The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise regulations on changes to Positive Train Control (PTC) systems and reporting PTC system functioning.
With PTC implementation due for completion Dec. 31, FRA has identified two existing provisions, 49 CFR 236.1021 and 236.1029(h), which, if not revised, “could impede the industry’s ability to advance PTC technology efficiently” in the future and “FRA’s ability to oversee the performance and reliability of PTC systems effectively.”
The agency seeks to modify how the host railroad submits a request for amendment to FRA before making certain changes to its PTC Safety Plan and FRA-certified PTC system. The move would “enable the industry to deploy upgrades and technological enhancements more efficiently, and ensure FRA’s review of changes or modifications to FRA-certified systems is more predictable and consistent going forward,” according to FRA.
Additionally, the agency proposes expanding an existing reporting requirement—49 CFR 236.1029(h), Annual report of system failures—by increasing the frequency from annual to biannual; broadening reporting to include positive performance-related information; and requiring host railroads to use a new, standardized Biannual Report of PTC System Performance.
Written comments are due Feb. 16, 2021.
DOWNLOAD THE FEDERAL REGISTER NPRM:
In related news, New York MTA’s Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) are among the commuter roads to recently announce that they have completed PTC implementation just ahead of the federal deadline.