Posts Tagged ‘Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008’

FRA Says All Railroads Reached PTC Finish Line

December 30, 2020

The Federal Railroad Administration said this week that all railroads required to do so have met the deadline for installation and implementation of positive train control.

PTC is in operation on all of the 57,536 route miles required to have it.

This includes rail lines that handle intercity or commuter passengers on a regular basis, certain hazardous materials, and Class 1 railroad mainlines that see more than 5 million gross tons of annual traffic.

The mandate for the installation of PTC was part of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

Federal law gave the railroad industry a deadline of Dec. 31, 2020, to install and place PTC systems into operation.

In a news release, the FRA said this meant the FRA had certified not only that PTC was in operation but also that PTC systems had achieved interoperability.

This means a PTC system used by a tenant railroad such as Amtrak is compatible with the PTC system of a host railroad such as CSX.

PTC is designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, work-zone accidents, and incidents involving improperly lined switches.

Implementation of PTC involved seven Class I railroads, Amtrak, 28 commuter railroads, and five other freight railroads that host regularly scheduled intercity or commuter rail passenger service.

Also involved in the effort were industry associations, suppliers and other service providers who have been working for more than a decade to develop, install, test and oversee the operation of PTC systems.

FRA certification means a PTC system complies with the required technical requirements contained in federal law or FRA regulations.

Most railroads have been in compliance with federal law and regulations for several months with 99.6 percent of those affected by the PTC mandate having complied by the end of the third quarter of this year.

FRA Completes Risk Reduction Program Rule

February 19, 2020

The Federal Railroad Administration has completed writing a rule that requires Class 1 railroads to create a risk reduction program.

Each carrier must create a program that will be reviewed by the FRA and which identifies and analyzes hazards and their associated risks.

The risk reduction program must also develop and implement plans to eliminate or mitigate those risks.

The FRA said in a news release that the risk reduction programs are to be designed to improve operational safety and complement a railroad’s adherence to all other applicable FRA regulations.

The programs must be tailored for each railroad’s individual operations and reflect the substantive facts on any hazards associated with each railroads’ operations.

Class II and III freight railroads that have an inadequate safety record must also create a risk reduction plan and submit it to the FRA for approval.

The FRA said railroads must involve employees in implementation of the risk reduction plan, including during the process of identification of risks and hazards.

Risk reduction plans are mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.