FRA Completes Safety Office Reorganization

The Federal Railroad Administration said its Office of Railroad Safety has completed a yearlong reorganization.

Two key aspects of the reorganization were the creation of safety management teams for railroads and the realignment of safety inspectors’ reporting responsibilities, the agency said.

FRA Administrator Ronald Batory said the reorganization was the “most significant” since the agency was established.

“I believe this organization will usher in a new era in railroad safety oversight that will lead to improved safety throughout the national railroad network,” Batory said.

Batory said railroad safety improved dramatically between 2000 to 2010, but the past decades has been a time that has been mostly static.

“I don’t believe we have reached the point where safety cannot improve, but I do believe we need new ideas and a bold approach,]”he said.

The reorganization was completed on June 8.

The new SMTs will serve as the primary FRA point of contact for a Class I or group of railroads to be a partner in finding solutions or solving potential safety issues.

While the number of inspectors remains the same, the agency realigned inspectors and specialists under their respective discipline headquarters staff directors, so that each has a single technical authority to guide how regulations are enforced.

The agency also created an office to address new technologies and another to serve as a liaison to labor organizations and rail industry associations.

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