(Reuters) – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday he will call on major railroads to improve safety after a Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, of a train operated by Norfolk Southern.

Buttigieg in a letter to Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Alan Shaw said he would also call on Congress to raise the cap on fines against railroads for violating safety regulations “to ensure their deterrent effect is commensurate with the economic proportions of today’s large railroad companies.” Buttigieg said he will outline specific safety improvements railroads should take immediately.

“Major derailments in the past have been followed by calls for reform – and by vigorous resistance by your industry to increased safety measures. This must change,” Buttigieg wrote.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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