Regulatory

FRA reported on May 19 that more than 70,000 inspections were conducted in FY 2021 to assess railroad compliance with regulations and laws that govern track, motive power and equipment, operating practices, signal and train control, hazardous materials, grade crossing signal system safety, industrial hygiene, and safety management systems.

FRA Issues FY21 Safety Enforcement Report

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released its annual enforcement report summarizing the regulatory compliance inspections and audits conducted in the past fiscal year by FRA or state inspectors participating in FRA’s rail safety program, as well as the civil penalty enforcement actions arising from them.

CBC ‘Welcomes’ Face-to-Face Mediation

Leaders of the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) Rail Labor Unions* say they are hopeful the in-person mediation sessions scheduled for May 24-26 before the National Mediation Board (NMB) “will help to settle their ongoing national contract dispute.”

Threat Lurks to STB’s Independence

Once upon a time, conservative jurists were the best friends to federal regulatory agencies such as the Surface Transportation Board (STB). When those agencies pushed the boundaries of their decision-making independence, federal courts considered them experts in their field and accordingly deferred to their interpretations of the statutes they administered.

AAR to STB: No ‘Quick Fix’ to Service Problems

“The Class I railroads recognize that their recent service performance has not met many customers’ expectations,” the Association of American Railroads (AAR) wrote in a May 18 filing to the Surface Transportation Board (STB). But while the STB’s May 5 decision to release updated, more-comprehensive rules for reporting performance and employment metrics “reflects an understandable desire for quick action,” it was “not issued in a vacuum,” AAR pointed out.

Rail Insights 2022: Oberman, Itzkoff to Talk Freight Service

At Railway Age’s Eighth Annual Rail Insights Conference, to be held virtually June 23, Surface Transportation Board Chair Martin J. Oberman will cover freight railroad service, reciprocal switching, supply chain congestion, labor shortages and Amtrak access—among the controversial issues the Board has been addressing during recent hearings.