May 27, 2016

FRA’s proposed rule requiring two-person crews irks rail industry, draws praise from safety advocates

The Federal Railroad Administration rolled out a long-awaited proposed rule this week requiring two-person crews on most trains. The rule comes three years after 47 people were killed in the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, train crash (which had a one-person crew) and almost a year after the deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia, also operated by one […]

FRA asks for public comments on train-horn rule

Progressive Railroading reported that the Federal Railroad Administration is seeking public input as to whether federal regulations concerning the use of locomotive horns at public grade crossings should be changed. Read the entire story here.

DOT seeks input on screening & treating Sleep Apnea in bus and rail workers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that the agencies are seeking public input during the next 90 days on the impacts of screening, evaluating and treating rail workers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The National […]

FRA investigates Ohio train derailment and fire

CantonRep.com reported that Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) inspectors are now analyzing evidence to determine what led to the derailment of eight rail cars in the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway yard in Brewster, Ohio, on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Cargo included flammable liquid that ignited upon impact, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of nearby residents. […]

SMART TD supports FRA’s efforts to clarify vision standards

On Monday, January 25, John Previsich, president of SMART Transportation Division, filed a letter with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in strong support of the FRA’s efforts to clarify vision standards and testing for locomotive engineers and conductors.  Read the complete article here.

SMART TD opposes auto control systems in FRA letter

In a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Associate Administrator for Safety Robert Lauby, SMART Transportation Division’s National Legislative Director John Risch called on the FRA to issue an emergency order prohibiting the use of auto control systems. In his letter, Risch maintained that the FRA should regulate these systems, just as cell phones […]

FRA stepped-up enforcement to collect fines

Enforcement push is part of broader effort to increase overall rail safety WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that its stepped-up enforcement of railroad safety regulations led to the highest-ever civil penalty collection rate in the agency’s 50-year history.  For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the agency will collect 75 percent of all civil penalties […]

SMART TD, BLET petition FRA for speed signs

SMART TD and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET) have submitted a petition to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for rulemaking that mandates uniform warning speed signs in advance of a permanent speed restriction. SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch said, “Not having speed signs would be like listing all the traffic […]

State inspectors take on rail safety program

Both inspectors for a state rail safety program — aimed to prevent such fiery derailments involving crude oil as happened this year near Weimdal, N.D. — have been hired and are training with federal inspectors. In July, an agreement was approved by the Public Service Commission with the Federal Railroad Administration to begin a pilot rail safety […]

FRA cites UP for violation after SMART TD tip

CHICAGO — The Federal Railroad Administration told SMART Transportation Division it has filed a violation against the Union Pacific Railroad in response to a union complaint that the railroad ordered a train crew to work outside its assigned territory while being piloted by a manager who was not qualified on the physical characteristics of the […]