October 24, 2014

FRA announces rule on passenger rail emergencies

The Federal Railroad Administration Nov. 29 announced a new final rule intended to further help with the evacuation of passengers and crewmembers in the event of a rail emergency. Among the provisions, the rule requires that vestibule and interior passageway doors on passenger cars be fitted with removable panels and windows to allow passage if [...]

DOT agencies evaluating railroads’ security plans

The Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have issued a safety advisory to reinforce to railroads the importance of properly classifying Class 3 materials and ensuring the railroads’ safety and security plans address the vulnerabilities cited in FRA’s Aug. 7 Emergency Order No. 28. That order told the railroads to [...]

FRA’s Szabo addresses 50th meeting of RSAC

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The following are Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo’s opening remarks to those attending the 50th meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) in Washington on Oct. 31, 2013. Today marks the end of a stressful month. The government shutdown forced us to put a lot of important work on hold. And since it ended, we’ve [...]

Lauby named FRA administrator for safety

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Robert C. Lauby has been selected as associate administrator for railroad safety/chief safety officer for the Federal Railroad Administration. In that position, he will provide regulatory oversight for rail safety in the United States and oversees the development and enforcement of safety regulations and programs related to the rail industry. Lauby has 35 years of [...]

FRA, Maine DOT to test rail trespassing system

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded a research grant for the city of Brunswick, Maine, the Northern New England Passenger Authority (NNEPRA) and the Maine Department of Transportation, among other partners, to participate in a field research program to develop and test new trespass detection and deterrent technologies. The research will consist of designing, operating [...]

SLD Bates accepts spot on FRA panel

District of Columbia State Legislative Director and SMART Transportation Safety Team member Willie Bates has been invited by Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo to serve on the Stakeholder Review Panel for the agency’s new Clear Signal for Action safety program. The CSA safety pilot program, funded by the FRA’s Office of Research and Development, seeks [...]

RSAC holds emergency meeting

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WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) met today in an emergency session to begin consideration of additional regulatory or other safety measures following the derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada earlier this summer. “Safety is our top priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “While 2012 was the safest year [...]

Federal panel hears concerns on railroad safety

WASHINGTON – A federal panel heard comments Wednesday on the adequacy of safety regulations for railroads, during the first of two meetings that will focus on last month’s deadly train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Fatigue is the top safety concern among train crew members, said a representative of one of the major unions for railroad [...]

FRA issues guidance memorandum on EO 28

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The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a guidance memorandum for Emergency Order 28, which seeks to prevent trains operating on mainline tracks or sidings from moving unintentionally. The memorandum has been sent to all Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) members and alternates. Hardcopies will be provided at the emergency RSAC meeting scheduled for Aug. 29 and a detailed [...]

Agencies set public meeting on rail hazmat

The Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will host a public meeting Aug. 27-28 in Washington, D.C., about the transportation of hazardous materials by rail. The two DOT agencies want to hear from stakeholders because they have begun a review of operational factors that affect the safe transportation of [...]