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Ep. 15: Long Trains, Two-Person Crews and Rail Safety

June 10, 2021

In our new Talking SMART episode, we dig into freight rail issues that affect both the safety of railroad workers and the safety of communities around the country. Our featured guests are SMART Transportation Division Kansas State Legislative Director Ty Dragoo and Transportation Division Nebraska State Legislative Director Bob Borgeson.

Ty Dragoo

Brother Dragoo followed his father into the railroad industry and hired on as a conductor for Union Pacific in 2005. He has served as a legislative representative of Local 1503 in Marysville, Kansas, been the state’s legislative director since 2010 and helped lead efforts to create a transportation safety task force in his state. Ty spoke with us about his work in Kansas, including two-person crew legislation and the downsides of so-called precision scheduled railroading.

Bob Borgeson

Brother Borgeson represents SMART in a state – Nebraska – with a high concentration of Transportation Division members and works to bring greater public attention to the important work our members do. Bob spoke with us about the negative impacts of long trains, efforts to move two-person crew legislation in Nebraska, and the innovative media and outreach tools SMART has used recently to bring attention to key rail safety issues in his state.

In addition, listen for the open mic segment with General President Joseph Sellers at the end of this episode. He responds to a question about what SMART is doing nationally to try and make two-person crew the law of the land, especially under new leadership at the Federal Railroad Administration that is not actively trying to block two-person crew regulations.

Talking SMART is a member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network working people's voices, broadcasting worldwide 24 hours a day.