American Mayors Have Long Called for Reforms to Modernize Rail Systems, Promote Safety

Washington, D.C.— Today the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is endorsing critical and long-overdue legislation to make American railways safer. Following a train derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and J.D. Vance (R-OH), introduced the Railway Safety Act. Below is a statement in support of the proposed legislation from USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran:

“No community should have to face what East Palestine is experiencing today. This tragedy is even worse because it didn’t have to happen. We’ve long known the risks and understood the need to improve rail safety. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has a decades-long history of supporting rail reform to make it safer for the cities that count on it. Today, that legacy continues, and we strongly endorse the Railway Safety Act.

“Rail transport remains a critical part of our infrastructure and economy, but no family should have to worry about the safety of hazardous chemicals being transported through their city. This bill will enact key reforms USCM has long advocated for, help keep Americans safe and hold railroads accountable. We thank the bipartisan sponsors of the bill, and America’s mayors call on Congress to pass this legislation swiftly before another city confronts a similar crisis.”