The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR) has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to allow Class III air brake tests currently required by FRA to be performed at the U.S. / Mexican border by American inspectors to be instead performed by Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) at one of KCSM’s inspection locations in Mexico by Mexican inspectors. KCSR maintains that changing the location of the Class III test from the border will reduce damage due to theft and vandalism while decreasing traffic risks to the local community.
The Brotherhood Railway Carman (BRC) opposes KCSR’s petition because the requested relief could endanger the safety of both railroad workers and the general public. Most importantly, KCSR’s proposal does not satisfy the requirements set forth in section 416 of the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The requirements are not satisfied because there is no information confirming that FRA has been granted jurisdiction by the Mexican government to conduct on-site inspections at KCSM’s yards. Without this jurisdiction, FRA cannot ensure that both the Mexican inspection locations and the actual inspections comply with the laws and regulations of the U.S. Waiver cannot not be granted under these conditions.
BRC is working with the rest of rail labor to do whatever it takes stop KCSR’s proposal. But we need your help as well. You can comment yourself. It’s easy to do, just go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FRA-2007-28700, in the Kansas City Southern Railway click on “Comment Now” to leave a comment on the docket. You can write one yourself or you may use the draft comment below. You may also reach out your National Representative for further information.
There are inherent dangers in preventing FRA from ensuring compliance. FRA cannot put the safety of workers, track-side communities, motorists, pedestrians, and the general public in jeopardy so that KCSR can run its trains a little faster.
Please do not adopt Mexican inspections that fail to meet the requirements of Section 416 of the Act.