The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a final rule—49 CFR Part 271 [Docket No. FRA–2009–0038, Notice No. 7] RIN 2130–AC11—launching the Risk Reduction Program (RRP) “to support an increasing standard of safety for the nation’s freight railroads.” The final rule is effective April 20, 2020.
Federal Railroad Administration
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is hosting a free-of-charge Track & Roadway Workplace Safety Symposium, its first collaborative safety gathering tailored to the industry’s track maintenance and construction groups.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has extended the deadline and increased available money originally announced Nov. 6 when it issued a NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) for $24 million in Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 Restoration and Enhancement Grants for “initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity passenger rail service. The funding is made available through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has launched a new webpage for the public and law enforcement to report blocked highway-rail grade crossings.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Dec. 19 issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRMs), one updating current Track Safety Standards (TSS), the other updating existing Brake System Safety (BSS) requirements. FRA said the proposed rules changes are designed “to promote safety innovation and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.” Both “will increase rail safety as well as save time.”
Based on self-reported Third Quarter 2019 (Q3) PTC (Positive Train Control) Progress Reports, which were due to the Federal Railroad Administration by Oct. 31, 2019, the majority of the 42 railroads subject to the statutory implementation requirement are operating PTC systems in revenue service or in advanced field testing known as a revenue service demonstration (RSD).
The Federal Railroad Administration on Nov. 22 published an NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) requesting comments regarding extending the dates for Class II and III railroads that are not intercity or commuter passenger railroads with 400,000 annual employee hours or more to comply with existing Part 243 Training Rules, “Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees.”
On the heels of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hosting a grade-crossing safety summit, the agency announced publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to improve safety at public highway-rail grade crossings nationwide.
Safety is important. Yet, we can do safety research and development a lot faster. It’s timely to ask why the regulatory process takes so long. Today in transport logistics, our society seems to lack a sense of urgency. As one example, it now takes regulatory agencies (and non-regulatory bodies like the National Transportation Safety Board) as long as 18 to 24 months to complete an accident investigation report. Why so long? It’s a mystery.
WATCHING WASHINGTON, RAILWAY AGE NOVEMBER 2019 ISSUE: At the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), where challenges are voluminous and time is short because the nation’s top rail safety cop serves at the pleasure of the White House occupant, Administrator Ronald L. (Ron) Batory is pedaling furiously to accomplish priorities—cardinal of which is assuring demonstrable facts overwhelm opinion.