‘Rail Town’ Mayors Call for Passage of Railway Safety Act

May 18, 2023

Bipartisan legislation would help prevent devastating derailments in rail communities similar to East Palestine 

Cantwell: “These are not red towns or blue towns…it’s time that we give America more rail safety.” 


Sen. Cantwell joined nearly 30 mayors and local officials brought together by the National League of Cities in front of the U.S. Capitol advocating for rail safety

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, held a press conference with mayors and municipal leaders from railroad communities calling for the Senate to pass legislation to prevent a disastrous train derailment like the one that devastated East Palestine from happening in their cities.

The Senate Commerce Committee passed the bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023 on May 10, sending it to the full Senate. The legislation was introduced by Ohio and Pennsylvania Sens. Sherrod Brown, J.D. Vance, Bob Casey and John Fetterman following the East Palestine, Ohio, derailment. A summary of its key provisions can be found here.

“The bipartisan Railway Safety Act is trying to prevent disasters like East Palestine from happening in any other town in America again,” said Sen. Cantwell at the press conference. “We took the lessons of East Palestine and turned them into legislation…It is only fair that we come together as a country and make common-sense rail safety laws that are important to keeping our community safe. These are not red towns or blue towns. They are towns in which the mayors have decided that it's time that we give America more rail safety.”


Watch Sen. Cantwell

“Local governments are united in our support of the bipartisan Railway Safety Act,” said Irma Esparza Diggs, Senior Executive and Director, National League of Cities. “We are here today to urge the Senate to pass this bipartisan rail safety legislation on behalf of all of our communities…No community, not one single community, should have to worry that nothing has changed after the toxic derailment like we saw in East Palestine, Ohio.”