April 17, 2014

FRA: Intensive conductor training essential

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One of the strongest studies validating the need for two-person crews and intensive training for conductors has come from the Federal Railroad Administration. The conclusion is that the conductor and engineer function as a team, with managing multiple priorities essential to safe train operation – especially with regard to use of positive train control technology [...]

Update on conductor certification

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By Larry Mann, UTU Rail Safety Coordinator -  The FRA amended its conductor certification rules in February, delaying the time for testing conductors, extending the time for formulating training programs and amending the territorial qualification requirements. By Sept. 1, 2012, each railroad shall have grandfathered as “certified conductors” all persons who were performing conductor duties as [...]

Conductor certification program available online

A slideshow presented to UTU members attending the union’s conductor certification workshop at the Portland, Ore., regional meeting is now available on the UTU website. The slideshow can be downloaded as a PowerPoint presentation by clicking here or in PDF format here. The FRA’s final rule on conductor certification follows many of the provisions of locomotive engineer [...]

FRA amends conductor certification rule

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WASHINGTON – Responding to petitions for reconsideration to its Nov. 9, 2011, final rule on conductor certification, the FRA has delayed for six months the testing implementation dates and clarified other mandates affecting territorial qualifications and the definition of hostlers. The FRA, in a Feb. 8 Federal Register notice, said that because its final rule [...]

FRA proposes new minimum training standards

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WASHINGTON – New minimum training and qualification standards are being proposed by the Federal Railroad Administration for rail workers in safety sensitive positions. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published Feb. 7 in the Federal Register, the FRA said affected employees would have to be trained and qualified in federal rail safety laws, regulations and [...]

Conductor certification now a reality

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WASHINGTON – It’s now official. Conductor certification, mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, became effective Jan. 1. In a final rule, published by the Federal Railroad Administration Nov. 9, railroads were ordered to implement, by Jan. 1, a formal training program for certifying conductors and a formal process for training prospective conductors, thus [...]

Conductor cert, passenger HOS regs on tap

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration will soon publish final rules instituting conductor certification and imposing new hours-of-service limitations on intercity passenger-train and commuter employees in safety sensitive positions. FRA Associate Administrator for Safety Jo Strang made the announcement at the UTU’s regional meeting June 21 in San Antonio, Texas. She observed that since former [...]

Better appeals route urged for conductor certification

WASHINGTON — As the Jan. 1, 2012, effective date for conductor certification approaches, the UTU and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen are urging the Federal Railroad Administration to revise certain portions of the proposed certification rules. Chief among areas of concern is the lack of a streamlined appeals process when railroads move to decertify a [...]

Conductor certification coming Jan. 1, 2012

WASHINGTON — In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in the Nov. 10 Federal Register, the Federal Railroad Administration proposes to make Jan. 1, 2012, the effective date for implementation of conductor certification. The rulemaking on principles, elements and methods of conductor certification was ordered by Congress in the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act. The NPRM [...]

FRA revises engineer certification rules

WASHINGTON — Revisions to locomotive certification rules (49 CFR Part 240), effective Feb. 22, 2010, were issued by the Federal Railroad Administration Dec. 23, 2009. Among the revisions: Prohibits the practice of re-classiyfing any type of engineer’s certification to a more restrictive class or certificate while the certification is otherwise valid. Requires each railroad to [...]