The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has proposed that trains have a minimum of two crew members. The move is in part a response to a deadly 2013 crash in which an unattended oil train caught fire and destroyed much of a town in Canada. FRA is also considering allowing railroads that operate with only one engineer to apply for an exception to the proposed two-person crew rule.
The proposal is opposed by the Association of American Railroads, which represents major freight railroads. Many railroads currently use two-person crews, but some industry officials have indicated they may switch to one engineer per train once technology designed to prevent many types of accidents caused by human error becomes operational (Daily News).