Gibbs was shot to death and his engineer was wounded during an apparent robbery in late June, when an intruder invaded the cab of the controlling locomotive of their train, which was being held in a siding.
In his September 22 letter to FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo, President Pierce highlighted data from the two Teamsters Rail Conference High Alert surveys, showing that most BLET members are unable to secure their cabs from attack, and that little has changed over the past five years.
Tragically, Gibbs was murdered just four days after public release of the Teamsters High Alert 2 rail security report. The High Alert 2 report revealed that 51 percent of train crews surveyed had no way to lock or secure the cab of their locomotive against unauthorized access while occupied. Additionally, 73 percent had no way to lock the cab while it was unoccupied.
President Pierce offered to develop a PDF-based reporting form that BLET members could access via the Union’s website to electronically report specific instances of an inability to secure their locomotive cabs. He also said the BLET would compile and maintain the data from these reports, if FRA was prepared to accept their validity.
Additionally, the FRA was asked to take the following steps:
interpretation of 49 C.F.R. § 229.45 to
include malfunctioning and uninstalled cab
locking devices as “conditions that endanger
the safety of the crew” and issue a Safety
Advisory to that effect.
Task Statement for the Locomotive Safety
Standards Working Group of the FRA’s
Railroad Safety Advisory Committee to
include the development of standards for
securing locomotive cabs.
locomotive cab securement a prominent
feature in FRA’s final report on cab
conditions, which is mandated by Section
405(b) of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of
operating crews with the right to manage
their locomotive consist so that an air
conditioned locomotive is on the point
whenever any locomotive in their consist is
so equipped, to reduce exposure caused when
crews are forced by heat to leave cab
|Revisit outdated glazing requirements.|
“I have always believed that we will never have
secure rails until we have a secure cab,” President
Pierce said. “In the wake of 9/11, the airlines
beefed up their cockpit doors to provide a secure
workplace and environment for pilots and the
traveling public. It’s way past time for locking
locomotive cab doors on all locomotives.”
For further information, PDFs of the Teamsters Rail Conference High Alert reports and the letter to Administrator Szabo are available on the BLET website: