of any freight rail train or freight rail track audit within the state conducted by the Federal Railroad Administration or nearby regulators that identifies safety-related deficiencies or violations.


Bill Sponsor, Senator John Mannion said, “In the wake of the recent derailment in Ohio, it is clear that we need to do more to ensure the safety of our rail system. My bill enhances public safety by requiring additional state inspections on freight trains when a safety-related deficiency has been identified or when a violation has occurred. I commend Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my Senate colleagues for making rail safety a priority in this legislative session.”