HERMISTON — Eighteen percent of the nation's remote control locomotive accidents have happened at Hinkle, Hermiston.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers members have suggested that cities and counties should consider passing resolutions limiting the use of remote controlled locomotives.

Eight of the country's 43 accidents involving riderless trains happened here, according to the BLE's tracking of accidents. Officials here say are reluctant to get involved in a controversy with the railroad over something they see as a scrap between two unions.

The railroad is one of area's larger employers. Dryland wheat became possible through the railroad. UPRR added several hundred jobs to Hermiston within thee past five years or so and was considered one of the "big four" new employers with recent expansions, along with Two Rivers Correctional Institution, Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, and Wal-Mart Distribution Center.

(For the fulls story, please see the May 16, 2003, issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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