Class I

Cyber Resiliency: A Clear and Urgent Necessity for Modern Railroads

The World Economic Forum’s most recent Regional Risks of Doing Business report lists cyberattacks as the top concern of corporate executives in 19 countries, including advanced economies in North America, Europe, and Asia. These concerns, according to the report, “highlight the growing reliance of global commerce on digital networks that are the target of increasingly sophisticated and prolific attacks.”

NS petitions FRA for brake test training waiver; unions push back

Norfolk Southern has filed a petition with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of federal railroad safety regulations regarding refresher training for mechanical inspectors, “FRA WAIVER PETITION DOCKET No. FRA-2018-0100, Brake System Safety Standards for Freight and Other Non-passenger Trains and Equipment, End-Of-Train Devices (49 C.F.R. Part 232).” Two unions have filed comments disputing NS’s petition.

Heavy weather impacting BNSF operations

BNSF is engaged in service recovery efforts in multiple areas across its network in the northern and central Plains following another major winter storm. Blizzard conditions, with wind gusts to near 70 mph in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota have caused significant train delays since March 14. With the temperature rising, BNSF is now confronting major flooding issues in the region, particularly in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, as multiple subdivisions are currently out of service due to track washouts.

AAR: STB rulemakings need cost-benefit analyses

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) on March 14 petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to incorporate cost-benefit analysis into rulemaking proceedings. AAR urged that, “in the spirit of good government, such analysis should include the most current and reliable data possible, and that the Board should consider the cumulative impact of regulations when proposing and adopting new rules.”