After train derailment, MN Lawmakers introduce legislation to improve rail safety

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 4:11 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, MN -- Thursday’s train derailment in Raymond, Minnesota prompted a national response as state and federal leaders rushed to contain an ethanol spill in the southwest Minnesota town.

On Friday, the Minnesota Senate Transportation Committee heard a bill that would improve railroad safety within the state of Minnesota.

The conveniently-timed hearing was scheduled before the derailment took place and the bill was introduced by Senator Robert Kupec (DFL - Moorhead).

“Rail Transportation and pipelines play an important role in our economy. We need to ensure that the Minnesota communities that they pass through have the proper knowledge and tools to protect life and property,” Kupec said during the bill’s introductory hearing.

It establishes training protocols for rail workers and emergency response teams to help deal with any potentially hazardous situations like the one that happened in Raymond. It also sets aside funding for said training.

The bill was referred to the Senate judiciary committee and will likely be recommended for inclusion in the state’s transportation omnibus bill later on in the legislative session.