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Nevada governor vetoes train-length bill

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo last week vetoed railroad safety legislation that would have regulated the length of freight trains operating in the state.

Assembly Bill 456 would have established requirements for the installation and operation of wayside detector systems; required a stopped train to be separated or moved to clear a grade crossing to make way for an approaching emergency vehicle; and prohibited trains from being more than 7,500 feet long on certain tracks.

In his veto message, Lombardo said that the law certainly would be challenged at the federal level, a message Union Pacific Railroad officials delivered to lawmakers earlier this year at a legislative committee hearing on the bill, according to 8 News Now.

“Aside from being another policy overreach from the Legislature, it is also far from certain the constitutionality of AB-456 would be upheld in court,” Lombardo said, adding that U.S. Supreme Court precedent dictates national interests over states’ interests when it comes to the economy and rail service, the news station reported.

Nevada labor officials condemned Lombardo’s veto.

“The longer we go without reforming our state’s railroad regulations, the closer we get to experiencing a tragedy like the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. With this legislation, Nevada could have been a leader in railroad safety; now, we run the risk of becoming a national headline in the future,” said Susie Martinez, executive secretary-treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, in a press release.