ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed for the passing of the Railway Safety Act of 2023 while in Attica on Friday, hoping to tighten up railway safety in Upstate New York following the February train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Schumer said the bipartisan bill would, among other provisions, work to:

– Enhance safety for all trains carrying hazardous materials
– Require highly trained, at least two-person crews to work aboard every train
– Make rail carriers pay for their wrongdoing
– Support first responders who work to keep communities safe from derailments

“The horrifying train derailment in Ohio has people in Attica, Buffalo, and across Western New York rightfully concerned about the safety of trains carrying hazardous materials that regularly run through our communities,” Schumer said in a release. “Western New York is a hub for freight rail activity and we can’t let this problem go off the rails any further.”

The East Palestine derailment and other incidents put a spotlight on the need for reforms, according to Schumer, but the issue of railway safety is much more widespread. In 2018, a Norfolk Southern train derailed near Attica, which left two people injured and caused a fire.

To read more on the proposed Railway Safety Act of 2023, click here.

Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.