August 01, 2018

Senate Committee Passes Duckworth Bill to Improve Public Safety on Trains & Protect Rail Crewmembers

Legislation is a response to the shooting of Amtrak conductor in Naperville, Illinois


[WASHINGTON, DC] – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed bipartisan legislation today, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and John Hoeven (R-ND), to improve public safety and discourage violence aboard passenger trains. The Passenger Rail Crew Protection Act would enhance federal protections for passenger rail crewmembers to reflect those that are provided to airline crewmembers so that any assault of a rail crewmember, including engineers, conductors and on-board service personnel, can be charged under federal law. Currently, any assault against a rail crewmember is adjudicated under the laws of the local jurisdiction where it is committed. Duckworth introduced the bipartisan legislation in May on the one-year anniversary of the shooting of an Amtrak conductor, Michael Case, in Naperville, Illinois.

“No one in America should experience what Amtrak Conductor Michael Case endured while he was just doing his job. We are all entitled to work in a safe environment free from violence, harassment and intimidation,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud the Senate Commerce Committee passed our bipartisan legislation to better protect rail crewmembers and improve public safety and I look forward to working with Senator Hoeven and my colleagues to bring this legislation to the Senate floor.”

“Amtrak appreciates the efforts of Senators Duckworth and Hoeven in passing this important bipartisan legislation out of the Commerce Committee today. We look forward to working with them in support of these long-sought protections as they move through the congressional process,” added Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner.

Amtrak Conductor Michael Case spent 10 weeks in the hospital after being shot on May 16, 2017. This incident is one of more than 70 recorded assaults on Amtrak crewmembers since 2015. As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Duckworth is tasked with overseeing issues related to the nation’s transportation systems and infrastructure projects.