Trains Digest
Washington state House passes rail oversight bill

The Washington state House of Representatives has passed a bill giving the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission expanded powers over rail operations in the state. HB 1418 (full text, available here) includes “oversight of new and materially changed railroad operations and infrastructure ..,” oversight of safety practices, and the ability to investigate and enforce state safety regulations “to the fullest extent allowed under federal law.” The bill passed the House by a 91-7 vote and now goes to the state Senate. “From the Amtrak derailment near DuPont in 2017 that took three lives and injured dozens more to the oil-train derailment near Custer in December and too many other derailments across our state, it’s clear that we need stronger rail safety,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mari Leavitt (D-University Place) said in a press release. “This bill will help keep our railways safe and prevent future tragedies.”

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