Positive Train Control Systems (RRR), 49693-49718 [2014-19849]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations environmental studies related to specific projects. It also does not include any pre-award costs incurred prior to August 22, 2014. [FR Doc. 2014–20102 Filed 8–21–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–EA–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 2 and 5 [ET Docket No. 10–236 and 06–155; FCC 13–15] Radio Experimentation and Market Trials-Streamlining Rules Correction In rule document 2014–19293, appearing on page 48691 in the issue of Monday, August 18, 2014, make the following correction: § 5.302 [CORRECTED] On page 48691, in the second column, third line from the bottom, ‘‘§ 5.3012 [AMENDED]’’ should read ‘‘§ 5.302 [AMENDED]’’. [FR Doc. C1–2014–19293 Filed 8–21–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505–01–D DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration 49 CFR Parts 234, 235, and 236 [Docket No. FRA–2011–0061, Notice No. 3] RIN 2130–AC32 Positive Train Control Systems (RRR) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: FRA’s final rule primarily amends the regulations implementing a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that certain passenger and freight railroads install positive train control (PTC) systems governing operations on certain main line tracks. This final rule revises an existing regulatory exception to the requirement to install a PTC system for track segments carrying freight only that present a de minimis safety risk. The final rule also adds a new exception for PTC-unequipped freight trains associated with certain freight yard operations to operate within PTC systems. The final rule also revises the existing regulations related to en route failures of a PTC system, adds new rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 provisions related to other failures of a PTC system, and amends the regulations on applications for approval of certain modifications of signal and train control systems. Finally, this final rule makes technical amendments to FRA’s other signal and train control regulations and FRA’s regulations governing highwayrail grade crossing warning systems. DATES: This final rule is effective October 21, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Hartman, Office of Safety Assurance and Compliance, Staff Director, Signal & Train Control Division, Federal Railroad Administration, Mail Stop 25, West Building 3rd Floor West, Room W35– 333, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202– 493–6225) or Emily Prince, Trial Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, RCC– 10, Mail Stop 10, West Building 7th Floor, Room W75–208, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202–493–6146). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Abbreviations Frequently Used AAR Association of American Railroads CFR Code of Federal Regulations FRA Federal Railroad Administration MGT million gross tons NPRM notice of proposed rulemaking PIH material poisonous by inhalation (as defined in 49 CFR 171.8, 173.115 and 173.132) hazardous material PTC positive train control (as further described in 49 CFR 236.1005) PTCIP PTC Implementation Plan (as required under 49 U.S.C. 20157 and further described in 49 CFR 236.1011) PTCSP PTC Safety Plan (as further described in 49 CFR 236.1015) PTCWG PTC Working Group of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee RFA Request for Amendment (of a plan or system made by a railroad required to implement a PTC system as defined in 49 CFR 236.1003, in accordance with 49 CFR 236.1021) RRR Retrospective Regulatory Review RSAC Railroad Safety Advisory Committee RSIA Sec. 104 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (Public Law 110– 432, Div. A) (49 U.S.C. 20157) Sec. section WG Working Group Terms Frequently Used Categorical de minimis exception means the exception to the requirement to implement a PTC system on a given track segment provided by 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) before this final rule is effective and by 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) after this final rule is effective. General de minimis exception means the exception to the requirement to PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49693 implement a PTC system on a given track segment provided by 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C) that existed prior to this final rule and by 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (C) after this final rule is effective. Old section or old provision refers to the section or provision as it existed on the day before the section or provision of this final rule is effective. PTCpreventable accident means an accident or incident that could be prevented by the functions of a positive train control system required by 49 U.S.C. 20157. Table of Contents for Supplementary Information I. Executive Summary II. Statutory and Regulatory Background and Proceedings to Date III. Public Participation A. RSAC Process and the PTC Working Group B. Comments Received 1. In General 2. Comments on § 236.1021, Discontinuances, Material Modifications, and Amendments, Which Is Unchanged 3. Comments on Paragraph (c), Limited Operations Exception, of § 236.1019, Main Line Track Exceptions, Which Is Unchanged 4. Comments on Cost of Transportation of Certain Radioactive Lading IV. Section-by-Section Analysis V. Regulatory Impact and Notices A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures B. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272 C. Executive Order 13175 D. Paperwork Reduction Act E. Federalism Implications F. Environmental Impact G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Energy Impact I. Privacy Act I. Executive Summary Section 104 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Public Law 110–432, 122 Stat. 4854, (Oct. 16, 2008) (codified at 49 U.S.C. 20157) (hereinafter ‘‘RSIA’’) requires the installation of PTC systems governing all train operations on certain track. RSIA defines ‘‘PTC system’’ as ‘‘a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong position.’’ 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(3). While there are different PTC system configurations, and there is no specific technological model that defines a PTC system, all PTC systems generally have the same four parts: (1) An onboard apparatus for the locomotive controlling each applicable train; (2) wayside devices such as wayside interface units; E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES 49694 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations (3) a centralized dispatch system; and (4) a communications system linking these components. On December 11, 2012, FRA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) primarily to amend its existing PTC regulations to provide covered railroads with additional regulatory guidance and flexibility for their implementation of this statutory mandate. 77 FR 73589. Having considered public comments in response to the NPRM and FRA’s subsequent notice of clarification issued on January 28, 2013 (78 FR 5767), and having later met with the PTC Working Group (PTC WG) of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), FRA now responds to the comments on the proposed regulatory changes and issues this final rule, which will become effective on October 21, 2014. For years, FRA has supported the nationwide proliferation and implementation of PTC systems, forecasting substantial benefits of advanced train control technology in supporting a variety of business and safety purposes. In 2005, for example, FRA promulgated regulations providing for the voluntary implementation of processor-based train control systems. See 70 FR 11,052 (Mar. 7, 2005) (codified at 49 CFR part 236, subpart H). However, implementation was not mandated by FRA because the costs for the systems far outweighed the possible safety benefits at that time. Partially as a consequence of certain very severe railroad accidents, coupled with a series of other less serious accidents, Congress passed RSIA, which mandates the implementation of PTC systems by December 31, 2015, on lines meeting certain thresholds. RSIA requires PTC system implementation on all Class I railroad main lines that carry poison- or toxic-by-inhalation hazardous (PIH or TIH) materials and 5 million gross tons (MGT) or more of annual traffic, and on any railroad’s main line tracks over which intercity or commuter rail passenger train service is regularly provided. In addition, RSIA provides the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) with the authority to require PTC system implementation on any other line. The Secretary has delegated this authority to the Administrator of FRA. 49 CFR 1.89 (formerly codified at 1.49). FRA’s existing PTC regulations (codified primarily in 49 CFR part 236 subpart I) include various exceptions from mandatory PTC system implementation. For instance, the de minimis exception was developed to 1 As provide railroads an opportunity to avoid PTC system implementation on certain freight-only track segments where the burdens of the regulation would yield a gain of trivial or no value. See 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii). In accordance with FRA’s statutory authority, FRA’s existing regulations also include a limited operations exception, which is for passenger operations or segments over which limited or no freight railroad operations occur. 49 CFR 236.1019(c). In a petition for rulemaking dated April 22, 2011 (‘‘Petition’’), the Association of American Railroads (AAR) requested that FRA initiate a rulemaking to expand the de minimis exception and otherwise amend the rules concerning the limited operations exception, en route failures of trains operating within PTC systems, and the discontinuance of signal systems once PTC systems are installed. AAR also requested that FRA develop a new exception that would allow unequipped trains associated with certain yard operations to operate within PTC systems. In response to the Petition, FRA issued an NPRM on December 11, 2012, proposing several changes to part 236, subpart I, and expressing concerns over several other suggestions made in the Petition. The scope of the rulemaking was later clarified in a notice of clarification published January 28, 2013, in order to ensure that all commenters were aware that all of the Petition’s proposals remained open for consideration. Having considered the public comments on the NPRM and notice of clarification and discussions with the RSAC PTC Working Group, FRA is promulgating this final rule. The rule makes substantial revisions to the de minimis exception for freight-only track segments under 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii). In particular, this final rule revises the annual car limitation to remove cars containing only a residue 1 of PIH materials; replaces the criterion ‘‘ruling grade of less than one percent’’ with the term ‘‘heavy grade’’ as defined in FRA’s endof-train device rule; limits to two per day the number of trains carrying any quantity of PIH materials; and replaces the temporal separation requirement with a requirement that a train carrying any quantity of PIH materials be operated with a vacant block ahead of and behind the train. A new exception for PTC-unequipped locomotives used in freight operations and PTCunequipped freight trains has been added, which allows yard movements by these locomotives and trains to operate on PTC-equipped main track with speed restrictions and with operating rules in place to protect against conflicting movements. Further, the en route failure provision at 49 CFR 236.1029 has also been revised to remove the requirement that an absolute block be placed in advance of train movements where the onboard PTC apparatus fails en route, as well as to add several temporary exceptions that last from the effective date of the final rule through the two years after the statutory deadline for PTC system implementation. In addition to these changes, the final rule provides in 49 CFR part 235 an alternative method for reviewing some applications for signal system modifications related to PTC system implementation and makes a number of technical corrections to 49 CFR parts 234 and 236. For the first 20-years of the final rule, the estimated quantified benefits to society, due to the regulatory changes, total approximately $700 million discounted at 7 percent and $922 million discounted at 3 percent. The largest components of the benefits come from reduced costs of PTC system wayside components because of extensions of the de minimis risk exception under 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii) and reduced costs of onboard PTC systems on locomotives used in freight operations in yard areas. A smaller benefit, independent of the other benefits, comes from changes to the application process for a discontinuation or material modification of a signal system under 49 CFR part 235 where the application would have been filed as part of a PTC system installation. FRA analyzed the final rule under three cases. The ‘‘base case’’ is FRA’s best estimate of the likely impact of the final rule. To address uncertainty related to assumptions and inputs, FRA also analyzed a ‘‘high case,’’ where the impacts are greater than FRA’s best estimate, and a ‘‘low case,’’ where the impacts are less than FRA’s best estimate. The cases used for the sensitivity analysis are discussed in more detail below, in the discussion of regulatory impact. All values in the analysis are measured in 2009 dollars. FRA is using 2009 dollars throughout this analysis, to aid in comparison to the analysis of the original 2010 PTC rule. The following table presents the quantified benefits discounted over 20 years: defined in 49 CFR 171.8. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49695 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Discount factor 7 percent Base case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. 3 percent $397,319 446,266,012 252,858,508 $446,926 587,977,605 333,153,625 699,521,839 921,578,156 397,319 892,532,024 316,073,135 446,926 1,175,955,209 416,442,032 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. Low case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. 1,209,002,478 1,592,844,167 397,319 328,700,721 180,785,397 446,926 433,079,503 238,193,726 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. 509,883,437 671,720,155 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. High case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Totals in each respective category may not add due to rounding. for FRA approval a PTC implementation plan (PTCIP) within 18 months (i.e., by April 16, 2010). On July 27, 2009, FRA published an NPRM regarding the mandatory implementation and operation of PTC systems in accordance with RSIA. During the comment period for that proceeding, CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX) suggested that FRA create a de minimis exception to the requirement that lines carrying PIH materials traffic (but not applicable passenger traffic) be equipped with PTC systems. The final rule, published on January 15, 2010, included a de minimis Discount factor exception, since FRA believed that it 7 percent 3 percent contained significant merit and that it fell within the scope of the issues set Base Case ........ $6,609,680 $9,752,784 forth in the proposed rule. However, High Case ......... 6,609,680 9,752,784 Low Case .......... 4,937,849 7,285,947 since none of the parties had an opportunity to comment on this specific The net benefit amounts for each case, exception as provided in the final rule, FRA sought further comments on the subtracting the costs from the benefits, extent of the de minimis exception. The provide the following results: further comments responsive to this issue were largely favorable, although Discount factor AAR sought some further modification 7 percent 3 percent and clarification. In publishing its second PTC system final rule on Base September 27, 2010, FRA decided not to Case .. $692,912,160 $911,825,373 amend the de minimis exception any High Case .. 1,202,392,799 1,583,091,384 further based on the comments submitted. Low AAR, in its Petition dated April 22, Case .. 504,945,587 664,434,208 2011, requested that FRA initiate a The analysis indicates that the savings rulemaking to expand the de minimis exception and otherwise amend the of the final rule far outweigh the cost. rules concerning the limited operations II. Statutory and Regulatory exception, en route failures of trains Background and Proceedings to Date operating with PTC systems, and the The President signed RSIA into law discontinuance of signal systems once on October 16, 2008, mandating PTC PTC systems were installed. AAR also system implementation by December 31, requested that FRA develop a new 2015. To effectuate this goal, RSIA exception to allow unequipped trains to required the covered railroads to submit operate on PTC lines during certain yard rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES For the same 20-year period, the estimated quantified cost totals $6.61 million discounted at 7 percent and $9.75 million discounted at 3 percent. The costs associated with the regulatory relief result from a slight increase in accident avoidance risk. FRA was able to estimate the monetized costs affected by changes in the de minimis provisions, but was not able to estimate the costs of changes to the provision affecting locomotives in yard areas. The following table presents the total quantified costs of the final rule: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 operations. On October 21, 2011, FRA held a meeting in Washington, DC with the PTC WG to the RSAC to seek input and guidance concerning the issues raised in AAR’s Petition and other technical amendments. FRA facilitated a valuable group discussion relating to each of the proposed amendments. Taking into account this input, FRA published an NPRM on December 11, 2012. With respect to the categorical de minimis exception at 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii), FRA proposed to modify the categorical de minimis exception to raise the maximum number of freight cars containing PIH materials from fewer than 100 cars to fewer than 200 cars and revise the grade limitation to be more consistent with the definition of ‘‘heavy grade’’ present in 49 CFR part 232. FRA also proposed to remove the traffic limitation of 15 MGT from the general de minimis exception in paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C), but not the categorical exception in paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B). In response to AAR’s suggestions for a yard move exception, FRA proposed to add a freight yard movement exception, which would authorize movements by unequipped locomotives over PTC-equipped main line track segments for the purpose of switching service or transfer train movements related to freight operations. FRA did not propose to create an additional limited operations exemption, remove oversight from signal system discontinuances, or modify the default rules for resolving en route failures of a PTC system, though FRA requested comments on these elements of AAR’s Petition. FRA also proposed a number of technical amendments to the signal and grade crossing regulations of 49 CFR parts E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49696 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations 234, 235, and 236. After learning that some viewed the scope of the NPRM as ambiguous, FRA published a notice of clarification on January 28, 2013, to ensure that commenters would have an adequate opportunity to address each element of AAR’s Petition. After the close of the comment period, FRA held a meeting of the RSAC PTC WG on May 24, 2013, in order to gather more information relating to the comments and an additional meeting on July 9, 2013, to discuss draft rule text. III. Public Participation rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES A. RSAC Process and the PTC Working Group In March 1996, FRA established RSAC, which provides a forum for developing consensus recommendations to the Administrator of FRA on rulemakings and other safety program issues. 61 FR 9740 (Mar. 11, 1996). RSAC’s charter under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463) was most recently renewed in 2014. 79 FR 28591 (May 16, 2014). RSAC includes representation from all of FRA’s major stakeholders, including railroads, labor organizations, suppliers and manufacturers, and other interested parties. An alphabetical list of RSAC members includes the following: AAR; American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners; American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO); American Chemistry Council (ACC); American Petroleum Institute; American Public Transportation Association (APTA); American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA); American Train Dispatchers Association; Association of Railway Museums; Association of State Rail Safety Managers (ASRSM); Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET); Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED); Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); The Chlorine Institute, Inc.; Federal Transit Administration (FTA);* The Fertilizer Institute; High Speed Ground Transportation Association; Institute of Makers of Explosives; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); Labor Council for Latin American Advancement;* League of Railway Industry Women;* National Association of Railroad Passengers; National Association of Railway Business Women;* National Conference of Firemen & Oilers; National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak); VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRCMA); National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); * Railway Passenger Car Alliance; Railway Supply Institute; Safe Travel America; Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transporte; * Sheet Metal Workers International Association; Tourist Railway Association Inc.; Transport Canada; * Transport Workers Union of America; Transportation Communications International Union/BRC; Transportation Security Administration; and United Transportation Union (UTU). * Indicates associate, non-voting membership. When appropriate, FRA assigns a task to RSAC, and after consideration and debate, RSAC may accept or reject the task. If the task is accepted, RSAC establishes a working group that possesses the appropriate expertise and representation of interests to develop recommendations to FRA for action on the task. These recommendations are developed by consensus. A working group may establish one or more task forces to develop facts and options on a particular aspect of a given task. The task force then provides that information to the working group for consideration. If a working group comes to a unanimous consensus on recommendations for action, the proposal is presented to the full RSAC for a vote. If the proposal is accepted by a simple majority of RSAC, the proposal is formally recommended to FRA. FRA then determines what action to take on the recommendation. Because FRA staff members play an active role at the working group level in discussing the issues and options and in drafting the language of the consensus proposal, FRA is often favorably inclined toward the RSAC recommendation. However, FRA is in no way bound to follow the RSAC recommendation, and the agency exercises its independent judgment on whether the recommended rule achieves the agency’s regulatory goal, is soundly supported, and is in accordance with policy and legal requirements. Often, FRA varies in some respects from the RSAC recommendation in developing the actual regulatory proposal or final rule. Any such variations would be noted and explained in the rulemaking document issued by FRA. If the working group or RSAC is unable to reach consensus on recommendations for action, FRA will proceed to resolve the issue through traditional rulemaking proceedings. In 2009, FRA re-convened the PTC Working Group that had produced the PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 rule recommendation resulting in 49 CFR part 236, subpart H, the set of regulations governing the voluntary implementation of processor-based signal and train control systems. The following organizations contributed members: AASHTO; ACC; Amtrak, APTA; ASLRRA; AAR; ASRSM; BMWED; BLET; BRS; FTA,* IBEW; NRCMA; NTSB; RSI; Transport Canada; * Tourist Railway Association, Inc.; and UTU. (The asterisk indicates associate, non-voting membership.) While the rule was not put before the PTC Working Group or the RSAC to develop a consensus on recommendations for action, FRA consulted with the PTC Working Group several times in the development of both the NPRM and this final rule. B. Comments Received 1. In General FRA received nine comments in response to the NPRM. Two of these comments were from individuals. The remaining seven were from GE Transportation; the Western Interstate Energy Board High Level Radioactive Waste Committee (WIEB); Amtrak; AAR; ACC; a joint comment from the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, and the American Train Dispatchers Association; and the Transportation Trades Department, AFL–CIO. The majority of the content of these comments is discussed in the appropriate portions of the Section-bySection Analysis. However, some portions of the Petition and comments received do not pertain to sections modified by this final rule. Unless otherwise noted, all references below to a ‘‘section’’ or to ‘‘§ ’’ refer to a section in title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). 2. Comments on § 236.1021, Discontinuances, Material Modifications, and Amendments, Which Is Unchanged AAR, in its Petition, recommends that FRA allow automatic approval for the removal of cab signal systems from PTCequipped lines or the removal of any signal system where stand-alone PTC systems are used, avoiding the need for an application pursuant to 49 CFR part 235 or the parallel process established by § 236.1021. However, the Petition did not provide adequate justification to support the categorical approval of such changes without any FRA oversight. AAR’s petition even conceded that new PTC systems are likely to suffer en route failures, as discussed in more detail E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES below. Such failures would be mitigated by the presence of an underlying signal system. FRA noted these difficulties in the NPRM, and the comments received did not provide a basis to conclude otherwise; the only comment received on the matter was a comment against the proposal. Additionally, Amtrak’s comment on § 235.7, discussed below, reflects a similar concern with the proposal for this section. The final rule does not amend § 236.1021. 3. Comments on Paragraph (c), Limited Operations Exception, of § 236.1019, Main Line Track Exceptions, Which Is Unchanged AAR also suggested in its Petition that FRA should exempt certain limited freight operations in a similar manner as provided for limited passenger operations under § 236.1019(c). AAR suggested exempting track segments over which not more than two trains containing PIH materials carloads are transported daily, where the annual freight traffic over the line is less than 15 MGT. RSIA provided FRA with the authority to redefine ‘‘main line’’ for intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation routes or segments where there are limited or no freight operations. See 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(2)(B). Under this authority, FRA, in § 236.1019(c), provides an exception from PTC system implementation on line segments where there are limited or no freight operations and where either all trains are limited to restricted speed, temporal separation is provided between passenger trains and other trains, or passenger service is operated under a risk mitigation plan. The purpose of § 236.1019(c) is to eliminate the requirement for PTC system installation in the case of low-risk passenger operations. Because the express language of 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(2)(B) only applies to ‘‘intercity rail passenger transportation or commuter rail passenger transportation routes or segments,’’ FRA does not believe it is within its authority to use this statutory framework in order to exclude track segments carrying PIH materials from the PTC implementation mandate. Nevertheless, FRA recognizes that the exception sought by AAR already exists, albeit in a different and limited form. The exception of § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C) allows railroads to apply for an exception from the requirement to implement PTC systems on track segments where the railroad can demonstrate that the track segment poses an equivalent or lesser degree of risk as the track segments covered by the categorical de minimis exception. AAR, in its comment, recommended a VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 new de minimis exception for track segments with only two trains carrying PIH materials per day and fewer than 300 loaded PIH cars annually, or 150 loaded PIH cars in dark territory. Given that the daily limit on trains carrying PIH materials has been added to the existing categorical de minimis exception as discussed above, this provision would effectively replace the categorical de minimis exception of § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii). While there may be some limited circumstances under which FRA could view a track segment with as many as 300 loaded PIH cars as posing an equivalent or lesser degree of risk, FRA does not have an adequate basis for concluding that would be the case for all circumstances. Accordingly, the final rule does not adopt AAR’s suggestion to amend § 236.1019. 4. Comments on Cost of Transportation of Certain Radioactive Lading The WIEB comment expresses concerns over costs of transportation of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste as they may relate to PTC system implementation. However, these concerns are outside the scope of the present rulemaking. IV. Section-by-Section Analysis Amendments to 49 CFR Part 234, Grade Crossing Safety, Including Signal Systems, State Action Plans, and Emergency Notification Systems Section 234.207 Adjustment, Repair, or Replacement of Component Until amended by this final rule, paragraph (b) of § 234.207 read as follows: ‘‘Until repair of an essential component is completed, a railroad shall take appropriate action under § 234.105, Activation failure, § 234.106, Partial activation, or § 234.107, False activation, of this part.’’ During training and enforcement actions, FRA has found the regulated entities to have misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the response required under § 234.207. FRA believes that various regulated entities have misread paragraph (b) to indicate that the necessary response to any essential component of a highway-rail grade crossing warning system failing to perform its intended function under paragraph (a) is only applicable where the result of such failure is one of the three types of warning system malfunctions listed in paragraph (b). In the NPRM, FRA proposed to modify the language of paragraph (b) to make clear that if an essential component fails, it must be repaired without undue delay and regardless of whether the component failure results in an PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49697 activation failure, partial activation, or false activation. In response to this proposal, one individual commenter asked under what circumstances an essential component could fail without constituting one of these three error states. FRA believes that such a circumstance could arise specifically in the context of a partial activation, which is defined to be an ‘‘activation of a highway-rail grade crossing warning system indicating the approach of a train, however, the full intended warning is not provided due to one of the following conditions: (1) At nongated crossings equipped with one pair of lights designed to flash alternately, one of the two lights does not operate properly (and approaching motorists cannot clearly see flashing back lights from the warning lights on the other side of the crossing; (2) at gated crossings, the gate arm is not in a horizontal position; or (3) at gated crossings, any portion of a gate arm is missing if that portion normally had a gate arm flashing light attached.’’ This exclusive list of grade crossing partial activation failures requires remedial action under § 234.106, but does not include all potential failures of essential components. For instance, at a gated crossing equipped with two pairs of lights designed to flash alternately, if one pair of lights is not operating as intended, that failure does not constitute a partial activation or activation failure, but is nonetheless a failure of an essential component of the grade crossing warning system that should be repaired without undue delay. The commenter also requested that FRA enumerate what constitutes an ‘‘essential component.’’ FRA declines to do so, as the language is consistent with FRA’s longstanding signal and train control rules.2 Given the variety of grade crossing warning systems currently in use, an exclusive list of components deemed essential would bloat the rule and would likely serve only to create more confusion. To resolve the ambiguity of § 234.207, paragraph (a) is amended to make clear that all failures of essential components, 2 See 49 CFR 236.11 (‘‘When any component of a signal system, the proper functioning of which is essential to the safety of train operation . . .’’), 49 CFR 236.915 (‘‘Until repair of such essential components [is] completed, a railroad shall take appropriate action as specified in the PSP.’’), and 49 CFR 236.1029 (‘‘Until repair of such essential components [is] completed, a railroad shall take appropriate action as specified in its PTCSP.’’). See also 59 FR 3051, 3056 (Jan. 20, 1994), proposing the ‘‘essential component’’ and the language is similar to the requirement in the present FRA signal rules at 49 CFR part 236. E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49698 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations including but not limited to failures resulting in an activation failure, partial activation, or false activation, must be investigated to determine the cause of the failure to perform their intended function and the failed components must be adjusted, repaired, or replaced without undue delay. Paragraph (b) is amended to make clear that, for those failures of essential components that constitute false activations, partial activations, and activation failures, railroads must also comply with §§ 234.105, 234.106, or 234.107, as appropriate, until such adjustments, repairs, or replacements are made. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Section 234.213 Grounds Until amended by this final rule, § 234.213 indicated that each circuit that affects the proper functioning of a highway-rail grade crossing warning system shall be kept free of any ground or combination of grounds that will permit a current flow of 75 percent or more of the release value of any relay or electromagnetic device in the circuit. With the migration of many warning systems, subsystems, and components from relay-based to microprocessorbased technologies, FRA believes that a more comprehensive indicator of prohibited current flow grounds is required. In the NPRM, FRA proposed to amend this language to prohibit any ground that could ‘‘adversely affect the proper safety-critical functioning of the warning system.’’ Several commenters noted the ambiguity of this language, and suggested revisions to both define the quantity at issue and the meaning of ‘‘adversely affect.’’ FRA agrees that the proposed language was unnecessarily ambiguous, and therefore is amending the proposed rule text to be consistent with its prior prohibition while addressing processor-based systems. The final rule prohibits any ground or combination of grounds that will permit a current flow of 75 percent or more of the value necessary to retain a permissive state of a safety appliance such as a highway-rail grade crossing warning system. Because it is neither feasible nor necessary to test the internal microprocessor or microprocessor memory circuitry for ground leakage current, the final rule also explicitly excludes such circuitry from the grounds prohibition. To improve the readability of the rule, the text has been separated into two paragraphs: Paragraph (a) providing the limitation on grounds, and paragraph (b) listing the exceptions. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 Amendments to 49 CFR Part 235, Instructions Governing Applications for Approval of a Discontinuance or Material Modification of a Signal System or Relief From the Requirements of Part 236 Section 235.6 Expedited Application for Approval of Certain Changes This final rule adds new § 235.6, which allows specified changes within existing signal or train control systems to be made without the necessity of filing an application for approval with FRA’s Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer (Associate Administrator). The amendment provides each railroad a simplified process to obtain approval to modify existing signal systems directly associated with PTC system implementation. Under a different provision, § 235.7, Changes not requiring filing of application, a railroad may avoid filing an application for a broad variety of modifications to a signal system, so long as the resultant arrangement is in compliance with part 236. FRA recognizes that, during the process of installing the wayside PTC equipment, the railroads may have the resources and time available to implement needed or desired wayside signal system upgrades. Such modifications generally require FRA approval in accordance with § 235.5, Changes requiring filing of application. Given that the outcome of such modifications must be in compliance with part 236, FRA now creates an expedited approval process for modifications of the signal system by the installation, relocation, or removal of signals, interlocked switches, derails, movable-point frogs, or electronic locks in an existing system where the modification is directly associated with the implementation of PTC systems. Instead of filing an application for approval to the Associate Administrator, a railroad is permitted to instead submit its request to the FRA regional office that has jurisdiction over the affected territory, with a copy provided to representatives of signal employees, similar to the information provided under the provisions for pole line circuit elimination, § 235.7(c)(24)(vi). If the Regional Administrator for the appropriate regional office denies approval of the requested modification, the request would then be forwarded to the FRA Railroad Safety Board as an application for signal system modification. However, express approval from the Regional Administrator is necessary before the modifications may begin. In the NPRM, this provision was located in a new PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 paragraph of § 235.7, but has been moved to a new section to reflect that it does not fall cleanly into either § 235.5 or § 235.7. Amtrak, in its comment, sought clarification that FRA does not intend to allow the removal of signal systems without approval under part 235. This reading is correct; the amendments to § 235.7 do not allow the discontinuance of a signal system nor a decrease of its limits. FRA rejected such a proposal, as discussed in more detail below in the analysis of § 236.1021. Section 235.5 defines three types of changes: discontinuance; decrease of limits; and modification. The language of § 235.6 authorizes this expedited procedure only for modifications, and not for discontinuances or decreases of limits. Accordingly, a railroad may not use the process defined in § 235.7(d) for the removal of an entire signal system. Amtrak continues to have the authority to comment on any such proposed removal through a part 235 discontinuance proceeding or review of a railroad’s Request for Amendment (of a plan or system made by a PTC railroad in accordance with § 236.1021) (RFA) requesting discontinuance in accordance with § 236.1021(c). AAR asked that FRA revise this section to be consistent with § 235.7(c)(24)(vi), governing modifications of signal systems as part of a conversion from pole line circuits to electronic (coded) track circuits. Paragraph (c)(24)(vi) provides that a signal system modification will be deemed acceptable unless the Regional Administrator stays action within 60 days of receiving notice from the railroad of the proposed modifications, whereas paragraph (d) requires an affirmative response from the Regional Administrator. Because FRA anticipates signal system modifications related to PTC system implementation to be of a broader nature than the modifications associated with pole line conversion, the 60-day deadline of the pole line conversion provision would not provide adequate time for review in all cases. However, FRA will work expeditiously to respond to all railroad requests for modifications under new § 235.6. Amendments to 49 CFR Part 236, Rules, Standards, and Instructions Governing the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of Signal and Train Control Systems, Devices, and Appliances Section 236.0 Applicability, Minimum Requirements, and Penalties The final rule removes paragraph (i), Preemptive effect. FRA believes that this E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations provision is unnecessary because 49 U.S.C. 20106 sufficiently addresses the preemptive effect of FRA’s regulations. Providing a separate Federal regulatory provision concerning the preemptive effect of 49 CFR part 236 is duplicative and unnecessary. FRA received no comments on the proposal to remove the provision on preemptive effect. Section 236.2 Grounds Mirroring old § 234.213, old § 236.2 provided that each circuit that affects the safety of train operations shall be kept free of any ground, or combination of grounds, that permits a current flow of 75 percent or more of the release value of any relay or electromagnetic device in the circuit. For the same reasons cited in the discussion of old and revised § 234.213 above, the final rule amends old § 236.2 to prohibit any ground or combination of grounds that permits a current flow of 75 percent or more of the value necessary to retain a permissive state of a safety appliance, such as a signal lamp or locking circuit. As with § 234.213, the text has been separated into two paragraphs: paragraph (a) providing the limitation on grounds, and paragraph (b) listing the exceptions. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Section 236.15 Timetable Instructions In the interest of providing clarity, FRA amends old § 236.15 to require explicitly the designation of PTC system territory, equal to the other types of signal and train control systems that are already required to be designated in a railroad’s timetable instructions (i.e., ‘‘[a]utomatic block, traffic control, train stop, train control, and cab signal . . .’’). During the July 9, 2013, PTC WG meeting, FRA discussed broadening the old provision to require that ‘‘all signal and train control systems’’ be designated in timetable instructions, in order to account for future advances in signal and train control systems. However, the discussion indicated that this change would cause more confusion, and accordingly the final rule simply adds PTC to the list of systems governing operations in a territory that must be designated in timetable instructions. Beyond that issue, FRA received no comments on this provision as proposed. Section 236.567 Restrictions Imposed When Device Fails and/or Is Cut Out en Route Old § 236.567, which applied to territories where ‘‘an automatic train stop, train control, or cab signal device fails and/or is cut out en route,’’ required trains with en route failures to proceed in a specified restrictive VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 manner until reaching the next available point of communication, where a report had to be made to a designated officer and an absolute block had to be established in advance of the train on which the device was inoperative. Once the railroad established the absolute block (under the manual block system), the train was permitted to proceed at a speed not exceeding 79 miles per hour (mph), premised upon the same requirement in old § 236.0 as applicable to a train operating in a manual block system with an absolute block in advance of the train. However, effective on or after January 17, 2012, manual block systems are no longer approved as a method of operation for freight trains operating at greater than 49 mph or passenger trains operating at greater than 59 mph under § 236.0(c)(2). See 75 FR 2598 at 2607 (Jan. 15, 2010). This change to § 236.0 resulted in an inconsistency between § 236.0 and old § 236.567, which was not contemporaneously revised. To rectify this inconsistency, FRA’s present final rule amends old § 236.567 to reflect the amendment previously made to § 236.0. Accordingly, for trains operating in territory without a block signal system installed and operated in compliance with part 236, this amendment to old § 236.567 reduces the maximum allowable speed from 79 mph to 59 mph for passenger trains and to 49 mph for freight trains. Where a block signal system is operational, the maximum allowable speed remains at 79 mph. FRA received no comments on this provision as proposed. Because the harmonizing changes made the old paragraph structure too complicated, FRA has reorganized the section with discrete paragraphs for each of the three operating phases: (1) Prior to the report to a designated officer; (2) after the report but prior to the establishment of an absolute block in advance of the train; and (3) after the establishment of the absolute block. This reorganization does not change the meaning of § 236.567, except as discussed above. For trains operating without a block signal system installed and operated in compliance with part 236, this amendment to § 236.567 reduces the maximum allowable speed from 79 mph to 59 mph for passenger trains and to 49 mph for freight trains. Where a block signal system is operational, the maximum allowable speed remains at 79 mph. The language has also been revised to replace the phrase ‘‘medium speed’’ with an explicit speed, 40 mph, to reduce confusion. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49699 Section 236.1003 Definitions The final rule replaces ‘‘PIH Materials’’ with ‘‘PIH materials’’ to correct an error in capitalization and to change the definition to make clear that even though the term is in the plural, the term includes the singular (i.e., only one PIH material). Section 236.1005 Requirements for Positive Train Control Systems Paragraph (a) specifies PTC system functionality and implementation requirements. A typographical error is corrected in the table header in paragraph (a); an asterisk is present with no accompanying text. Paragraph (b) provides for certain exclusions and the temporary rerouting of unequipped locomotives, locomotive consists, and trains (i.e., locomotives, locomotive consists, and trains not equipped with PTC) on PTC-systemequipped track. Until amended by this final rule, the allowable exclusions of § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii) addressed track segments with de minimis risk based upon specified criteria that can be expected to result in a risk a PTCpreventable accident being negligible on the subject track segment. The categorical criteria under old paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) were as follows: • A minimal amount of PIH materials cars transported (fewer than 100 cars per year, either loads or residue); • A train speed limitation of either Class 1 or 2 track as described in 49 CFR part 213; • Less than 15 MGT of traffic annually; • A ruling grade of less than 1 percent; and • A train-spacing requirement where any train transporting a car containing PIH materials (including a residue car) shall be operated under conditions of temporal separation from other trains. A general de minimis exception under paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C) was also available for additional line segments carrying fewer than 100 PIH cars annually and less than 15 MGT annually and where it was established to the satisfaction of the Associate Administrator that risk mitigations will be applied that will ensure that risk of a release of PIH materials is negligible. In its Petition, AAR made certain proposals to modify these criteria, which are further discussed below. In the NPRM, FRA adopted some of these proposals, modified others, and rejected some elements. In this final rule, FRA is adopting additional elements of the Petition and adjusting the general de minimis exception for clarity. In considering the suggestions contained in the Petition, FRA E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49700 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES recognizes that any de minimis exception (in the generic sense of the term, as developed in case law) must apply in a way that fulfills Congress’ intent. In other words, such exceptions must only cover situations where ‘‘the burdens of regulation yield a gain of trivial or no value’’ and should apply not ‘‘to depart from the statute, but rather [as] a tool to be used in implementing the legislative design.’’ Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. EPA, 82 F.3d 451, 466 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (inner quotations omitted); Alabama Power Co. v. Costle, 636 F.2d 323, 360– 61 (D.C. Cir. 1979). FRA continues to believe that de minimis exceptions are warranted for low-density main lines with minimal safety hazards that carry a truly minimal quantity of PIH materials. The preamble discussion to the final rule published January 15, 2010, focused primarily on the risks associated with PIH materials exposure. However, any de minimis exception must also consider the risks associated with the events that Congress intended PTC systems must be designed to prevent. In other words, when a de minimis exception applies, there must be de minimis risk that a train-to-train collision, overspeed derailment, incursion into a roadway worker zone, or movement over a switch in the wrong position may occur. See 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(3). After reviewing the Petition and the comments received in response to the NPRM, FRA is amending the old categorical de minimis exception at § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) to reflect with the restrictions discussed below. 1. Annual Limit on Number of PIH Cars Carried on the Track Segment The final rule moves the annual limitation on cars carrying PIH materials from paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) into paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) and restricts its scope to no longer include cars containing only a residue of PIH material. As background, first, AAR proposed that the limit of fewer than 100 cars apply to loaded PIH cars only, not residue cars. FRA responded in the NPRM by proposing in § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) to increase the total car limit to fewer than 200 cars containing PIH materials, including both loaded cars and residue cars, expressing concern that completely excluding residue cars from consideration could increase the risk of a PIH materials release beyond a negligible level. As was noted in the NPRM, most residue tank cars are routed back to the original shipper along the identical route that brought them to the location where they were offloaded. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 While this fact supported FRA’s proposal, it also indicated that the impact of excluding residue cars from consideration would not dramatically increase the set of track segments eligible for the de minimis exception, as most track segments that would qualify under the limit of fewer than 100 loaded cars would also qualify under the limit of fewer than 200 loaded and residue cars. The PTC WG identified two situations where residue cars are not travelling back along an identical route to their original shipment route. First, AAR identified situations where multiple track segments deliver loaded tank cars, with residue car traffic being consolidated for a return trip. Second, several members of the PTC WG raised the issue of tank car repair facilities. Because a tank car is considered to be a residue car unless it is refilled or cleaned and purged, the locations where the cleaning and purging take place will necessarily have a disproportionately high volume of residue tank cars that does not necessarily entail a disproportionately high level of risk from the residue of PIH materials. As the hazards related to the movement of residue PIH cars are diminished somewhat compared to the hazards of loaded PIH cars, and considering the public interest in purging, cleaning, and repairing cars handling PIH materials in a timely manner, FRA finds it unnecessary to address those limited number of line segments that may haul significantly more residue cars than loaded cars. Moreover, the new limitations that must be met to qualify under the de minimis exception further reduce the risk from these residue cars. For these reasons, FRA concludes that removing residue cars from the annual limit of fewer than 100 cars is appropriate. This conclusion does not change DOT’s underlying position on the risk posed by tank cars containing a residue of hazardous materials. Rather, FRA recognizes the contextual difference between regulating the treatment of individual tank cars containing a residue of hazardous materials and assessing the risk to a track segment as a whole based on the total number of tank cars containing a residue of hazardous materials operating over the track segment on an annual basis. It remains imperative for each car containing a residue of hazardous materials to be properly marked, labeled, placarded, and inspected prior to being offered for transportation, and to conform with all other regulations applicable to the transportation of hazardous materials. However, when PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 viewed in conjunction with the other limitations of the de minimis exception, the movement of residue cars is not a determining factor in increasing the level of risk on a given track segment as a whole above a negligible level, and the final rule therefore removes cars containing only a residue of PIH materials from consideration in the annual car limit. 2. New Limit on the Number of Trains per Day Carrying Any Quantity of PIH Materials on the Track Segment The old rule text did not provide a daily train limitation. However, with the potential increase in PIH materials traffic moving over a track segment under this final rule, FRA views it to be necessary to look not only to the risk profile of a track segment on an annual basis, but also on a day-by-day basis. In the NPRM, FRA proposed to add the limitation on trains per day carrying PIH materials to ensure that the risk of PIH materials release remained negligible in light of the other changes made to the de minimis exception. Under ordinary circumstances, one might reasonably expect the overall number of cars containing PIH materials to be distributed throughout the year, such that the train-per-day limit would not be necessary. AAR noted this in its comment, opposing the imposition of the limit but stating, ‘‘[f]rom an operational perspective, this limit is not a significant issue because the annual limit on the number of PIH cars makes a 2-train per day limit insignificant.’’ This perspective assumes some degree of uniform distribution of cars carrying PIH materials, but that assumption may not be met in all circumstances. Absent a daily limitation on the number of trains carrying PIH materials, a railroad would be permitted to operate a large number of trains carrying PIH materials in a single day on a track segment subject to the de minimis exception, while nonetheless increasing the exposure to the risk of PIH-materials release on that day well above what would be the case in the ordinary situation of transporting cars containing PIH materials regularly throughout the year, due to the increased PIH materials traffic on that particular day. The qualitative judgment of FRA is that such a potential outcome would likely exceed negligible risk and therefore the final rule adds an additional limit of two trains carrying any quantity of PIH materials per day to the de minimis exception. Because this restriction is not a calculation of the level of risk posed by aggregate movements over the track segment, but rather governs the day-today operations on the track segment, E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES this limitation includes cars containing only a residue of PIH materials. The trains-per-day limitation removes such unusual operations from the scope of the general de minimis exception. It bears emphasis that AAR indicated in its comment that it viewed the limitation as ‘‘insignificant,’’ reflecting a degree of industry agreement with FRA’s underlying premise that the limitation will not reach the ordinary circumstances that it is not intended to address. Rather, the limitation precludes only the unusual outlier situations which are best handled under paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C). A railroad anticipating one or more days upon which it expects to move many trains carrying PIH materials may request that the track segment at issue be excluded despite the high number of trains carrying PIH materials on particular days by showing what steps will be taken to render the exposure to risk of PIH-materials release on those days to a level equivalent or lesser than the risk of operations where the transportation of cars containing PIH materials is divided throughout the year. 3. Limit to Class 1 or 2 Track Segments or Limit the Speed of the PIH Trains Over the Track Segment Until amended by this final rule, the categorical de minimis exception, under § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(B)(1), limited maximum authorized train speed on the subject track segment to that afforded for Class 1 (10 mph) or Class 2 (25 mph) tracks in order to reduce the kinetic energy available in any accident and to ensure that involved tank cars carrying PIH materials are capable of surviving the forces generated. AAR’s Petition proposed that the regulation provide a speed limitation only for those trains transporting PIH materials. Specifically, AAR proposed a speed restriction of 40 mph (i.e., the same maximum authorized speed provided for certain rail-to-rail at-grade crossings under § 236.1005(a)(1)(i)), to be enforced by operating rules and only for trains carrying PIH materials. In the NPRM, FRA expressed concern that increasing the speed limit on the track segment from 25 mph to 40 mph would substantially increase the risk of PIH materials release due to the increase in kinetic energy in the event of a collision. However, comments received in response to the NPRM and discussions with the PTC WG indicate that the current track class limitation serves as a disincentive to maintain the track segment to a higher standard. By moving from a limitation based on track class (restricting the speed of all movement over the track segment) to a VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 speed restriction for only those trains carrying PIH materials, the revised rule will encourage routing the PIH materials traffic over track segments maintained to a higher quality, which should decrease the risk of track-caused incidents.3 Track-caused accidents and incidents are generally not PTCpreventable, but represent a larger percentage of accidents and incidents than PTC-preventable accidents and are appropriately considered when considering the overall level of risk posed by operations over a track segment. In addition to the comments received and discussions during PTC WG meetings, FRA has also considered other limitations imposed on PIH materials traffic. When considering then-current tank car strength, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration set a speed limitation of 50 mph for tank cars containing PIH materials. 49 CFR 174.86. Since that rulemaking, newer tank car designs have further reduced the probability of rupture in the event of collision or derailment due to improvements in structural design. When combined with the other limitations of the de minimis exception, the 40-mph limit is an appropriate replacement for the track class restriction that existed in old § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(B)(1). In the NPRM, FRA also expressed concern regarding the enforcement of a speed restriction for trains carrying PIH materials. AAR responded in its comment by noting that any speed restriction would be subject to errors by the locomotive engineer, whether that speed restriction was imposed for all trains operating over a given track segment or only for those trains carrying PIH materials. This argument has merit; without a PTC system or automatic train control system, a train’s speed is limited only by rule and is subject to human failure by the train crew. It is also not unusual for FRA regulations or railroad operating rules to require temporary speed restrictions for certain trains or certain track segments, such as where a significant track defect exists. 4. Limitation on the Grade of the Track Segment; Definition of ‘‘Heavy Grade’’ In its Petition, AAR proposed that lines eligible for the categorical de minimis exception be restricted to grades that are not ‘‘heavy grades’’ as 3 See, e.g., Athaphon Kawprasert and Christopher P. L. Barkan, Effect of Train Speed on Risk Analysis of Transporting Hazardous Materials by Rail, 2159 Transportation Research Record 59 (Dec. 2010), available at https://trb.metapress.com/content/ 7682666175324228. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49701 defined by FRA in part 232. ‘‘Heavy grade’’ is defined in § 232.407(a)(1). The steeper the grade, the more susceptible a train operation becomes to concerns relating to train handling, overspeed, and other factors that may contribute to a PTC-preventable accident. FRA continues to believe that placing a limit on ruling grade helps to avoid situations in which an engineer may lose control of a train as a result of a failure to make a timely and sufficiently strong brake application. In the NPRM, FRA expressed concern with the train-specific nature of the proposed definition, as the requirement to implement PTC systems applies to track segments in addition to locomotives. The PTC WG discussed the issue and supported referencing the definition, with the possibility of civil penalties in instances where the trailing tonnage of a train causes the track segment to be classified as heavy grade. The NPRM proposed that track segments with average grades equal to or greater than one percent over three continuous miles and less than two percent over two continuous miles could qualify for the general de minimis exception despite being ineligible for the categorical de minimis exception. However, the trainspecific criterion is specific enough that it is feasible to include in the categorical de minimis exception. The final rule references § 232.407, such that a track segment will not qualify for the categorical de minimis exception if it has a ‘‘heavy grade’’ as that term is defined under that section for a train operating over the track segment. Any operation of a train with more than 4,000 trailing tons over a segment that has an average grade exceeding one percent over three continuous miles, and that has been excluded under the categorical de minimis exception, will constitute a violation of this § 236.1005. 5. Additional Operating Rule Risk Mitigations As an additional risk mitigation, AAR’s Petition recommended strengthening operating practices protecting against unauthorized incursions into roadway work zones on track segments that have received approval to avoid PTC system implementation under the de minimis risk provision. AAR proposed that—in the case of a train approaching working limits on a line subject to the de minimis exception—the train crew be required to call the roadway worker in charge at a minimum distance of two miles in advance of the working limits to advise of the train’s approach. If the train crew does not have knowledge of E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49702 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES the working limits prior to approaching within two miles of the working limits or if it is impracticable to provide notification two miles in advance, such as if the working limits are less than two miles from the initial terminal, AAR proposed that the train crew would be required to call the roadway worker in charge as soon as practicable. In the NPRM, FRA indicated that it viewed the criterion as covering the same requirements as existing operating rules. However, as preventing incursions into roadway work zones is a core function of PTC, it is appropriate for the categorical de minimis exception to include mitigations to reduce the risk of this form of PTC-preventable accident, and commenters expressed concern over protection for roadway workers. Accordingly, the final rule adopts the proposal of AAR’s Petition and includes the requirement that a railroad adopt and comply with an operating rule requiring train crews approaching working limits to notify the roadway worker in charge at least two miles in advance of the working limits, or as soon as practical if the train crew does not have advance knowledge of the working limits. 6. Required Separation of PIH Materials Traffic From Other Trains on the Track Segment Until amended by this final rule, a requirement of the categorical de minimis exception was that trains carrying PIH materials be temporally separated 4 from other trains. Temporal separation reduces the risk of train-totrain collisions, a core PTC function, by prohibiting other trains from operating on the track segment at the same time as any train carrying PIH material. In its Petition, AAR requested that FRA revise the requirement so that a vacant block ahead of and behind the train would constitute temporal separation. The NPRM explained that such a requirement would not be temporal separation, but requested comment on the concept as an alternative to temporal separation. AAR, in its comment, reiterated its argument from the Petition that this form of protection would suffice. FRA previously expressed openness to the concept, and suggested that interested railroads use the general de minimis exception at § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C) as the basis for excluding track segments using a vacant block ahead of and behind a train as an alternative means of protecting against 4 For a discussion of the meaning of ‘‘temporal separation,’’ see § 236.1019(e) and 49 CFR part 211, appendix A. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 train-to-train collisions. AAR’s comment argued that the desire to substitute its alternative for the prior temporal separation requirement is industrywide, suggesting that an industry-wide resolution of the proposal is appropriate. In light of the other elements of the categorical de minimis exception, FRA is revising the separation requirement to no longer require temporal separation, and instead allow track segments to qualify where any train carrying PIH materials is operated with a vacant block ahead of and behind the train. 7. Annual Traffic Density on the Track Segment for Categorical De Minimis Exception AAR recommended that if the other criteria for de minimis exceptions are met, the amount of annual traffic on the track segment should not disqualify it from eligibility for the exemption. With respect to paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B), FRA has endeavored to address AAR’s concerns with a provision that is broad enough to permit considerations of actual circumstances, limit this exception to track segments that would not otherwise need to have a PTC system implemented, and make explicit reference to the requirement for potential safety mitigations. FRA has chosen below 15 MGT as the area where mitigations are in place, or could be put in place, to establish a high sense of confidence that operations will continue to be conducted safely. FRA has concern that eliminating the traffic density criterion would result in an exception being outside the scope of the de minimis risk, and specifically that increasing the traffic density criterion would put the exception outside of FRA’s statutory authority to grant a de minimis exception. As explained above, any de minimis exception must only cover situations where ‘‘the burdens of regulation yield a gain of trivial or no value.’’ Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. EPA, 82 F.3d 451, 466 (D.C. Cir. 1996). A de minimis exception explicitly may not be granted where ‘‘the regulatory function does provide benefits, in the sense of furthering the regulatory objectives, but the agency concludes that the acknowledged benefits are exceeded by the costs.’’ Alabama Power Co. v. Costle, 636 F.2d 323, 361 (D.C. Cir. 1979). The derailment data cited by AAR is only a portion of the data that needs to be considered, as it concerns only one of the four varieties of PTC-preventable accidents. When analyzing AAR’s proposal, FRA found that the track segments AAR sought to exclude received disproportionately higher PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 benefits from the implementation of PTC systems. It is therefore impossible for FRA to conclude that PTC implementation on those segments yields ‘‘a gain of trivial or no value’’: The gain is greater than the average track segment required to implement PTC systems. As such, granting AAR’s request is well outside of FRA’s inherent authority to grant a limited de minimis exception based on the lack of benefits. Even if FRA did possess such authority, the fact that the track segments at issue receive greater-thanaverage benefits from PTC system implementation means that granting AAR’s request to remove the 15 MGT limitation would be ill-advised. Throughout the PTC regulatory process, FRA has sought to use what little authority it has to focus PTC system implementation on those track segments that will receive the most benefit from the systems, and removing the track segments at issue would be antithetical to that aim. FRA does recognize the potential for a higher density line not being eligible for this exemption even though it may have fewer than 100 PIH materials cars on the line in a year and even though that particular track segment may have less comparable risk than a track segment covered by the categorical de minimis exception. Consequently, while the final rule does not amend this limitation, FRA remains open to the possibility of considering some risk evaluation factors in lieu of a prescriptive train-density limitation. During PTC WG meetings, AAR suggested the number of trains traversing a track segment annually as an example of an alternative metric of train density. The flexibility available under paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C) allows for such alternatives if the track segment is similar to those covered by the categorical de minimis exception. 8. General De Minimis Exception at § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (C) AAR’s Petition also requested several changes to § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C), which provides that FRA will ‘‘consider’’ relief from the obligation to install PTC systems on track segments with annual traffic levels under 15 MGT where the risk of a release of PIH materials is ‘‘negligible.’’ In addition to requesting the elimination of the 15– MGT limit within the categorical de minimis exception, AAR suggested eliminating the limit contained in general de minimis exception as well. Moreover, AAR contended that it is unclear what constitutes a ‘‘negligible’’ risk and what discretion FRA would exercise should there be a showing of E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations negligible risk. AAR further requested that FRA set a quantitative threshold for negligible risk, and suggests ‘‘one-in-amillion’’ as the criterion. AAR references a U.S. Department of Defense standard regarding standard practice for system safety, MIL–STD–882C,5 as the basis for such criterion, which provides a method for categorizing and assessing risk, but does not specifically explain how this standard would apply. In response to the arguments made by AAR that the exception was vague and unworkable without quantification, the final rule replaces the general de minimis exception with a provision more consistent with FRA’s intent for the exception. The provision of paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) limiting the application of the de minimis exception to only those track segments carrying less than 15 MGT annually has been moved to paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B), applying solely to the categorical de minimis exception. Paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C) now allows for a de minimis exception for FRA approval of track segments similar but not identical to those covered by paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B), the categorical de minimis exception. Instead of being measured against the ‘‘negligible risk’’ standard, a railroad requesting the exception must demonstrate to FRA that the track segment at issue poses an equivalent or lesser risk of a PTC-preventable accident than the risk posed by track segments qualifying for the categorical de minimis exception by comparing the discrepancies between the categorical standard and the proposed alternative. In the NPRM, FRA proposed to preserve the general de minimis exception largely, only changing the exception to eliminate the 15–MGT traffic density limitation. The NPRM responded to AAR’s request to quantify ‘‘negligible risk’’ by explaining that such quantification would not be a valuable decisional criterion, would require additional determinations on appropriate factors to quantify, and may not be possible given FRA’s experience attempting to develop the residual risk test. See generally 77 FR 28285. FRA has come to view the general de minimis exception as providing flexibility for circumstances similar to but nonetheless distinct from the criteria of the categorical de minimis exception. FRA has determined that the track segments qualifying for the categorical de minimis exception pose a negligible risk, and therefore any similar track segment that can be shown to have 5 MIL–STD–882C has been superseded by MIL– STD–882E, available at https://acc.dau.mil/ CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=514013. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 an equivalent or lesser level of risk would necessarily also pose only a negligible risk. However, this interpretation was not readily apparent from the text of the NPRM. To address AAR’s concerns of ambiguity, the general de minimis exception has been replaced with a provision providing an exception for track segments similar to those covered by the categorical de minimis exception where the track segments are shown to pose an equivalent or lesser level of risk of a PTC-preventable accident. For instance, a track segment with a higher annual MGT traffic density could qualify for the exception based on fewer PIH cars carried annually or additional operating rules providing additional protection beyond that present in the categorical de minimis exception.6 This comparison will necessarily be qualitative; rather than calculate the absolute risk levels involved, FRA review of such requests will entail an evaluation of the deviances from the categorical de minimis exception to ensure that the proposal maintains an equivalent level of safety. Where available, quantitative data on the proposals compared to the requirements of paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) will be a valuable component of that review, but not a necessary component. It bears emphasizing that the risk considered under the general de minimis exception is the risk of all PTCpreventable accidents rather than being limited solely to PTC-preventable accidents resulting in the release of PIH materials. In the January 15, 2010 PTC final rule, while FRA indicated that any de minimis exception would have to consider the four statutory PTCpreventable accident types and the level of PIH materials release, FRA also focused primarily on de minimis PIH materials risk, titling the paragraph ‘‘Lines with de minimis PIH risk.’’ This may have been confusing, and FRA would like to take this opportunity to provide further clarification. FRA originally used this term since the exception would only apply to freight traffic on lines where PIH materials are transported. To be clear, FRA did not intend to exclude the four statutory PTC-preventable accidents as risk elements requiring consideration in order to qualify for the exception. Accordingly, the final rule changes the regulatory language to comport with this perspective by modifying the heading of paragraph (b)(4)(iii) to eliminate the 6 Note that, because the general de minimis exception considers the totality of the circumstances of a track segment, there may exist other characteristics on a track segment otherwise is as described above that elevate the risk on that track segment above a negligible level. PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49703 potential for confusion; the heading now reads, ‘‘Freight lines with de minimis risk not used for regularly provided intercity or commuter passenger service.’’ Section 236.1006 Equipping Locomotives Operating in PTC System Territory AAR, in its Petition, requested that FRA permit locomotives without operational onboard PTC apparatuses to operate over PTC-equipped track segments when the movement is for freight switching operations or freight transfer train movements. AAR suggested that dispatchers hold the area of such movement clear of PTCequipped trains through what AAR dubbed ‘‘absolute protection,’’ with trains lacking operational onboard PTC apparatuses limited to speeds below 30 mph and multiple concurrent train movements limited to restricted speed. The final rule largely adopts this suggestion. In this section, FRA uses the term ‘‘freight switching service’’ to refer to switching service as defined by § 232.5. In turn, § 232.5 defines ‘‘train’’ as ‘‘one or more locomotives coupled with one or more freight cars, except during switching service.’’ This distinction between switching service and train movements is drawn from longstanding judicial interpretations of what constitutes a ‘‘train movement.’’ See, e.g., United States v. Seaboard Air Line R. R. Co., 361 U.S. 78 (1959); Louisville & Jeffersonville Bridge Co. v. United States, 249 U.S. 534 (1919); see also 66 FR 4104, 4148 (Jan 17, 2001) (defining ‘‘switching service’’). FRA has previously recognized that the nature of switching service precludes the application of some safety technologies or operational practices that are applicable to train movements. See, e.g., 49 CFR part 232, subpart C (not requiring air brake tests as part of switching service, but requiring such tests for train movements of short distances). FRA has also previously recognized that Congress did not intend to sweep in yard tracks in the mandate for PTC system implementation. In the first PTC system rulemaking, FRA defined ‘‘main line’’ to exclude ‘‘where all trains are limited to restricted speed within a yard or terminal area or an auxiliary or industry tracks.’’ § 236.1003. In the final rule prescribed in that proceeding, FRA stated that ‘‘any track within a yard used exclusively by freight operations moving at restricted speed is excepted from the definition of main line.’’ 75 FR 2598, 2657 (Jan. 15, 2010); see also § 236.1003. Such tracks are generally considered to be other- E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES 49704 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations than-main line track, and Congress’s limitation of the PTC system mandate to ‘‘main line’’ suggests that these tracks were not intended to be included. See also S. Rep. 110–270 (taking notice of the limited value that PTC systems offer in preventing accidents in yards or terminals). FRA also exercised its authority to define ‘‘main line’’ with respect to passenger trains to exclude trackage ‘‘used exclusively as yard or terminal tracks by or in support of regularly scheduled intercity or commuter passenger service.’’ 49 CFR 236.1019(b); see also 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(2)(b). The result of excluding freight yard track from the PTC system implementation mandate is that many freight switching operations are excluded from the scope of the PTC system mandate, where these operations do not extend onto the main line track that connects to the yard. However, as AAR explains in its Petition, freight switching operations frequently require some movement along main track adjacent to or within a yard, for purposes of reaching other yard tracks or obtaining necessary distance, or ‘‘headroom,’’ from yard tracks to make switching movements. Despite the exclusion of these otherthan-main line tracks, switching service could therefore require PTC-equipped locomotives in order to make these movements on main line track. Given the statutory language suggesting that switching service is not subject to the PTC system mandate and the potential to apply operation restrictions to reduce risk to an acceptable level, FRA agrees that it would be appropriate to provide an additional exception for freight locomotives performing switching service from the requirements to be equipped with a PTC system if appropriate safeguards are implemented. In response to the Petition, the NPRM proposed to create a new de minimis exception for yard movements. The proposed exception was limited to 10mile movements with a maximum authorized speed of 25 mph, in order to maintain consistency with the de minimis exception of § 236.1005(b)(4) and the overall 20-mile zone of unequipped movements allowed by § 236.1006(b)(4). This exception would add to the existing definitional exclusion of operations at restricted speed within a yard, terminal, auxiliary tracks, and industry tracks from the meaning of ‘‘main line.’’ AAR, in its comment, argues that because ‘‘yard movements’’ were not intended to be included within the scope of PTC system implementation, movements onto PTC-equipped main VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 track made pursuant to yard, local, industrial, or hostling service should all be excluded from the requirement to have an operational onboard PTC apparatus. In support of this position, AAR cites discussion in FRA’s first final rule implementing the PTC system mandate where FRA acknowledges that yard tracks and yard movements were not intended to be covered by the PTC system mandate. However, that discussion references the existing exclusion of yard, industry, and auxiliary track from the scope of the PTC mandate, not an exception for movements made on PTC-equipped track by locomotives without operational onboard PTC apparatuses. Mindful of this distinction, FRA nonetheless recognizes the impracticability of initializing PTC systems for switching operations and transfer train movements. Similarly, AAR makes a reasonable argument that it may not be feasible for PTC systems to provide appropriate communications to each locomotive operating in a yard environment. In the NPRM, FRA proposed a performance-based exception for yard movements, allowing the exception to apply whenever sufficient risk mitigations were applied to reduce the risk of a PTC-preventable accident to negligible levels. AAR, in its comment, expressed concern over this formulation, arguing that the negligiblerisk standard is too vague if left unquantified. While FRA refrains from developing a definite method to quantify risk, to address AAR’s concern the final rule provides a prescriptive set of requirements for the freight yard movement exception, with an option for performance-based alternatives if justified in a railroad’s PTC Safety Plan (PTCSP). In the NPRM, FRA proposed a speed restriction of 25 mph, consistent with the speed restriction applied to movements under the categorical de minimis exception of § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii). AAR, in its comment, argues that 30 mph is a more appropriate speed, referencing the previous en route failure language of § 236.1029. This suggestion has merit. The categorical de minimis exception applies to operations over an unequipped track segment, whereas both the freight yard movement exception and the en route failure provision address movement without operational onboard PTC apparatuses within PTC-equipped territory. FRA agrees that the en route failure procedures are the more apt analogy. Accordingly, the speed restriction in the final rule has been increased to 30 mph. PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 AAR also suggested that the PTC system enforce positive stops to ensure that no trains with operative onboard PTC apparatuses are permitted to enter a zone where unequipped movements are taking place and that, when multiple PTC-inoperative movements occur in the same zone concurrently, the maximum speed be reduced to restricted speed. While the PTC system will prevent PTC-equipped trains from entering an area where unequipped movements occur, it is unable to protect equipped trains from a PTC-unequipped yard movement that has exceeded its authority on PTC-equipped main track. In the July 9, 2013, PTC WG meeting, FRA raised the idea of taking this procedure and adding a requirement that a vacant absolute block be placed between unequipped movements and PTC-equipped trains, in order to address this concern. The railroads presented substantial arguments during the meeting that such a requirement would hamstring yard operations, given the number of PTC-equipped main tracks over which a yard movement might operate, even if the route were locked in such a way as to preclude a PTCunequipped locomotive or train from exceeding its authority into an area where PTC-equipped trains could operate. The PTC WG discussion led to the idea of a more narrowly-tailored restriction, applying only where the risk of such an incursion exists: situations where the unequipped movement is to end on PTC-equipped main track. In such situations, if the unequipped movement exceeds its authority, it would pose a risk to PTC-equipped trains that the PTC system would be unable to protect against. The final rule mitigates this risk by requiring that, if a movement terminates on PTC-equipped main track, the movement must operate on that final main track segment at restricted speed. While restricted speed is not a panacea against train-to-train collisions, it does reduce the risk of such collisions to an acceptable level when combined with the other operational restrictions in place in the yard movements exception. AAR also suggested the use of what it terms ‘‘absolute protection’’ to mitigate the risk of train-to-train collisions. From AAR’s presentation at the July 9, 2013, PTC WG meeting, FRA understands ‘‘absolute protection’’ to refer to an operating practice adopted by some railroads wherein a route is lined for a movement by a dispatcher and ‘‘locked’’ to require explicit acknowledgement and action before any switch in the route is permitted to be lined for a conflicting movement. The final rule E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations adopts this suggestion, requiring that the route of the unequipped movement be protected from conflicting movements by the PTC system and sufficient operating rules. The type of protection described by AAR is sufficient; however, because the discussion in the PTC WG meeting indicated that there is some degree of diversity in the implementation of the concept, the final rule is phrased generally for greater flexibility. AAR did not discuss how to handle roadway workers or roadway working limits in the Petition or in its comments to the NPRM. Several labor organizations commented to express concern for roadway worker protection during periods where PTC-inoperative movements are occurring. To mitigate this hazard, the final rule also requires movements at restricted speed when the zone of PTC-inoperative movements includes working limits established under 49 CFR part 214. This requirement is intended to reduce the risk of an incursion into established work zone limits, one of the four statutory PTC system functions. The NPRM also considered the exception for movements by Class II and Class III railroads under § 236.1006(b)(4) in determining an appropriate distance limitation for yard movements. While the maximum allowable distance for Class II and Class III railroads with unequipped locomotives is 20 miles, the NPRM limited the maximum distance of yard movements under the exception to 10 miles in either direction from a point of entry on to PTC-equipped main track to limit the total area of unequipped movements to 20 miles. Such a limitation would cover a 20-mile transfer train movement that originated and ended at the same location, but would not include pairs of transfer train movements of 20 miles each between two points. Allowing 20-mile movements in either direction from a point of entry on to PTC-equipped main tracks creates a 40-mile zone where potential movements without operative onboard PTC apparatuses; however, this potential also exists for Class II and Class III movements. With the operating restrictions in place, as discussed above, and considering the limitations of PTC systems for yard movements and transfer trains, FRA has concluded that allowing movements of up to 20 miles does not increase the risk of a PTCpreventable accident beyond a negligible level. To provide some flexibility, the yard movements exception also allows railroads to propose alternatives. Because the ‘‘negligible risk’’ standard for evaluating these alternatives has VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 caused great concern, the final rule provides an alternative structure. AAR proposes a quantified level of risk. However, as noted in the NPRM and discussed in more detail above, FRA has previously attempted, but was unable, to develop appropriate riskquantification methodology with the necessary level of precision to be used for such a task. See 77 FR 28285 (May 14, 2012). Instead, the final rule uses the parameters of the freight yard movement exception discussed above as an explicit baseline; alternatives will be accepted if, in FRA’s discretion, they are determined to be as safe as or safer than the prescriptive requirements. This method of analysis is consistent with the final rule’s restatement of the general de minimis exception. The final rule adds a new paragraph (b)(5) to exclude certain freight yard movements from the requirement to be controlled by a locomotive with an operational onboard PTC apparatus. Paragraphs (b)(5)(i) through (vi) provide the general parameters for approval of the exception. Paragraph (b)(5)(vii) provides the opportunity for railroads to propose alternatives, with the consideration of those alternatives committed to FRA’s discretion. Subparagraph (viii) makes clear that this provision does not prohibit locomotives with operative onboard PTC apparatuses from making certain types of movements to assist other locomotives, such as rescuing locomotives or cars. In addition to the new freight yard movement exception, several other changes have been made to § 236.1006. Paragraph (a) has been revised to clarify that it encompasses all operations, not just PIH operations specifically. Paragraph (b)(2) has been reserved, as discussed in the analysis of § 236.1009, below. A new paragraph (d) has been added to address the onboard PTC apparatus. The text of new paragraph (d)(1), regarding the visibility of the onboard PTC apparatus, has been moved from § 236.1029(f) to § 236.1006. Sec. 236.1006(d)(1) is a more intuitive location for the requirement. Aside from changing the phrase ‘‘PTC system’s onboard apparatus’’ to the commonlyused phrase ‘‘onboard PTC apparatus,’’ the content has not changed; no change in meaning exists or is intended. New paragraph (d)(2) incorporates the concept that the NPRM addressed in proposed § 236.1029(g), and responds to GE Transportation’s comment. FRA views distributed onboard PTC apparatuses to be acceptable if contemplated within a railroad’s PTCSP, and now provides regulatory text making that view explicit. PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Section 236.1009 Requirements 49705 Procedural The final rule moves the PTCIP reporting requirement from old paragraph (b)(2) of § 236.1006 to a new paragraph (a)(5) of § 236.1009. The purpose of this change is not merely for organizational purposes; the annual report no longer pertains solely to locomotives. The revised text requires the submission of additional information so that FRA may better fulfill its Congressional reporting obligations and otherwise fully and accurately monitor the progress of PTC system implementation. The previous language of § 236.1006(b)(2) required each railroad to report the status of achieving its goals with respect to equipping locomotives with fullyoperative onboard PTC apparatuses for use on PTC-equipped track segments. However, for FRA to fulfill its statutory obligations and regulatory objectives, it requires additional implementation information concerning all components of PTC system implementation. Accordingly, in the final rule, FRA requires submission of implementation data relating to wayside interface units, communication technologies, back-end computer systems, transponders, and any other PTC system components. FRA did not receive comments on this amendment as proposed. Section 236.1015 PTC Safety Plan Content Requirements and PTC System Certification In response to AAR’s proposals for modifications to § 236.1029, FRA expressed concern that the less restrictive proposals may result in locomotives with faulty onboard PTC apparatuses being used for significant distances before being repaired or being exchanged with other locomotives equipped with fully-operative PTC apparatuses. During PTC WG meetings, AAR suggested that FRA alleviate this concern by requiring that railroads submit, as part of their PTCSP, the locations where locomotives will regularly be exchanged or repaired, as well as listing potential movements of locomotives with failed onboard PTC apparatuses that exceed 500 miles. The final rule adopts this suggestion, and a new paragraph (d)(21) has been added to this § 236.1015 to require that this information be submitted as part of each railroad’s PTCSP. Section 236.1029 Failures PTC System Use and The final rule revises old paragraph (a) of § 236.1029 by adding a heading (‘‘In general.’’) and correcting a E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES 49706 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations grammatical error (disagreement between subject and verb) in the last sentence of the paragraph. No change in meaning is intended. As amended by this final rule, paragraph (b) of § 236.1029 provides a means of safely reacting to the en route failure of a PTC system. When a component of a PTC system fails en route resulting in loss of PTC functionality aboard the locomotive, the old text of § 236.1029(b) required that the train proceed at restricted speed—or at medium speed where a block signal system is in operation according to signal indication—until an absolute block is established ahead of the train; after the absolute block is established, the train may proceed at speeds between 30 mph and 79 mph, depending on the nature of the signal system in place, if any, and the nature of the train. AAR, in its Petition, assented to this procedure for each location where a PTC system is the exclusive means of delivering mandatory directives, but suggested substantial revisions to this procedure where a PTC system is not the exclusive means of delivering mandatory directives (e.g., where mandatory directives are also delivered by radio). The AAR proposal would allow trains to continue to a designated repair or exchange location identified in a railroad’s PTCSP. While travelling to one of these locations, freight trains would be allowed under the proposal to continue at track speed in signaled territory, up to 40 mph for freight trains in non-signaled territory, and up to 30 mph for trains carrying cars loaded with PIH materials. The proposal also recommended a 30 mph limitation for passenger trains; Amtrak suggested that the appropriate limitation for passenger trains is 40 mph, which AAR later endorsed. The AAR proposal broke from how the en route failure of train control systems has been handled in the past by not requiring an absolute block in advance of the train that experienced failure; as discussed above, § 236.567 requires an absolute block be established in advance of the movement. However, AAR and other participants in the PTC WG meetings made the valid point that the comparison between PTC systems and systems covered by § 236.567 is not completely apt, as PTC systems are not the method of operation in the overwhelming majority of situations, unlike cab signal systems. FRA agrees that this is a relevant difference that supports changes to the procedures for handling en route failures. FRA is also sensitive to the concerns expressed regarding PTC system reliability and the railroads’ desire to VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 ensure that PTC system implementation does not result in dramatically reduced railroad capacity. AAR, in its comment to the NPRM, provided data suggesting that there could be substantial disruptions in service due to frequent failures of PTC systems. This data is necessarily somewhat speculative, since PTC systems remain in development. FRA expects that system reliability will improve as railroads acquire more experience with PTC systems. Reflecting the current status of PTC system development and the economic risks of substantially reduced rail capacity, the final rule provides additional flexibility for railroads. This relief is provided in several forms. First, while the final rule maintains the speed limitations present in the old rule, the final rule removes the requirement that an absolute block be established in advance of the train. Given the potential scope of PTC system failures, FRA is concerned that requiring an absolute block in advance of each train experiencing PTC system failure may exacerbate system disruptions as train dispatchers manage each of the blocks. Old paragraph (f) of § 236.1029 has been moved to new § 236.1006(d)(1), as that section is a more intuitive location for that requirement. No change in meaning exists or is intended as part of this rearrangement. See discussion under new § 236.1006(d)(1), above. New paragraph (g) of § 236.1029 provides three forms of temporary relief, which will be in effect from October 21, 2014 through the first two years following the statutory deadline for full implementation of PTC systems. First, under paragraph (g)(1), a railroad may choose in its PTCSP to operate under the requirements of new § 236.567 (the provision that applies to automatic train stop, automatic train control, and cab signal systems) in lieu of new § 236.1029. The provisions of new § 236.567 are structured similarly to those of new § 236.1029, but authorize higher maximum speeds of up to 79 mph where a functional signal system remains in place, though they require an absolute block in advance of the movement. Second, under paragraph (g)(2) of § 236.1029, a train may proceed under either new § 236.1029 or new § 236.567 where the PTC system fails to initialize prior to the train’s departure from its initial terminal. This relief will permit rail traffic to continue to flow when PTC system initialization problems occur while exchange or repair is arranged at one of the locations designated in the railroad’s PTCSP. Finally, under paragraph (g)(3) of § 236.1029, where a PTC system PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 requires repair or maintenance that necessitates removing the system from service, a railroad may do so with notice to the appropriate FRA regional office either a week in advance for planned work or contemporaneously in the event of unplanned work. When a railroad exercises this option, the rule requires that it make reasonable efforts to schedule the removal from service for those times posing the least risk to railroad safety, generally but not necessarily when few or no trains are expected to operate over the track segment. The railroad is also required to place the system back into service without undue delay, the same requirement that is in place for all signal and train control system failures. This provision is intended to give railroads the flexibility necessary to address system software and hardware issues quickly without unduly restricting rail capacity or creating excessive safety risks. In summary, the final rule appends new paragraph (g), which provides these temporary authorities. In authorizing these more lenient provisions until the end of the first two years following the statutory mandate for full PTC system implementation, FRA recognizes that there may be issues that could be identified and resolved in the early days following PTC system implementation and revenue service operation. AAR argues that the complex nature of PTC systems will inevitably create frequent and unavoidable en route failures, and that these problems will not be solved in time. Based on the evidence available at this time, FRA disagrees. However, under this final rule, it will be several years before the default en route failure provisions are due to come fully into effect. Experience over these intervening years will provide more empirical data on PTC system reliability, and may be a basis for FRA to revisit this issue at a later date should circumstances warrant. To facilitate the gathering of this data, the final rule includes a new reporting requirement in new paragraph (h) relating to en route failures. Each calendar year, the rule requires railroads that have implemented PTC systems to report the number of PTC system failures, categorized by type. This report will allow FRA to be aware of reliability issues as PTC systems are implemented and put into use, and will provide useful information for potential improvements in the rule once FRA and the rail industry have more experience with this new technology. This requirement was discussed in the July 9, 2013, PTC WG meeting, and members did not express any objections. E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Additionally, as noted in the NPRM, old § 236.1029 had avenues for flexibility with respect to en route failures. Old paragraph (c) allowed for deviations from the requirements of old paragraph (b) if justified in a railroad’s PTCDP, PTCSP, or Order of Particular Applicability.7 However, this language was unnecessarily vague, and the final rule clarifies the intent of the provision. A railroad may, based on the circumstances of its operations, propose alternative en route failure procedures similar to those of paragraph (b) for approval as part of its PTCSP, RFA, or Order of Particular Applicability. The final rule revises the language of old paragraph (c) to make it consistent with similar provisions discussed earlier with respect to the de minimis exception and the yard movements exception. AAR, in its Petition, also requested clarification concerning the failure of an onboard PTC apparatus of the train’s controlling locomotive, where a second PTC-equipped locomotive exists capable of providing PTC system functionality. In the NPRM, FRA proposed to amend old § 236.1029 to indicate specifically that, when a trailing locomotive is used to maintain full PTC system functionality, the system is considered operable and therefore is not considered to have failed en route. However, as discussed above, this proposal has been adopted in new § 236.1006(d)(2) and revised to apply to PTC systems generally, rather than being limited to only instances where there is a PTC system failure. V. Regulatory Impact and Notices A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures This final rule has been evaluated in accordance with existing policies and procedures, and determined to be significant under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT policies and procedures. 44 FR 11034 (Feb. 26, 1979). FRA prepared and placed in the docket a regulatory impact analysis (RIA) addressing the economic impact of this final rule. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES 7 Orders of Particular Applicability are one of the mechanisms by which a previously approved PTC system may receive expedited certification pursuant to § 236.1031. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 In this final rule, FRA mainly amends the regulations implementing the 2008 statutory mandate that certain passenger and freight railroads install PTC systems governing operations on certain main line tracks. In particular, the final rule amends 49 CFR part 236 by revising an existing regulatory exception to the requirement to install a PTC system for track segments carrying freight only that present a de minimis safety risk; adding a new exception for unequipped freight trains associated with certain yard operations to operate within PTC systems; revising the provision related to en route failures of a PTC system; and adding new temporary provisions related to various failures of a PTC system. The final rule also streamlines and simplifies the application process for FRA approval of a material modification of a signal system under 49 CFR part 235 where the application would have been filed as part of a PTC system installation. In addition to making these changes related to the PTC requirements, the final rule makes technical amendments to FRA’s other signal and train control regulations at 49 CFR part 236 and FRA’s regulations governing highway-rail grade crossing warning systems at 49 CFR part 234. FRA analyzed the final rule under three cases. The ‘‘base case’’ is FRA’s best estimate of the likely impact of the final rule. To address uncertainty related to assumptions and inputs, FRA also analyzed a ‘‘high case,’’ where the impacts are estimated as greater than FRA’s best estimate, and a ‘‘low case.’’ where the impacts are estimated as less than FRA’s best estimate. FRA’s base case analyzed the impact of extending the de minimis exception to cover an additional 4,073 miles of wayside (based on comments from the Association of American Railroads (AAR)) at an estimated savings of $50,000 per mile, as well as two sensitivity cases—one where the estimated savings per mile was higher ($100,000), the high case, and one where the mileage affected was lower (3,000 miles), the low case. FRA also analyzed the benefits of adding a regulatory exception at 49 CFR 236.1006(b)(5) for locomotives not equipped with onboard PTC apparatuses that are involved in yard operations with equipped locomotives. Again, FRA faced uncertainty in PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49707 estimating the number of locomotives that will be affected. For the base case, FRA estimated that 2,098 locomotives will be affected at a unit savings of $55,000 per locomotive. FRA also analyzed two cases for sensitivity—a high case where the unit savings would be $68,750 and a low case where 1,500 locomotives will be affected. FRA used values from AAR comments to determine how many units of installations could be avoided by the final rule, and used unit costs from the first PTC final rule. The number of units from the AAR comments are much higher than FRA’s assumptions used to analyze the NPRM, and may be high. FRA’s assumptions of unit costs from that analysis of the first PTC final rule appear to be low, based on anecdotal evidence, especially reports from commuter railroads. Class I railroads may be able to avoid some of the factors that have led to higher unit costs on commuter railroads, but the unit costs used in the base case analysis of the first PTC final rule are now appearing to be low case estimates. FRA continues to use those unit cost estimates in order to allow more comprehensible comparisons between the estimated net costs of the first PTC final rule and this final rule. Were FRA to adjust the unit cost estimates for this rule, small reductions in the scope of the total PTC system implementation could render total net costs, reflecting each of the four PTC final rules issued to date, dramatically lower. All values in the analysis are measured in 2009 dollars. FRA used values in 2009 dollars in order to continue using the same values used in analyzing the 2010 final rule amended here, so that readers may readily evaluate the cumulative effect of the initial final rule and amendments to that rule. For both wayside and onboard portions of the benefit, FRA included the maintenance costs saved by avoiding installation. FRA estimated the annual maintenance costs as 15 percent of the value of the installed base. The reader should note that this regulation reduces regulatory burden, so the benefits of the final rule are reduced regulatory costs, and the costs of the final rule are foregone safety benefits, a mirror image of the typical elements of a benefit cost analysis. E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49708 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1—TOTAL 20-YEAR DISCOUNTED BENEFITS Discount factor 7 Percent Base case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. 3 Percent $397,319 446,266,012 252,858,508 $446,926 587,977,605 333,153,625 699,521,839 921,578,156 397,319 892,532,024 316,073,135 446,926 1,175,955,209 416,442,032 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. Low case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. 1,209,002,478 1,592,844,167 397,319 328,700,721 180,785,397 446,926 433,079,503 238,193,726 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. 509,883,437 671,720,155 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. High case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Totals in each respective category may not add due to rounding. FRA also estimated the annualized benefits of the accompanying final rule. TABLE 2—TOTAL ANNUALIZED BENEFITS Discount factor 7 percent Base case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. 3 percent $37,504 42,124,355 23,868,054 $30,040 39,521,331 22,393,157 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. High case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. 66,029,913 61,944,528 37,504 84,248,709 29,835,068 30,040 79,042,661 27,991,446 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. Low case: Applications Avoided Benefit ................................................................................................................ Wayside Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. Onboard Installation Benefit ................................................................................................................. 114,121,281 107,064,148 37,504 31,027,023 17,064,863 30,040 29,109,745 16,010,360 Total Benefit .................................................................................................................................. 48,129,389 45,150,146 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Totals in each respective category may not add due to rounding. In general, the costs of allowing railroads the ability to avoid PTC implementation costs will be foregone safety benefits coupled with some reporting costs. The provisions to extend the de minimis risk exception affect track segments that are likely to have a risk of PTC-preventable accidents that is only slightly greater than similar segments equipped with PTC wayside units. FRA analyzed those incremental costs, the only costs analyzed. TABLE 3—DISCOUNTED 20-YEAR TOTAL COSTS TABLE 4—ANNUALIZED 20-YEAR TOTAL COSTS Discount factor Discount factor 7 percent Base Case ........ High Case ......... Low Case .......... $6,609,680 6,609,680 4,937,849 $9,752,784 9,752,784 7,285,947 7 percent 3 percent Base Case ........ High Case ......... Low Case .......... $623,907 623,907 466,098 3 percent $655,540 655,540 489,730 A second de minimis exception,8 codified under § 236.1006(b)(5), affects 8 Here, the term ‘‘de minimis exception’’ is used in the generic sense of a de minimis exception developed under case law, as described earlier in VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations whether locomotives used in freight switching operations need to be equipped with onboard PTC apparatuses in order to cross or travel along main track in yards. This newly created provision requires the railroads to maintain a negligible risk of PTCpreventable accidents. FRA believes that negligible risk is near zero, and that the marginal costs of that risk compared to PTC are practically zero. The costs of the changes to reporting requirements (§ 236.1029(h)) are very low, and only consist of forwarding to FRA data likely already compiled for railroad management purposes. FRA calculated the net societal benefits, both 20-year discounted totals and 20-year annualized values. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272 TABLE 5—DISCOUNTED 20-YEAR TOTAL NET BENEFITS [Benefits Less Costs] Discount factor 7 percent 3 percent $692,912,160 $911,825,373 1,202,392,799 1,583,091,384 504,945,587 Base Case .. High Case .. Low Case .. 664,434,208 TABLE 6—ANNUALIZED 20-YEAR TOTAL NET BENEFITS [Benefits Less Costs] Discount factor 7 percent rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Base Case .. High Case .. Low Case .. 3 percent $65,406,006 $61,288,988 113,497,374 106,408,608 47,663,291 44,660,415 FRA analyzed alternatives to the final rule. One alternative would be to leave the rule unchanged, the ‘‘status quo’’ alternative. By definition, the ‘‘status quo’’ alternative is treated as having no benefits or costs; however, it is the benchmark from which all other cases are analyzed. FRA also analyzed an alternative where the de minimis exception (at § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)) would apply without regard to line tonnage. This alternative would create greater net societal benefits, since nearly 7,000 miles could be excluded; however, the preamble to this final rule. See Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. EPA, 82 F.3d 451, 466 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (inner quotations omitted); Alabama Power Co. v. Costle, 636 F.2d 323, 360–61 (D.C. Cir. 1979). VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 because of concerns about additional risks which are not negligible, FRA does not believe that it has the authority to adopt this alternative. FRA believes that if it had the authority to adopt this alternative and if FRA adopted it, the net societal benefits would be $1,062,422,244 over 20 years, discounted at 7 percent, or $1,393,851,865 over 20 years, discounted at 3 percent. In short, the final rule will create net benefits in all scenarios, with the only uncertainty being the magnitude of those benefits. At the NPRM stage, FRA requested comments on all aspects of the RIA. Such comments and related discussion are discussed in the RIA submitted to the docket. To ensure that the impact of this rulemaking on small entities is properly considered, FRA developed this final rule in accordance with Executive Order 13272 (‘‘Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking’’) and DOT’s policies and procedures to promote compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires an agency to review regulations to assess their impact on small entities. The meaning of ‘‘small entity’’ for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act is discussed below. An agency must conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis unless it determines and certifies that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule is summarized under the immediately previous section of the preamble as well as earlier in the preamble. FRA is certifying that this final rule will result in ‘‘no significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.’’ The following section explains the reasons for this certification. 1. Description of the Small Entities Subject to This Final Rule and Impacts of the Final Rule on Those Entities The ‘‘universe’’ of the entities under consideration here includes only those small entities that can reasonably be expected to be directly affected by the provisions of this final rule. In this case, FRA concludes that the ‘‘universe’’ will be five Class III freight railroads that operate on rail lines that are currently required to have PTC systems installed. Such lines are owned by railroads not considered to be small. No small passenger railroads will be affected by the final rule. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49709 The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stipulates in its ‘‘Size Standards’’ that the largest that a for-profit railroad business firm may be, and still be classified as a ‘‘small entity,’’ is 1,500 employees for ‘‘Line Haul Operating Railroads’’ and 500 employees for ‘‘Switching and Terminal Establishments.’’ ‘‘Small entity’’ is defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act as a small business that is independently owned and operated, and is not dominant in its field of operation. Additionally, 5 U.S.C. 601(5) defines ‘‘small entity’’ as including governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts with populations less than 50,000. Federal agencies may adopt their own size standards for small entities in consultation with SBA and in conjunction with public comment. Pursuant to that authority, FRA has published a final policy that formally establishes ‘‘small entities’’ for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act as including freight railroads that meet the line haulage revenue requirements of a Class III railroad and passenger railroads that serve populations less than 50,000.9 The revenue requirements are currently $20 million or less in annual operating revenue. The $20 million limit (which is adjusted by applying the railroad revenue deflator adjustment) 10 is based on the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) threshold for a Class III railroad carrier. FRA is using the STB’s threshold in its definition of ‘‘small entities’’ that are freight railroads for this rule. This final rule adds new § 235.6, which allows specified changes within existing signal or train control systems to be made without the necessity of filing an application for approval with FRA’s Associate Administrator. The amendment provides each railroad a simplified process to obtain approval to modify existing signal systems directly associated with PTC system implementation. In the absence of this change in the accompanying rule, a railroad would have to submit the detailed application required for approval under § 235.10, along with the additional information required by § 235.12, every time it modified any of the underlying signal systems as described in § 235.5, even if those changes were part of the PTCIP. The entire application would then be subject 9 See 68 FR 24891 (May 9, 2003); 49 CFR part 209, app. C. 10 For further information on the calculation of the specific dollar limit, please see 49 CFR 1201.1– 1. E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49710 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations to the filing procedure described in § 235.13, and FRA would publish under the requirements of § 235.14 and resolve protests under the provisions of § 235.20. The process is burdensome for both the railroad and FRA, where FRA has already reviewed significant elements of what would be the application, as part of the PTCIP. FRA believes this could create a benefit for any of the five small railroads affected by the final rule, but that the likelihood of such filings is very low for the small railroads affected. If the small railroads do file, the filing is likely to be for a very small portion of the railroad affected, and the benefits would be very small. FRA believes that portions of the rule revising the requirements at 49 CFR 236.567 regarding en route failures are technical in nature, and do not create any economic impacts on any regulated entities, large or small. The changes to the de minimis provisions in the final rule (i.e., § 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)) will impact Class III freight railroads that operate on lines of other railroads currently required to have PTC systems installed. To the extent that such host railroads receive relief from such a requirement along certain lines, Class III freight railroads that operate over those lines will not have to equip their locomotives with PTC system components. FRA believes that small railroads operating over the affected lines are already allowed to avoid equipping locomotives under existing § 236.1006(b)(4), or are otherwise equipping their locomotives to operate over other track segments equipped with PTC systems. Further, some Class III freight railroads host passenger operations, but FRA does not believe any of those Class III freight railroads have any switching operations that would be affected by the final rule (i.e., the freight yard movements exception at § 236.1006(b)(5)). To the extent that any Class III freight railroads are affected in circumstances of which FRA is unaware, the effect would be a benefit, in that the Class III freight railroads would be able to avoid installing PTC systems on some locomotives. FRA requested comment on whether any other small entities would be affected, and if such small entities would be affected what the impacts on them would be, whether those impacts would be significant and whether the number of small railroads affected is substantial, but received no comments on the topic. FRA believes that no small entities will be affected by changes to the de minimis provisions and the freight locomotive yard movements exception, and that therefore the number of small entities affected is not substantial, and that the impact on them is not significant. These five small freight railroads are required to file a PTCIP by the existing PTC regulations and will be affected by the final rule’s changes in the reporting requirements in § 236.1009. The reporting requirements will require the railroad to report its progress in installing PTC, in April 2013, 2014, and 2015, in order to comply with the statutory deadlines. FRA believes that all railroads implementing PTC will track this information and compile the information as part of internal management activities at least as frequently for what is likely to be a relatively large capital project on every affected railroad. FRA believes the incremental reporting regulatory burden is negligible, on the order of forwarding to FRA an email already generated within a railroad. FRA believes this is not a significant burden upon the railroads affected. Certain other provisions (e.g., § 236.15 (regarding timetable instructions) and § 236.1015(d)(21) (lists related to locomotives with failed onboard PTC apparatus, etc.) are minor and should not create any economic impacts on any regulated entities, large or small other than paperwork, which is accounted for under V.C. of the preamble, below; FRA believes these are not a significant burden on these five small railroads. FRA believes that the portions of the rule revising the requirements at § 234.207 (regarding adjustment, etc. of essential components), § 234.213 (regarding grounds), § 236.2 (regarding grounds), and § 236.567 (regarding en route failures) are technical in nature, and do not create any economic impacts on any regulated entities, large or small. Likewise, the revised and new relief provisions at § 236.1029(b), (c), and (g) (which are considered as clarifying the intent of the original PTC final rule) are not expected to create economic impacts on any regulated entities, large or small. For the reasons summarized above, FRA believes the reporting requirements will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. 2. Certification Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the FRA Administrator certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. C. Executive Order 13175 FRA analyzed this rule in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13175 (‘‘Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments’’). Because this rule does not significantly or uniquely affect tribes and does not impose substantial and direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, the funding and consultation requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply, and a tribal summary impact statement is not required. D. Paperwork Reduction Act The information collection requirements in this final rule are being submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. The sections that contain the both the new and current information collection requirements and the estimated time to fulfill each requirement are as follows: rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES CFR section Respondent universe Total annual responses Average time per response 234.275—Processor-Based Systems—Deviations from Product Safety Plan (PSP)—Letters. 235.6—Requests to FRA Regional Administrators for Modification of a Signal System Related to PTC Implementation—Expedited Application (New Requirement). —PTC Related Modification Request—Expedited Application—Copies to Railroad Union(s) (New Requirement). —Railroad Rescindment of Expedited Application—Letters (New Requirement). 20 Railroads ................ 25 letters ...................... 4 hours ......................... 100 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 500 application requests. 5 hours ......................... 2,500 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 500 application request copies. 30 minutes ................... 250 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 25 letters ...................... 6 hours ......................... 150 hours. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Total annual burden hours 49711 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations CFR section Respondent universe Total annual responses Average time per response —RR Submission of (Revised) Application completed under Sections 235.5 and 235.9–235.20 (New Reqmnt). —Revised Application Copies to Railroad Union(s) (New Requirement). 236.15—Timetable Instructions—Designation of Positive Train Control (PTC) Territory in Instructions (Revised Requirement). 236.18—Software Mgmt Control Plan— ............ —Updates to Software Mgmt. Control Plan 236.905—Updates to RSPP .............................. —Response to Request For Additional Info —Request for FRA Approval of RSPP Modification. 236.907—Product Safety Plan (PSP)—Dev ...... 236.909—Minimum Performance Standard. —Petitions For Review and Approval ......... —Supporting Sensitivity Analysis ............... 236.913—Notification/Submission to FRA of Joint Product Safety Plan (PSP). —Petitions For Approval/Informational Filings. —Responses to FRA Request For Further Info. After Informational Filing. —Responses to FRA Request For Further Info. After Agency Receipt of Notice of Product Development. —Consultations ........................................... —Petitions for Final Approval ..................... —Comments to FRA by Interested Parties —Third Party Assessments of PSP ............ —Amendments to PSP ............................... —Field Testing of Product—Info. Filings .... 236.917—Retention of Records. —Results of tests/inspections specified in PSP. —Report to FRA of Inconsistencies with frequency of safety-relevant hazards in PSP. 236.919—Operations & Maintenance Man. —Updates to O & M Manual ...................... —Plans For Proper Maintenance, Repair, Inspection of Safety-Critical Products. —Hardware/Software/Firmware Revisions 236.921—Training Programs: Development ...... —Training of Signalmen & Dispatchers ..... 38 Railroads ................ 13 submission/applications. 5 hours ......................... 65 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 13 copies ..................... 30 minutes ................... 7 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 13 timetable Instructions. 1 hour .......................... 13 hours. 184 Railroads .............. 90 Railroads ................ 78 Railroads ................ 78 Railroads ................ 78 Railroads ................ 2,150 hours .................. 1.50 hours .................... 135 hours ..................... 400 hours ..................... 400 hours ..................... 395,600 hours. 30 hours. 810 hours. 400 hours. 400 hours. 5 Railroads .................. 184 plans ..................... 20 updates ................... 6 plans ......................... 1 updated doc .............. 1 request/modified RSPP. 5 plans ......................... 6,400 hours .................. 32,000 hours. 5 Railroads .................. 5 Railroads .................. 6 Railroads .................. 2 petitions/PSP ............ 5 analyses ................... 1 joint plan ................... 19,200 hours ................ 160 hours ..................... 25,600 hours ................ 38,400 hours. 800 hours. 25,600 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 6 petitions .................... 1,928 hours .................. 11,568 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 2 documents ................ 800 hours ..................... 1,600 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 6 documents ................ 16 hours ....................... 96 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 6 Railroads .................. Public/RRs ................... 6 Railroads .................. 6 Railroads .................. 6 Railroads .................. 6 consults .................... 6 petitions .................... 7 comments ................. 1 assessment .............. 15 amendments ........... 6 documents ................ 120 hours ..................... 16 hours ....................... 240 hours ..................... 104,000 hours .............. 160 hours ..................... 3,200 hours .................. 720 hours. 96 hours. 1,680 hours. 104,000 hours. 2,400 hours. 19,200 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 3 documents/records ... 360,000 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 1 report ........................ 160,000 hrs.; 160,000 hrs.; 40,000 hrs. 104 hours ..................... 104 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 6 Railroads .................. 6 updated docs ............ 6 plans ......................... 40 hours ....................... 53,335 hours ................ 240 hours. 320,010 hours. 6 Railroads .................. 6 Railroads .................. 6 Railroads .................. 6,440 hours .................. 400 hours ..................... 40 hours; 20 hours ...... 38,640 hours. 2,400 hours. 12,400 hours. 6 railroads .................... 6 revisions ................... 6 Tr. Programs ............ 300 signalmen; 20 dispatchers. 6 documents ................ 720 hours ..................... 4,320 hours. 6 railroads .................... 350 records .................. 10 minutes ................... 58 hours. 236.923—Task Analysis/Basic Requirements: Necessary Documents. —Records ................................................... Total annual burden hours rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Subpart I—New Requirements 236.1001—RR Development of More Stringent Rules Re: PTC Performance Stds. 236.1005—Requirements for PTC Systems —RR Request for Relief to Install PTC System. —Temporary Rerouting: Emergency Requests. —Written/Telephonic Notification to FRA Regional Administrator. —Temporary Rerouting Requests Due to Track Maintenance. —Temporary Rerouting Requests That Exceed 30 Days. 236.1006—Requirements for Equipping Locomotives Operating in PTC Territory. —PTC Progress Reports ............................ 236.1007—Additional Requirements for High Speed Service. —Required HSR–125 Documents with approved PTCSP. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 38 railroads .................. 3 rules .......................... 80 hours ....................... 240 hours. 38 railroads .................. 27 relief requests ......... 64 hours ....................... 1,728 hours. 38 railroads .................. 47 requests .................. 8 hours ......................... 376 hours. 38 railroads .................. 47 notifications ............. 2 hours ......................... 94 hours. 38 railroads .................. 720 requests ................ 8 hours ......................... 5,760 hours. 38 railroads .................. 361 requests ................ 8 hours ......................... 2,888 hours. 38 railroads .................. 35 reports .................... 16 hours ....................... 560 hours. 38 railroads .................. 3 documents ................ 3,200 hours .................. 9,600 hours. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49712 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES CFR section Respondent universe Total annual responses Average time per response —Requests to Use Foreign Service Data .. —PTC Railroads Conducting Operations at More than 150 MPH with HSR–125 Documents. —Requests for PTC Waiver ....................... 236.1009—Procedural Requirements. —Host Railroads Filing PTCIP or Request for Amendment (RFAs). —Jointly Submitted PTCIPs ....................... —Notification of Failure to File Joint PTCIP —Comprehensive List of Issues Causing Non-Agreement. —Conferences to Develop Mutually Acceptable PCTIP. —Annual Implementation Status Report .... —Type Approval ......................................... —PTC Development Plans Requesting Type Approval. —Notice of Product Intent w/PTCIPs (IPs) —PTCDPs with PTCIPs (DPs + IPs) ......... —Updated PTCIPs w/PTCDPs (IPs + DPs) —Disapproved/Resubmitted PTCIPs/NPIs —Revoked Approvals—Provisional IP/DP —PTC IPs/PTCDPs Still Needing Rework —PTCIP/PTCDP/PTCSP Plan Contents— Documents Translated into English. —Requests for Confidentiality .................... —Field Test Plans/Independent Assessments—Req. by FRA. —FRA Access: Interviews with PTC Wrkrs. —FRA Requests for Further Information .... 236.1011–PTCIP Requirements—Comment ..... 236.1015—PTCSP Content Requirements & PTC System Certification. —Non-Vital Overlay .................................... —Vital Overlay ............................................ —Stand Alone ............................................. —Mixed Systems—Conference with FRA regarding Case/Analysis. —Mixed Sys. PTCSPs (incl. safety case) .. —FRA Request for Additional PTCSP Data —PTCSPs Applying to Replace Existing Certified PTC Systems. —Non-Quantitative Risk Assessments Supplied to FRA. 236.1017—PTCSP Supported by Independent Third Party Assessment. —Written Requests to FRA to Confirm Entity Independence. —Provision of Additional Information After FRA Request. —Independent Third Party Assessment: Waiver Requests. —RR Request for FRA to Accept Foreign Railroad Regulator Certified Info. 236.1019—Main Line Track Exceptions. —Submission of Main Line Track Exclusion Addendums (MTEAs). —Passenger Terminal Exception—MTEAs —Limited Operation Exception—Risk Mit .. —Ltd. Exception—Collision Hazard Anal ... —Temporal Separation Procedures ........... 236.1021—Discontinuances, Material Modifications, Amendments—Requests to Amend (RFA) PTCIP, PTCDP or PTCSP. —Review and Public Comment on RFA .... 38 railroads .................. 38 railroads .................. 2 requests .................... 3 documents ................ 8,000 hours .................. 3,200 hours .................. 16,000 hours. 9,600 hours 38 railroads .................. 1 request ...................... 1,000 hours .................. 1,000 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 PCTIP; 20 RFAs ....... 535 hours; 320 hours .. 6,935 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 5 PTCIPs ..................... 1 notification ................ 1 list ............................. 267 hours ..................... 32 hours ....................... 80 hours ....................... 1,335 hours. 32 hours. 80 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 conf. calls ................. 60 minutes ................... 1 hour. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 38 reports + 38 reports 2 Type Appr. ................ 20 Ltr. + 20 App; 2 Plans. 3 NPI; 1 IP ................... 1 DP ............................. 1 IP; 1 DP .................... 1 IP + 1 NPI ................ 1 IP + 1 DP ................. 1 IP + 1 DP ................. 1 document .................. 8 hours + 60 hours ...... 8 hours ......................... 8 hrs/1600 hrs.; 6,400 hours. 1,070 + 535 hrs ........... 2,135 hours .................. 535 + 2,135 hrs ........... 135 + 270 hrs .............. 135 + 535 hrs .............. 135 + 535 hrs .............. 8,000 hours .................. 2,584 hours. 16 hours. 44,960 hours. 3,745 hours. 2,135 hours. 2,670 hours. 405 hours. 670 hours. 670 hours. 8,000 hours. 8 hrs.; 800 hrs ............. 800 hours ..................... 30,704 hours. 153,600 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 7 Interested Groups ..... 38 ltrs; 38 docs ............ 190 field tests; 2 assessments. 76 interviews ................ 8 documents ................ 1 rev.; 40 com ............. 30 minutes ................... 400 hours ..................... 143 + 8 hrs .................. 38 hours. 3,200 hours. 463 hours. 38 38 38 38 ................ ................ ................ ................ 3 PTCSPs .................... 28 PTCSPs .................. 1 PTCSP ...................... 3 conferences .............. 16,000 hours ................ 22,400 hours ................ 32,000 hours ................ 32 hours ....................... 48,000 hours. 627,200 hours. 32,000 hours. 96 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 1 PTCSP ...................... 19 documents .............. 19 PTCSPs .................. 28,800 hours ................ 3,200 hours .................. 3,200 hours .................. 28,800 hours. 60,800 hours. 60,800 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 19 assessment ............ 3,200 hours .................. 60,800 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 assessment .............. 8,000 hours .................. 8,000 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 request ...................... 8 hours ......................... 8 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 document .................. 160 hours ..................... 160 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 request ...................... 160 hours ..................... 160 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 request ...................... 32 hours ....................... 32 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 36 MTEAs .................... 160 hours ..................... 5,760 hours. 38 38 38 38 38 19 19 12 11 19 MTEAs .................... plans ....................... analyses ................. procedures .............. RFAs ....................... 160 hours ..................... 160 hours ..................... 1,600 hours .................. 160 hours ..................... 160 hours ..................... 3,040 hours. 3,040 hours. 19,200 hours. 1,760 hours. 3,040 hours. 3 hours; 16 hours ........ 341 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 7 reviews + 20 comments. 38 lists ......................... 38 procedures .............. 8 hours ......................... 16 hours ....................... 304 hours. 608 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 142 notification ............ 142 updates ................. 16 hours ....................... 16 hours ....................... 2,272 hours. 2,272 hours. 236.1023—PTC Product Vendor Lists ............... —RR Procedures Upon Notification of PTC System Safety-Critical Upgrades, Rev., Etc. —RR Notifications of PTC Safety Hazards —RR Notification Updates .......................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads ................ ................ ................ ................ ................ ................ ................ 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads Railroads ................ ................ ................ ................ ................ 7 Interested Groups ..... PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Total annual burden hours Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations 49713 Respondent universe Total annual responses Average time per response —Manufacturer’s Report of Investigation of PTC Defect. —PTC Supplier Reports of Safety Relevant Failures or Defective Conditions. 236.1029—Report of On-Board Lead Locomotive PTC Device Failure. —Submission by RR of Order of Particular Availability with an Alternative System Failure Procedure to FRA (New Requirement). —Notice to FRA at least 7 days in Advance of Planned Disabling of PTC System Service and Contemporaneous Notice for Unplanned Disabling of PTC System Service (New Requirement). —Annual Report of PTC System Failures (New Requirement). 236.1031—Previously Approved PTC Systems. —Request for Expedited Certification (REC) for PTC System. —Requests for Grandfathering on PTCSPs 236.1035—Field Testing Requirements. —Relief Requests from Regulations Necessary to Support Field Testing. 236.1037—Records Retention. —Results of Tests in PTCSP and PTCDP —PTC Service Contractors Training Records. —Reports of Safety Relevant Hazards Exceeding Those in PTCSP and PTCDP. —Final Report of Resolution of Inconsistency. 236.1039—Operations & Maintenance Manual (OMM): Development. —Positive Identification of Safety-critical components. —Designated RR Officers in OMM. regarding PTC issues. 236.1041—PTC Training Programs ................... 236.1043—Task Analysis/Basic Requirements: Training Evaluations. —Training Records ..................................... 236.1045—Training Specific to Office Control Personnel. 236.1047—Training Specific to Loc. Engineers & Other Operating Personnel. —PTC Conductor Training ......................... rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES CFR section 5 System Suppliers ..... 5 reports ...................... 400 hours ..................... 2,000 hours. 5 System Suppliers ..... 16 hours + 8 hours ...... 3,408 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 142 reports + 142 rpt. copies. 836 reports .................. 96 hours ....................... 80,256 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 Order ........................ 3,200 hours .................. 3,200 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 76 planned notices + 114 unplanned notices. 10 hours ....................... 1,900 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 reports .................... 20 hours ....................... 760 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 3 REC Letters .............. 160 hours ..................... 480 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 3 requests .................... 190 field test plans ...... 38 requests .................. 1,600 hours .................. 800 hours ..................... 320 hours ..................... 4,800 hours. 152,000 hours. 12,160 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 836 records .................. 18,240 records ............. 4 hours ......................... 30 minutes ................... 3,344 hours. 9,120 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 4 reports ...................... 8 hours ......................... 32 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 4 final reports ............... 160 hours ..................... 640 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 manuals .................. 250 hours ..................... 9,500 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 1 hour .......................... 114,000 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 114,000 i.d. components. 76 designations ........... 2 hours ......................... 152 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 38 Railroads ................ 38 programs ................ 38 evaluations ............. 400 hours ..................... 720 hours ..................... 15,200 hours. 27,360 hours. 38 railroads .................. 38 Railroads ................ 560 records .................. 32 trained employees .. 10 minutes ................... 20 hours ....................... 93 hours. 640 hours. 38 Railroads ................ 7,600 trained conductors. 7,600 trained conductors. 3 hours ......................... 22,800 hours. 3 hours ......................... 22,800 hours. All estimates include the time for reviewing instructions; searching existing data sources; gathering or maintaining the needed data; and reviewing the information. Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(B), FRA solicits comments concerning: Whether these information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of FRA, including whether the information has practical utility; the accuracy of FRA’s estimates of the burden of the information collection requirements; the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and whether the burden of collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 38 Railroads ................ technology, may be minimized. For information or a copy of the paperwork package submitted to OMB, contact Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Clearance Officer, Office of Safety, at 202–493– 6292, or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of Information Technology, at 202–493– 6132, or via email at the following addresses: Robert.Brogan@dot.gov; Kimberly.Toone@dot.gov. Organizations and individuals desiring to submit comments on the collection of information requirements should direct them to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FRA Desk Officer. Comments may also be sent via email to the Office of Management and Budget at the PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Total annual burden hours following address: oira_submissions@ omb.eop.gov. OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information requirements contained in this final rule responding to petitions for reconsideration between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. FRA cannot impose a penalty on persons for violating information collection requirements which do not display a current OMB control number, if required. FRA intends to obtain current OMB control numbers for any new information collection requirements resulting from this E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49714 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES rulemaking action prior to the effective date of this final rule. The OMB control number, when assigned, will be announced by separate notice in the Federal Register. E. Federalism Implications Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism’’ (64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999), requires FRA to develop an accountable process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.’’ ‘‘Policies that have federalism implications’’ are defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have ‘‘substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ Under Executive Order 13132, the agency may not issue a regulation with federalism implications that imposes substantial direct compliance costs and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments or the agency consults with State and local government officials early in the process of developing the regulation. Where a regulation has federalism implications and preempts State law, the agency seeks to consult with State and local officials in the process of developing the regulation. FRA has analyzed this rule in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. If adopted, this rule would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. FRA has also determined that this rule would not impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply. However, this rule could have preemptive effect by operation of law under 49 U.S.C. 20106 (Section 20106). Section 20106 provides that States may not adopt or continue in effect any law, regulation, or order related to railroad safety or security that covers the subject matter of a regulation prescribed or order issued by the Secretary of Transportation (with respect to railroad safety matters) or the Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to railroad security matters), except when VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 the State law, regulation, or order qualifies under the ‘‘local safety or security hazard’’ exception to Section 20106. In sum, FRA has analyzed this rule in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. As explained above, FRA has determined that this rule has no federalism implications, other than the possible preemption of State laws under Section 20106. Accordingly, FRA has determined that preparation of a federalism summary impact statement for this rule is not required. F. Environmental Impact FRA has evaluated this rule in accordance with its ‘‘Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts’’ (FRA’s Procedures) (64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), other environmental statutes, Executive Orders, and related regulatory requirements. FRA has determined that this action is not a major FRA action (requiring the preparation of an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment) because it is categorically excluded from detailed environmental review pursuant to section 4(c)(20) of FRA’s Procedures. 64 FR 28547, May 26, 1999. In accordance with section 4(c) and (e) of FRA’s Procedures, the agency has further concluded that no extraordinary circumstances exist with respect to this final rule that might trigger the need for a more detailed environmental review. As a result, FRA finds that this rule is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 Pursuant to Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4, 2 U.S.C. 1531), each Federal agency ‘‘shall, unless otherwise prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector (other than to the extent that such regulations incorporate requirements specifically set forth in law).’’ Section 202 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1532) further requires that ‘‘before promulgating any general notice of proposed rulemaking that is likely to result in the promulgation of any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) [currently $140,800,000] in any 1 year, and before PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 promulgating any final rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking was published, the agency shall prepare a written statement’’ detailing the effect on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. FRA is publishing this final rule to provide additional flexibility in standards for the development, testing, implementation, and use of PTC systems for railroads mandated by RSIA to implement PTC systems. The RIA provides a detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of the final rule. This analysis is the basis for determining that this rule will not result in total expenditures by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $140,800,000 or more in any one year. The costs associated with this final rule are reduced accident reduction from an existing rule. H. Energy Impact Executive Order 13211 requires Federal agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for any ‘‘significant energy action.’’ See 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001). Under the Executive Order a ‘‘significant energy action’’ is defined as any action by an agency that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices of proposed rulemaking: (1)(i) that is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 or any successor order, and (ii) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. FRA has evaluated this rule in accordance with Executive Order 13211. FRA has determined that this rule is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Consequently, FRA has determined that this final rule is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ within the meaning of the Executive Order. I. Privacy Act FRA wishes to inform all interested parties that anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any agency docket by the name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Interested parties may also review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations necessary to retain a permissive state of a safety appliance. (b) Exception. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the following: (1) Circuits that include track rail; (2) Alternating current power distribution circuits that are grounded in the interest of safety; (3) Circuitry internal to microprocessor-based appliances; (4) Circuitry internal to semiconductor-based memory; and (5) Common return wires of grounded common return single break circuits. (65 FR 19477) or visit https:// www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice. List of Subjects 49 CFR Part 234 Highway safety, Highway-rail grade crossings, Penalties, Railroad safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 49 CFR Part 235 Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Railroad safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. PART 235—[AMENDED] 49 CFR Part 236 ■ Penalties, Positive Train Control, Railroad safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.89. The Rule ■ In consideration of the foregoing, FRA amends chapter II, subtitle B of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations as follows: § 235.6 Expedited application for approval of certain changes. 4. The authority citation for part 235 is revised to read as follows: PART 234—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 234 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107, 20152, 21301, 21304, 21311, 22501 note; Pub. L. 110–432, Div. A, Secs. 202, 205; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.89. ■ 2. Revise § 234.207 to read as follows: § 234.207 Adjustment, repair, or replacement of component. (a) When any essential component of a highway-rail grade crossing warning system fails to perform its intended function, including but not limited to failures resulting in an activation failure, partial activation, or false activation, the cause shall be determined and the faulty component adjusted, repaired, or replaced without undue delay. (b) If the failure of an essential component results in an activation failure, partial activation, or false activation, as defined in § 234.5, a railroad shall take appropriate action under § 234.105, Activation failure, § 234.106, Partial activation, or § 234.107, False activation, until adjustment, repair, or replacement of the essential component is completed. ■ 3. Revise § 234.213 to read as follows: rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES § 234.213 Grounds. (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each circuit that affects the proper functioning of a highway-rail grade crossing warning system shall be kept free of any ground or combination of grounds that will permit a current flow of 75 percent or more of the value VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 5. Add § 235.6 to read as follows: (a) Qualifying changes. A railroad may seek approval under this section, instead of under §§ 235.5 and 235.9– 235.20 of this chapter for the following changes: (1) Modification of a signal system consisting of the installation, relocation, or removal of one or more signals, interlocked switches, derails, movablepoint frogs, or electric locks in an existing system directly associated with the implementation of positive train control pursuant to subpart I of part 236 of this chapter, if the modification does not include the discontinuance or decrease of limits of a signal or train control system. (2) [Reserved] (b) Procedure of expedited application. (1) To seek approval under this section, a railroad shall provide a notice and profile plan for the proposed modification to the FRA Regional Administrator having jurisdiction over the affected territory. (2) Simultaneously with its filing with the FRA Regional Administrator, the railroad shall serve, either by hard copy or electronically, a copy of the notice and profile plan to representatives of employees responsible for maintenance, inspection, and testing of the affected signal system under part 236 of this chapter, as well as representatives of employees responsible for operating trains or locomotives in the affected territory. (3) The railroad shall include in its submission to the FRA Regional Administrator a statement affirming that the railroad has complied with the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section, together with a list of the names and addresses of the persons served. PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49715 (4) In response to receipt of a notice and profile plan under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall in writing deny or approve, in full or in part, and with or without conditions, the request for signal system modification. For any portion of the request that is denied, the Regional Administrator shall refer the issue to the Railroad Safety Board as an application to modify the signal system. (5) A railroad may rescind its application to the Regional Administrator and submit an application under §§ 235.5 and 235.9– 235.20 of this chapter at any time prior to the decision of the Regional Administrator. (c) The resultant arrangement of any change under this section shall comply with part 236 of this chapter. PART 236—[AMENDED] 6. The authority citation for part 236 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20102–20103, 20107, 20133, 20141, 20157, 20301–20303, 20306, 20701–20703, 21301–21302, 21304; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.89. § 236.0 ■ ■ [Amended] 7. In § 236.0, remove paragraph (i). 8. Revise § 236.2 to read as follows: § 236.2 Grounds. (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each circuit, the functioning of which affects the safety of train operations, shall be kept free of any ground or combination of grounds having a current flow of 75 percent or more of the value necessary to retain a permissive state of a safety appliance. (b) Exception. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the following: (1) Circuits that include any track rail; (2) The common return wires of single-wire, single-break, and signal control circuits using a grounded common; (3) Circuitry internal to microprocessor-based appliances; (4) Circuitry internal to semiconductor-based memory; or (5) Alternating current power distribution circuits that are grounded in the interest of safety. ■ 9. Revise § 236.15 to read as follows: § 236.15 Timetable instructions. Automatic block, traffic control, train stop, train control, cab signal, and positive train control territory shall be designated in timetable instructions. ■ 10. Revise § 236.567 to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49716 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations § 236.567 Restrictions imposed when device fails and/or is cut out en route. (a) Except as provided in subparts H or I of this part, where an automatic train stop, train control, or cab signal device fails and/or is cut out en route, the train on which the device is inoperative may proceed to the next available point of communication where report must be made to a designated officer, at speeds not to exceed the following: (1) If no block signal system is in operation, restricted speed; or (2) If a block signal system is in operation, according to signal indication but not to exceed 40 miles per hour. (b) Upon completion and communication of the report required by paragraph (a) of this section, a train may continue to a point where an absolute block can be established in advance of the train at speeds not to exceed the following: (1) If no block signal system is in operation, restricted speed; or (2) If a block signal system is in operation, according to signal indication but not to exceed 40 miles per hour. (c) Upon reaching the location where an absolute block has been established in advance of the train, as referenced in paragraph (b) of this section, the train may proceed at speeds not to exceed the following: (1) If no block signal system is in operation and the train is a passenger train, 59 miles per hour; (2) If no block signal system is in operation and the train is a freight train, 49 miles per hour; and (3) If a block signal system is in operation, 79 miles per hour. § 236.1003 [Amended] 11. In § 236.1003, remove the words ‘‘PIH Materials’’ and add, in their place, ‘‘PIH materials’’. ■ 12. In § 236.1005, revise the header row in the table in paragraph (a)(1)(i), revise the heading of paragraph (b)(4)(iii), and revise paragraphs (b)(4)(iii)(A), (b)(4)(iii)(B), and (b)(4)(iii)(C) to read as follows: ■ § 236.1005 Requirements for Positive Train Control systems. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) * * * Max. speed Crossing type * * * Protection required * (b) * * * (4) * * * VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 * (iii) Freight lines with de minimis risk not used for regularly provided intercity or commuter rail passenger service. (A) In a PTCIP or an RFA, a railroad may request review of the requirement to install a PTC system on a track segment where a PTC system is otherwise required by this section, but has not yet been installed, based upon the presence of a minimal quantity of PIH materials traffic. Any such request shall be accompanied by estimated traffic projections for the next 5 years (e.g., as a result of planned rerouting, coordination, or location of new business on the line). Where the request involves prior or planned rerouting of PIH materials traffic, the railroad must provide the information and analysis identified in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section. The submission shall also include a full description of potential safety hazards on the segment of track and fully describe train operations over the line. This paragraph does not apply to line segments used for commuter rail or intercity rail passenger service. (B) Absent special circumstances related to specific hazards presented by operations on the line segment, FRA will approve a request for relief under this paragraph for a rail line segment that meets all of the following criteria: (1) That carries less than 15 million gross tons annually; (2) That does not have a heavy grade as ‘‘heavy grade’’ is defined in § 232.407 of this chapter for any train operating over the track segment; (3) Where the railroad adopts and complies with an operating rule requiring the crew of any train approaching working limits established under part 214 of this chapter to notify the roadway worker in charge of the train’s approach at least 2 miles in advance of the working limits or, if the train crew does not have advance knowledge of the working limits, as soon as practical; (4) That carries fewer than 100 cars containing PIH materials per year, excluding those cars containing only a residue, as defined in § 171.8 of this title, of PIH materials; (5) That carries 2 or fewer trains per day carrying any quantity of PIH materials; (6) Where trains carrying any quantity of PIH materials operate at speeds not to exceed 40 miles per hour; and (7) Where any train transporting a car containing any quantity of PIH materials is operated with a vacant block ahead of and behind the train. (C) FRA may, in its discretion, approve other track segments not used for regularly provided intercity or commuter passenger service that have PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 posed an equivalent or lesser level of risk of a PTC-preventable accident or PIH materials release as those track segments covered by paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, where such other track segments are similar to those covered by paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) of this section. * * * * * ■ 13. In § 236.1006, revise paragraph (a), remove and reserve paragraph (b)(2), and add paragraphs (b)(5) and (d) to read as follows: § 236.1006 Equipping locomotives operating in PTC territory. (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each locomotive, locomotive consist, or train on any track segment equipped with a PTC system shall be controlled by a locomotive equipped with an onboard PTC apparatus that is fully operative and functioning in accordance with the applicable PTCSP approved under this subpart. (b) * * * (2) [Reserved] * * * * * (5) Freight yard movements. For the purpose of freight switching service or freight transfer train service, a locomotive, locomotive consist, or train may operate without onboard PTC apparatus installed or operational where an onboard PTC apparatus is otherwise required by this part only if all of the following six requirements and conditions are met: (i) The locomotive, locomotive consist, or train must be engaged in freight switching service or freight transfer train service, including yard, local, industrial, and hostling service, movements in connection with the assembling or disassembling of trains, and work trains; (ii) The movement must originate either: (A) In a yard; or (B) Within 20 miles of a yard with the yard as the final destination point; (iii) The locomotive, locomotive consist, or train shall not travel to a point in excess of 20 miles from its point of entry onto the PTC-equipped main line track; (iv) The speed of the locomotive, locomotive consist, or train shall not exceed restricted speed, except if: (A) No other locomotive, locomotive consist, or train is operating on any part of the route without an operational onboard PTC apparatus; (B) No working limits are established under part 214 of this chapter on any part of the route; and (C) Either an air brake test under part 232 of this chapter is performed, in E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations which case the locomotive, locomotive consist, or train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 30 miles per hour; or an air brake test under part 232 of this chapter is not performed, in which case the locomotive, locomotive consist, or train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 20 miles per hour; (v) The speed of the locomotive, locomotive consist, or train shall not exceed restricted speed on PTCequipped track where the route terminates; and (vi) The route of the locomotive or train is protected against conflicting operations by the PTC system and sufficient operating rules to protect against train-to-train collisions, as specified in the PTCSP. (vii) FRA may, in its discretion, approve yard movement procedures other than the yard movement procedures in paragraphs (b)(5)(i) through (b)(5)(vi) of this section in a PTCSP or an RFA that provide an equivalent or greater level of safety as the requirements of paragraphs (b)(5)(i) through (b)(5)(vi) of this section, where such procedures are similar to those of paragraphs (b)(5)(i) through (b)(5)(vi) of this section. (viii) A locomotive, locomotive consist, or train with an operative onboard PTC apparatus may assist a locomotive, locomotive consist, or train operating without an operative onboard PTC apparatus for purposes such as locomotive malfunction, rescue of locomotive or cars, or to add or remove power, provided that such a movement is made at restricted speed. * * * * * (d) Onboard PTC apparatus. (1) The onboard PTC apparatus shall be so arranged that each member of the crew assigned to perform duties in the locomotive can receive the same PTC information displayed in the same manner and execute any functions necessary to that crew member’s duties. The locomotive engineer shall not be required to perform functions related to the PTC system while the train is moving that have the potential to distract the locomotive engineer from performance of other safety-critical duties. (2) The onboard PTC apparatus may be distributed among multiple locomotives if such functionality is included with the applicable PTCSP approved under this subpart. The controlling locomotive shall be equipped with a fully operative interface that complies with paragraph (d)(1) of this section and is consistent with appendix E of this part. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 Jkt 232001 14. Add § 236.1009(a)(5) to read as follows: ■ § 236.1009 Procedural requirements. (a) * * * (5) Each railroad filing a PTCIP shall report annually, on the anniversary of its original PTCIP submission, and until its PTC system implementation is complete, its progress towards fulfilling the goals outlined in its PTCIP under this part, including progress towards PTC system installation pursuant to § 236.1005 and onboard PTC apparatus installation and use in PTC-equipped track segments pursuant to § 236.1006, as well as impediments to completion if each of the goals. * * * * * ■ 15. Add § 236.1015(d)(21) to read as follows: § 236.1015 PTC Safety Plan content requirements and PTC System Certification. * * * * * (d) * * * (21) A list of each location where a locomotive with a failed onboard PTC apparatus will be regularly be exchanged or repaired pursuant to § 236.1029(b)(6) and a list of each movement that could take place pursuant to § 236.1029(b)(6) if the movement potentially could exceed 500 miles. * * * * * ■ 16. Section 236.1029 is amended by— ■ a. Revising the section heading, ■ b. Revising the last sentence in paragraph (a), ■ c. Revising paragraphs (b) and (c), ■ d. Removing and reserving paragraph (f), and ■ e. Adding paragraphs (g) and (h). The revisions and additions read as follows: § 236.1029 PTC system use and failures. (a) In general. * * * Until repair of such essential components is completed, a railroad shall take appropriate action as specified in its PTCSP. (b) En route failures. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (g) of this section, where a controlling locomotive that is operating in, or is to be operated within, a PTC-equipped track segment experiences PTC system failure or the PTC system is otherwise cut out while en route (i.e., after the train has departed its initial terminal), the train may only continue in accordance with all of the following: (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(5) of this section, where no block signal system is in use, the train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 40 miles per hour; however, if the involved PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 49717 train is transporting one or more cars containing PIH materials, excluding those cars containing only a residue of PIH materials, the train may only proceed at a speed not to exceed 30 miles per hour. (2) Where a block signal system is in place: (i) A passenger train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 59 miles per hour; (ii) A freight train transporting one or more cars containing PIH materials, excluding those cars containing only a residue of PIH materials, may proceed at a speed not to exceed 40 miles per hour; and (iii) Any other freight train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 49 miles per hour. (3) Where a cab signal system with an automatic train control system is in use, the train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 79 miles per hour. (4) A report of the failure or cut-out must be made to a designated railroad officer of the host railroad as soon as safe and practicable. (5) Where the PTC system is the exclusive method of delivering mandatory directives, an absolute block must be established in advance of the train as soon as safe and practicable, and the train shall not exceed restricted speed until the absolute block in advance of the train is established. (6) Where the failure or cut-out is a result of a defective onboard PTC apparatus, the train may continue no farther than the next forward designated location for the repair or exchange of onboard PTC apparatuses. (c) Exception for alternative system failure procedure. A railroad may submit for approval a PTCSP, an RFA, or an Order of Particular Applicability with an alternative system failure procedure other than that required by paragraph (b) of this section. FRA may, in its discretion, approve such an alternative system failure procedure if it provides similar requirements of, and an equivalent or greater level of safety as, the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. * * * * * (f) [Reserved] (g) Temporary exceptions. From October 21, 2014 through the 24 months following the date of required PTC system implementation established by section 20157 of title 49 of the United States Code— (1) A railroad’s PTCSP or Order of Particular Applicability may provide for compliance with the en route failure requirements of § 236.567 instead of paragraph (b) of this section where a controlling locomotive that is operating E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1 49718 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 163 / Friday, August 22, 2014 / Rules and Regulations rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES in, or is to be operated within, a PTCequipped track segment experiences PTC system failure or the PTC system is otherwise cut out while en route; (2) A train may proceed as prescribed under either paragraph (b) of this section or § 236.567 where the PTC system fails to initialize for any reason prior to the train’s departure from its initial terminal; and (3) A railroad’s PTCSP may provide for the temporary disabling of PTC system service where necessary to perform PTC system repair or maintenance. In this paragraph (g)(3), ‘‘PTC system service’’ does not refer to the failure of the onboard PTC apparatus for a single locomotive, locomotive consist, or train. (i) The PTCSP shall specify appropriate operating rules to apply when the PTC system is temporarily disabled in accordance with this paragraph (g)(3). (ii) The railroad shall make reasonable efforts to schedule the temporary disabling of PTC system service for times posing the least risk to railroad safety. (iii) The railroad shall provide notice to the FRA regional office having jurisdiction over that territory at least 7 days in advance of planned temporary disabling of PTC system service and contemporaneous notice for unplanned temporary disabling of PTC system service. (iv) The PTC system that is temporarily disabled in accordance with this paragraph (g)(3) shall be placed back into service without undue delay. (h) Annual report of system failures. Annually, by April 16 of each year following the date of required PTC system implementation established by section 20157 of title 49 of the United States Code, each railroad shall provide FRA with a report of the number of PTC failures that occurred during the previous calendar year. The report shall identify failures by category, including but not limited to locomotive, wayside, communications, and back office system failures. Issued in Washington, DC, on August 8, 2014. Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 229 RIN 0648–BC90 Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; correction. AGENCY: This document contains corrections to the final rule to amend regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, which published June 27, 2014, with an effective date of August 26, 2014. DATES: Effective August 26, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kate Swails, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region, 978–282–8481, Kate.Swails@noaa.gov; or Kristy Long, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, 301–427–8440, Kristy.Long@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The final rule contains errors concerning the delineation of the boundary of the Cape Cod Bay Restricted Management Area. In addition, the final rule incorrectly omitted New Hampshire state waters from the definition of the Northern Inshore State Waters Management Area. This correction notice provides clarification regarding the correct boundaries of these management areas. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause under the Administrative Procedures Act to waive notice and opportunity for public comments as it is unnecessary for a nonsubstantive correcting amendment. SUMMARY: Corrections Accordingly, the final rule, in FR Doc. 2014–14936, published on June 27, 2014, in 79 FR 36586, is corrected as follows: ■ 1. On page 36614, in column 3, § 229.32(c)(7)(i) is revised to read as follows: Inshore State Trap/Pot Waters Area includes the state waters of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, with the exception of Massachusetts Restricted Area and those waters exempted under paragraph (a)(3) of this section. Federal waters west of 70°00′ N. lat. in Nantucket Sound are also included in the Northern Inshore State Trap/Pot Waters Area. * * * * * 2. On page 36616, in column 3, § 229.32(d)(3)(i) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations. * * * * * (d) * * * (3) Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area—(i) Area. The Cape Cod Bay restricted area is bounded by the following points and on the south and east by the interior shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Point CCB1 CCB2 CCB3 CCB4 * N. lat. .. .. .. .. * W. long. 41°46.8′ 42°12′ 42°12′ 42°04.8′ * 70°30′ 70°30′ 70°15′ 70°10′ * * 3. On page 36618, in column 2, § 229.32(e)(1)(i) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations. * * * * * (e) Restrictions applicable to drift gillnet gear—(1) Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area—(i) Area. The Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area is bounded by the following points and on the south and east by the interior shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Point CCB1 CCB2 CCB3 CCB4 * N. lat. .. .. .. .. * W. long. 41°46.8′ 42°12′ 42°12′ 42°04.8′ * 70°30′ 70°30′ 70°15′ 70°10′ * * [FR Doc. 2014–19849 Filed 8–21–14; 8:45 am] § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations. Dated: August 18, 2014. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. BILLING CODE 4910–06–P * [FR Doc. 2014–20003 Filed 8–21–14; 8:45 am] VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Aug 21, 2014 * * * * (c) * * * (7) Northern Inshore State Trap/Pot Waters Area—(i) Area. The Northern Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\22AUR1.SGM 22AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 163 (Friday, August 22, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 49693-49718]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19849]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Parts 234, 235, and 236

[Docket No. FRA-2011-0061, Notice No. 3]
RIN 2130-AC32


Positive Train Control Systems (RRR)

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FRA's final rule primarily amends the regulations implementing 
a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that certain 
passenger and freight railroads install positive train control (PTC) 
systems governing operations on certain main line tracks. This final 
rule revises an existing regulatory exception to the requirement to 
install a PTC system for track segments carrying freight only that 
present a de minimis safety risk. The final rule also adds a new 
exception for PTC-unequipped freight trains associated with certain 
freight yard operations to operate within PTC systems. The final rule 
also revises the existing regulations related to en route failures of a 
PTC system, adds new provisions related to other failures of a PTC 
system, and amends the regulations on applications for approval of 
certain modifications of signal and train control systems.
    Finally, this final rule makes technical amendments to FRA's other 
signal and train control regulations and FRA's regulations governing 
highway-rail grade crossing warning systems.

DATES: This final rule is effective October 21, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Hartman, Office of Safety 
Assurance and Compliance, Staff Director, Signal & Train Control 
Division, Federal Railroad Administration, Mail Stop 25, West Building 
3rd Floor West, Room W35-333, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6225) or Emily Prince, Trial Attorney, 
Office of Chief Counsel, RCC-10, Mail Stop 10, West Building 7th Floor, 
Room W75-208, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 
(telephone: 202-493-6146).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Abbreviations Frequently Used

AAR Association of American Railroads
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
FRA Federal Railroad Administration
MGT million gross tons
NPRM notice of proposed rulemaking
PIH material poisonous by inhalation (as defined in 49 CFR 171.8, 
173.115 and 173.132) hazardous material
PTC positive train control (as further described in 49 CFR 236.1005)
PTCIP PTC Implementation Plan (as required under 49 U.S.C. 20157 and 
further described in 49 CFR 236.1011)
PTCSP PTC Safety Plan (as further described in 49 CFR 236.1015)
PTCWG PTC Working Group of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee
RFA Request for Amendment (of a plan or system made by a railroad 
required to implement a PTC system as defined in 49 CFR 236.1003, in 
accordance with 49 CFR 236.1021)
RRR Retrospective Regulatory Review
RSAC Railroad Safety Advisory Committee
RSIA Sec. 104 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (Public Law 
110-432, Div. A) (49 U.S.C. 20157)
Sec. section
WG Working Group

Terms Frequently Used

    Categorical de minimis exception means the exception to the 
requirement to implement a PTC system on a given track segment provided 
by 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) before this final rule is 
effective and by 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) after this final 
rule is effective.
    General de minimis exception means the exception to the requirement 
to implement a PTC system on a given track segment provided by 49 CFR 
236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C) that existed prior to this final rule and by 49 
CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (C) after this final rule is effective.
    Old section or old provision refers to the section or provision as 
it existed on the day before the section or provision of this final 
rule is effective. PTC-preventable accident means an accident or 
incident that could be prevented by the functions of a positive train 
control system required by 49 U.S.C. 20157.

Table of Contents for Supplementary Information

I. Executive Summary
II. Statutory and Regulatory Background and Proceedings to Date
III. Public Participation
    A. RSAC Process and the PTC Working Group
    B. Comments Received
    1. In General
    2. Comments on Sec.  236.1021, Discontinuances, Material 
Modifications, and Amendments, Which Is Unchanged
    3. Comments on Paragraph (c), Limited Operations Exception, of 
Sec.  236.1019, Main Line Track Exceptions, Which Is Unchanged
    4. Comments on Cost of Transportation of Certain Radioactive 
Lading
IV. Section-by-Section Analysis
V. Regulatory Impact and Notices
    A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272
    C. Executive Order 13175
    D. Paperwork Reduction Act
    E. Federalism Implications
    F. Environmental Impact
    G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    H. Energy Impact
    I. Privacy Act

I. Executive Summary

    Section 104 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Public Law 
110-432, 122 Stat. 4854, (Oct. 16, 2008) (codified at 49 U.S.C. 20157) 
(hereinafter ``RSIA'') requires the installation of PTC systems 
governing all train operations on certain track. RSIA defines ``PTC 
system'' as ``a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, 
over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, 
and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong 
position.'' 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(3). While there are different PTC system 
configurations, and there is no specific technological model that 
defines a PTC system, all PTC systems generally have the same four 
parts: (1) An onboard apparatus for the locomotive controlling each 
applicable train; (2) wayside devices such as wayside interface units;

[[Page 49694]]

(3) a centralized dispatch system; and (4) a communications system 
linking these components.
    On December 11, 2012, FRA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) primarily to amend its existing PTC regulations to provide 
covered railroads with additional regulatory guidance and flexibility 
for their implementation of this statutory mandate. 77 FR 73589. Having 
considered public comments in response to the NPRM and FRA's subsequent 
notice of clarification issued on January 28, 2013 (78 FR 5767), and 
having later met with the PTC Working Group (PTC WG) of the Railroad 
Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), FRA now responds to the comments on 
the proposed regulatory changes and issues this final rule, which will 
become effective on October 21, 2014.
    For years, FRA has supported the nationwide proliferation and 
implementation of PTC systems, forecasting substantial benefits of 
advanced train control technology in supporting a variety of business 
and safety purposes. In 2005, for example, FRA promulgated regulations 
providing for the voluntary implementation of processor-based train 
control systems. See 70 FR 11,052 (Mar. 7, 2005) (codified at 49 CFR 
part 236, subpart H). However, implementation was not mandated by FRA 
because the costs for the systems far outweighed the possible safety 
benefits at that time.
    Partially as a consequence of certain very severe railroad 
accidents, coupled with a series of other less serious accidents, 
Congress passed RSIA, which mandates the implementation of PTC systems 
by December 31, 2015, on lines meeting certain thresholds. RSIA 
requires PTC system implementation on all Class I railroad main lines 
that carry poison- or toxic-by-inhalation hazardous (PIH or TIH) 
materials and 5 million gross tons (MGT) or more of annual traffic, and 
on any railroad's main line tracks over which intercity or commuter 
rail passenger train service is regularly provided. In addition, RSIA 
provides the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) with the authority 
to require PTC system implementation on any other line. The Secretary 
has delegated this authority to the Administrator of FRA. 49 CFR 1.89 
(formerly codified at 1.49).
    FRA's existing PTC regulations (codified primarily in 49 CFR part 
236 subpart I) include various exceptions from mandatory PTC system 
implementation. For instance, the de minimis exception was developed to 
provide railroads an opportunity to avoid PTC system implementation on 
certain freight-only track segments where the burdens of the regulation 
would yield a gain of trivial or no value. See 49 CFR 
236.1005(b)(4)(iii). In accordance with FRA's statutory authority, 
FRA's existing regulations also include a limited operations exception, 
which is for passenger operations or segments over which limited or no 
freight railroad operations occur. 49 CFR 236.1019(c).
    In a petition for rulemaking dated April 22, 2011 (``Petition''), 
the Association of American Railroads (AAR) requested that FRA initiate 
a rulemaking to expand the de minimis exception and otherwise amend the 
rules concerning the limited operations exception, en route failures of 
trains operating within PTC systems, and the discontinuance of signal 
systems once PTC systems are installed. AAR also requested that FRA 
develop a new exception that would allow unequipped trains associated 
with certain yard operations to operate within PTC systems. In response 
to the Petition, FRA issued an NPRM on December 11, 2012, proposing 
several changes to part 236, subpart I, and expressing concerns over 
several other suggestions made in the Petition. The scope of the 
rulemaking was later clarified in a notice of clarification published 
January 28, 2013, in order to ensure that all commenters were aware 
that all of the Petition's proposals remained open for consideration.
    Having considered the public comments on the NPRM and notice of 
clarification and discussions with the RSAC PTC Working Group, FRA is 
promulgating this final rule. The rule makes substantial revisions to 
the de minimis exception for freight-only track segments under 49 CFR 
236.1005(b)(4)(iii). In particular, this final rule revises the annual 
car limitation to remove cars containing only a residue \1\ of PIH 
materials; replaces the criterion ``ruling grade of less than one 
percent'' with the term ``heavy grade'' as defined in FRA's end-of-
train device rule; limits to two per day the number of trains carrying 
any quantity of PIH materials; and replaces the temporal separation 
requirement with a requirement that a train carrying any quantity of 
PIH materials be operated with a vacant block ahead of and behind the 
train. A new exception for PTC-unequipped locomotives used in freight 
operations and PTC-unequipped freight trains has been added, which 
allows yard movements by these locomotives and trains to operate on 
PTC-equipped main track with speed restrictions and with operating 
rules in place to protect against conflicting movements. Further, the 
en route failure provision at 49 CFR 236.1029 has also been revised to 
remove the requirement that an absolute block be placed in advance of 
train movements where the onboard PTC apparatus fails en route, as well 
as to add several temporary exceptions that last from the effective 
date of the final rule through the two years after the statutory 
deadline for PTC system implementation. In addition to these changes, 
the final rule provides in 49 CFR part 235 an alternative method for 
reviewing some applications for signal system modifications related to 
PTC system implementation and makes a number of technical corrections 
to 49 CFR parts 234 and 236.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ As defined in 49 CFR 171.8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the first 20-years of the final rule, the estimated quantified 
benefits to society, due to the regulatory changes, total approximately 
$700 million discounted at 7 percent and $922 million discounted at 3 
percent. The largest components of the benefits come from reduced costs 
of PTC system wayside components because of extensions of the de 
minimis risk exception under 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii) and reduced 
costs of onboard PTC systems on locomotives used in freight operations 
in yard areas. A smaller benefit, independent of the other benefits, 
comes from changes to the application process for a discontinuation or 
material modification of a signal system under 49 CFR part 235 where 
the application would have been filed as part of a PTC system 
installation.
    FRA analyzed the final rule under three cases. The ``base case'' is 
FRA's best estimate of the likely impact of the final rule. To address 
uncertainty related to assumptions and inputs, FRA also analyzed a 
``high case,'' where the impacts are greater than FRA's best estimate, 
and a ``low case,'' where the impacts are less than FRA's best 
estimate. The cases used for the sensitivity analysis are discussed in 
more detail below, in the discussion of regulatory impact. All values 
in the analysis are measured in 2009 dollars. FRA is using 2009 dollars 
throughout this analysis, to aid in comparison to the analysis of the 
original 2010 PTC rule. The following table presents the quantified 
benefits discounted over 20 years:

[[Page 49695]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Discount factor
                                   -------------------------------------
                                        7 percent          3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..           $397,319           $446,926
    Wayside Installation Benefit..        446,266,012        587,977,605
    Onboard Installation Benefit..        252,858,508        333,153,625
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............        699,521,839        921,578,156
High case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..            397,319            446,926
    Wayside Installation Benefit..        892,532,024      1,175,955,209
    Onboard Installation Benefit..        316,073,135        416,442,032
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............      1,209,002,478      1,592,844,167
Low case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..            397,319            446,926
    Wayside Installation Benefit..        328,700,721        433,079,503
    Onboard Installation Benefit..        180,785,397        238,193,726
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............        509,883,437        671,720,155
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals in each respective category may not add due to rounding.

    For the same 20-year period, the estimated quantified cost totals 
$6.61 million discounted at 7 percent and $9.75 million discounted at 3 
percent. The costs associated with the regulatory relief result from a 
slight increase in accident avoidance risk. FRA was able to estimate 
the monetized costs affected by changes in the de minimis provisions, 
but was not able to estimate the costs of changes to the provision 
affecting locomotives in yard areas. The following table presents the 
total quantified costs of the final rule:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Discount factor
                                               -------------------------
                                                 7 percent    3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case.....................................   $6,609,680   $9,752,784
High Case.....................................    6,609,680    9,752,784
Low Case......................................    4,937,849    7,285,947
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The net benefit amounts for each case, subtracting the costs from 
the benefits, provide the following results:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Discount factor
                                       ---------------------------------
                                           7 percent        3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case.............................     $692,912,160     $911,825,373
High Case.............................    1,202,392,799    1,583,091,384
Low Case..............................      504,945,587      664,434,208
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The analysis indicates that the savings of the final rule far 
outweigh the cost.

II. Statutory and Regulatory Background and Proceedings to Date

    The President signed RSIA into law on October 16, 2008, mandating 
PTC system implementation by December 31, 2015. To effectuate this 
goal, RSIA required the covered railroads to submit for FRA approval a 
PTC implementation plan (PTCIP) within 18 months (i.e., by April 16, 
2010).
    On July 27, 2009, FRA published an NPRM regarding the mandatory 
implementation and operation of PTC systems in accordance with RSIA. 
During the comment period for that proceeding, CSX Transportation, Inc. 
(CSX) suggested that FRA create a de minimis exception to the 
requirement that lines carrying PIH materials traffic (but not 
applicable passenger traffic) be equipped with PTC systems.
    The final rule, published on January 15, 2010, included a de 
minimis exception, since FRA believed that it contained significant 
merit and that it fell within the scope of the issues set forth in the 
proposed rule. However, since none of the parties had an opportunity to 
comment on this specific exception as provided in the final rule, FRA 
sought further comments on the extent of the de minimis exception. The 
further comments responsive to this issue were largely favorable, 
although AAR sought some further modification and clarification. In 
publishing its second PTC system final rule on September 27, 2010, FRA 
decided not to amend the de minimis exception any further based on the 
comments submitted.
    AAR, in its Petition dated April 22, 2011, requested that FRA 
initiate a rulemaking to expand the de minimis exception and otherwise 
amend the rules concerning the limited operations exception, en route 
failures of trains operating with PTC systems, and the discontinuance 
of signal systems once PTC systems were installed. AAR also requested 
that FRA develop a new exception to allow unequipped trains to operate 
on PTC lines during certain yard operations. On October 21, 2011, FRA 
held a meeting in Washington, DC with the PTC WG to the RSAC to seek 
input and guidance concerning the issues raised in AAR's Petition and 
other technical amendments. FRA facilitated a valuable group discussion 
relating to each of the proposed amendments.
    Taking into account this input, FRA published an NPRM on December 
11, 2012. With respect to the categorical de minimis exception at 49 
CFR 236.1005(b)(4)(iii), FRA proposed to modify the categorical de 
minimis exception to raise the maximum number of freight cars 
containing PIH materials from fewer than 100 cars to fewer than 200 
cars and revise the grade limitation to be more consistent with the 
definition of ``heavy grade'' present in 49 CFR part 232. FRA also 
proposed to remove the traffic limitation of 15 MGT from the general de 
minimis exception in paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C), but not the categorical 
exception in paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B). In response to AAR's suggestions 
for a yard move exception, FRA proposed to add a freight yard movement 
exception, which would authorize movements by unequipped locomotives 
over PTC-equipped main line track segments for the purpose of switching 
service or transfer train movements related to freight operations. FRA 
did not propose to create an additional limited operations exemption, 
remove oversight from signal system discontinuances, or modify the 
default rules for resolving en route failures of a PTC system, though 
FRA requested comments on these elements of AAR's Petition. FRA also 
proposed a number of technical amendments to the signal and grade 
crossing regulations of 49 CFR parts

[[Page 49696]]

234, 235, and 236. After learning that some viewed the scope of the 
NPRM as ambiguous, FRA published a notice of clarification on January 
28, 2013, to ensure that commenters would have an adequate opportunity 
to address each element of AAR's Petition. After the close of the 
comment period, FRA held a meeting of the RSAC PTC WG on May 24, 2013, 
in order to gather more information relating to the comments and an 
additional meeting on July 9, 2013, to discuss draft rule text.

III. Public Participation

A. RSAC Process and the PTC Working Group

    In March 1996, FRA established RSAC, which provides a forum for 
developing consensus recommendations to the Administrator of FRA on 
rulemakings and other safety program issues. 61 FR 9740 (Mar. 11, 
1996). RSAC's charter under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 
92-463) was most recently renewed in 2014. 79 FR 28591 (May 16, 2014).
    RSAC includes representation from all of FRA's major stakeholders, 
including railroads, labor organizations, suppliers and manufacturers, 
and other interested parties. An alphabetical list of RSAC members 
includes the following:

AAR;
American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners;
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 
(AASHTO);
American Chemistry Council (ACC);
American Petroleum Institute;
American Public Transportation Association (APTA);
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA);
American Train Dispatchers Association;
Association of Railway Museums;
Association of State Rail Safety Managers (ASRSM);
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET);
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED);
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS);
The Chlorine Institute, Inc.;
Federal Transit Administration (FTA);*
The Fertilizer Institute;
High Speed Ground Transportation Association;
Institute of Makers of Explosives;
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW);
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement;*
League of Railway Industry Women;*
National Association of Railroad Passengers;
National Association of Railway Business Women;*
National Conference of Firemen & Oilers;
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak);
National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRCMA);
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); *
Railway Passenger Car Alliance;
Railway Supply Institute;
Safe Travel America;
Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transporte; *
Sheet Metal Workers International Association;
Tourist Railway Association Inc.;
Transport Canada; *
Transport Workers Union of America;
Transportation Communications International Union/BRC;
Transportation Security Administration; and
United Transportation Union (UTU).

    * Indicates associate, non-voting membership.

    When appropriate, FRA assigns a task to RSAC, and after 
consideration and debate, RSAC may accept or reject the task. If the 
task is accepted, RSAC establishes a working group that possesses the 
appropriate expertise and representation of interests to develop 
recommendations to FRA for action on the task. These recommendations 
are developed by consensus. A working group may establish one or more 
task forces to develop facts and options on a particular aspect of a 
given task. The task force then provides that information to the 
working group for consideration.
    If a working group comes to a unanimous consensus on 
recommendations for action, the proposal is presented to the full RSAC 
for a vote. If the proposal is accepted by a simple majority of RSAC, 
the proposal is formally recommended to FRA. FRA then determines what 
action to take on the recommendation. Because FRA staff members play an 
active role at the working group level in discussing the issues and 
options and in drafting the language of the consensus proposal, FRA is 
often favorably inclined toward the RSAC recommendation.
    However, FRA is in no way bound to follow the RSAC recommendation, 
and the agency exercises its independent judgment on whether the 
recommended rule achieves the agency's regulatory goal, is soundly 
supported, and is in accordance with policy and legal requirements. 
Often, FRA varies in some respects from the RSAC recommendation in 
developing the actual regulatory proposal or final rule. Any such 
variations would be noted and explained in the rulemaking document 
issued by FRA. If the working group or RSAC is unable to reach 
consensus on recommendations for action, FRA will proceed to resolve 
the issue through traditional rulemaking proceedings.
    In 2009, FRA re-convened the PTC Working Group that had produced 
the rule recommendation resulting in 49 CFR part 236, subpart H, the 
set of regulations governing the voluntary implementation of processor-
based signal and train control systems. The following organizations 
contributed members: AASHTO; ACC; Amtrak, APTA; ASLRRA; AAR; ASRSM; 
BMWED; BLET; BRS; FTA,* IBEW; NRCMA; NTSB; RSI; Transport Canada; * 
Tourist Railway Association, Inc.; and UTU. (The asterisk indicates 
associate, non-voting membership.)
    While the rule was not put before the PTC Working Group or the RSAC 
to develop a consensus on recommendations for action, FRA consulted 
with the PTC Working Group several times in the development of both the 
NPRM and this final rule.

B. Comments Received

1. In General
    FRA received nine comments in response to the NPRM. Two of these 
comments were from individuals. The remaining seven were from GE 
Transportation; the Western Interstate Energy Board High Level 
Radioactive Waste Committee (WIEB); Amtrak; AAR; ACC; a joint comment 
from the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and 
Transportation Workers, and the American Train Dispatchers Association; 
and the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. The majority of the 
content of these comments is discussed in the appropriate portions of 
the Section-by-Section Analysis. However, some portions of the Petition 
and comments received do not pertain to sections modified by this final 
rule. Unless otherwise noted, all references below to a ``section'' or 
to ``Sec.  '' refer to a section in title 49 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR).
2. Comments on Sec.  236.1021, Discontinuances, Material Modifications, 
and Amendments, Which Is Unchanged
    AAR, in its Petition, recommends that FRA allow automatic approval 
for the removal of cab signal systems from PTC-equipped lines or the 
removal of any signal system where stand-alone PTC systems are used, 
avoiding the need for an application pursuant to 49 CFR part 235 or the 
parallel process established by Sec.  236.1021. However, the Petition 
did not provide adequate justification to support the categorical 
approval of such changes without any FRA oversight. AAR's petition even 
conceded that new PTC systems are likely to suffer en route failures, 
as discussed in more detail

[[Page 49697]]

below. Such failures would be mitigated by the presence of an 
underlying signal system. FRA noted these difficulties in the NPRM, and 
the comments received did not provide a basis to conclude otherwise; 
the only comment received on the matter was a comment against the 
proposal. Additionally, Amtrak's comment on Sec.  235.7, discussed 
below, reflects a similar concern with the proposal for this section. 
The final rule does not amend Sec.  236.1021.
3. Comments on Paragraph (c), Limited Operations Exception, of Sec.  
236.1019, Main Line Track Exceptions, Which Is Unchanged
    AAR also suggested in its Petition that FRA should exempt certain 
limited freight operations in a similar manner as provided for limited 
passenger operations under Sec.  236.1019(c). AAR suggested exempting 
track segments over which not more than two trains containing PIH 
materials carloads are transported daily, where the annual freight 
traffic over the line is less than 15 MGT. RSIA provided FRA with the 
authority to redefine ``main line'' for intercity or commuter rail 
passenger transportation routes or segments where there are limited or 
no freight operations. See 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(2)(B). Under this 
authority, FRA, in Sec.  236.1019(c), provides an exception from PTC 
system implementation on line segments where there are limited or no 
freight operations and where either all trains are limited to 
restricted speed, temporal separation is provided between passenger 
trains and other trains, or passenger service is operated under a risk 
mitigation plan. The purpose of Sec.  236.1019(c) is to eliminate the 
requirement for PTC system installation in the case of low-risk 
passenger operations.
    Because the express language of 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(2)(B) only 
applies to ``intercity rail passenger transportation or commuter rail 
passenger transportation routes or segments,'' FRA does not believe it 
is within its authority to use this statutory framework in order to 
exclude track segments carrying PIH materials from the PTC 
implementation mandate. Nevertheless, FRA recognizes that the exception 
sought by AAR already exists, albeit in a different and limited form. 
The exception of Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C) allows railroads to apply 
for an exception from the requirement to implement PTC systems on track 
segments where the railroad can demonstrate that the track segment 
poses an equivalent or lesser degree of risk as the track segments 
covered by the categorical de minimis exception. AAR, in its comment, 
recommended a new de minimis exception for track segments with only two 
trains carrying PIH materials per day and fewer than 300 loaded PIH 
cars annually, or 150 loaded PIH cars in dark territory. Given that the 
daily limit on trains carrying PIH materials has been added to the 
existing categorical de minimis exception as discussed above, this 
provision would effectively replace the categorical de minimis 
exception of Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii). While there may be some limited 
circumstances under which FRA could view a track segment with as many 
as 300 loaded PIH cars as posing an equivalent or lesser degree of 
risk, FRA does not have an adequate basis for concluding that would be 
the case for all circumstances. Accordingly, the final rule does not 
adopt AAR's suggestion to amend Sec.  236.1019.
4. Comments on Cost of Transportation of Certain Radioactive Lading
    The WIEB comment expresses concerns over costs of transportation of 
spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste as they may relate 
to PTC system implementation. However, these concerns are outside the 
scope of the present rulemaking.

IV. Section-by-Section Analysis

Amendments to 49 CFR Part 234, Grade Crossing Safety, Including Signal 
Systems, State Action Plans, and Emergency Notification Systems

Section 234.207 Adjustment, Repair, or Replacement of Component
    Until amended by this final rule, paragraph (b) of Sec.  234.207 
read as follows: ``Until repair of an essential component is completed, 
a railroad shall take appropriate action under Sec.  234.105, 
Activation failure, Sec.  234.106, Partial activation, or Sec.  
234.107, False activation, of this part.'' During training and 
enforcement actions, FRA has found the regulated entities to have 
misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the response required 
under Sec.  234.207. FRA believes that various regulated entities have 
misread paragraph (b) to indicate that the necessary response to any 
essential component of a highway-rail grade crossing warning system 
failing to perform its intended function under paragraph (a) is only 
applicable where the result of such failure is one of the three types 
of warning system malfunctions listed in paragraph (b). In the NPRM, 
FRA proposed to modify the language of paragraph (b) to make clear that 
if an essential component fails, it must be repaired without undue 
delay and regardless of whether the component failure results in an 
activation failure, partial activation, or false activation.
    In response to this proposal, one individual commenter asked under 
what circumstances an essential component could fail without 
constituting one of these three error states. FRA believes that such a 
circumstance could arise specifically in the context of a partial 
activation, which is defined to be an ``activation of a highway-rail 
grade crossing warning system indicating the approach of a train, 
however, the full intended warning is not provided due to one of the 
following conditions: (1) At non-gated crossings equipped with one pair 
of lights designed to flash alternately, one of the two lights does not 
operate properly (and approaching motorists cannot clearly see flashing 
back lights from the warning lights on the other side of the crossing; 
(2) at gated crossings, the gate arm is not in a horizontal position; 
or (3) at gated crossings, any portion of a gate arm is missing if that 
portion normally had a gate arm flashing light attached.'' This 
exclusive list of grade crossing partial activation failures requires 
remedial action under Sec.  234.106, but does not include all potential 
failures of essential components. For instance, at a gated crossing 
equipped with two pairs of lights designed to flash alternately, if one 
pair of lights is not operating as intended, that failure does not 
constitute a partial activation or activation failure, but is 
nonetheless a failure of an essential component of the grade crossing 
warning system that should be repaired without undue delay.
    The commenter also requested that FRA enumerate what constitutes an 
``essential component.'' FRA declines to do so, as the language is 
consistent with FRA's longstanding signal and train control rules.\2\ 
Given the variety of grade crossing warning systems currently in use, 
an exclusive list of components deemed essential would bloat the rule 
and would likely serve only to create more confusion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See 49 CFR 236.11 (``When any component of a signal system, 
the proper functioning of which is essential to the safety of train 
operation . . .''), 49 CFR 236.915 (``Until repair of such essential 
components [is] completed, a railroad shall take appropriate action 
as specified in the PSP.''), and 49 CFR 236.1029 (``Until repair of 
such essential components [is] completed, a railroad shall take 
appropriate action as specified in its PTCSP.''). See also 59 FR 
3051, 3056 (Jan. 20, 1994), proposing the ``essential component'' 
and the language is similar to the requirement in the present FRA 
signal rules at 49 CFR part 236.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To resolve the ambiguity of Sec.  234.207, paragraph (a) is amended 
to make clear that all failures of essential components,

[[Page 49698]]

including but not limited to failures resulting in an activation 
failure, partial activation, or false activation, must be investigated 
to determine the cause of the failure to perform their intended 
function and the failed components must be adjusted, repaired, or 
replaced without undue delay. Paragraph (b) is amended to make clear 
that, for those failures of essential components that constitute false 
activations, partial activations, and activation failures, railroads 
must also comply with Sec. Sec.  234.105, 234.106, or 234.107, as 
appropriate, until such adjustments, repairs, or replacements are made.
Section 234.213 Grounds
    Until amended by this final rule, Sec.  234.213 indicated that each 
circuit that affects the proper functioning of a highway-rail grade 
crossing warning system shall be kept free of any ground or combination 
of grounds that will permit a current flow of 75 percent or more of the 
release value of any relay or electromagnetic device in the circuit. 
With the migration of many warning systems, subsystems, and components 
from relay-based to microprocessor-based technologies, FRA believes 
that a more comprehensive indicator of prohibited current flow grounds 
is required. In the NPRM, FRA proposed to amend this language to 
prohibit any ground that could ``adversely affect the proper safety-
critical functioning of the warning system.''
    Several commenters noted the ambiguity of this language, and 
suggested revisions to both define the quantity at issue and the 
meaning of ``adversely affect.'' FRA agrees that the proposed language 
was unnecessarily ambiguous, and therefore is amending the proposed 
rule text to be consistent with its prior prohibition while addressing 
processor-based systems. The final rule prohibits any ground or 
combination of grounds that will permit a current flow of 75 percent or 
more of the value necessary to retain a permissive state of a safety 
appliance such as a highway-rail grade crossing warning system. Because 
it is neither feasible nor necessary to test the internal 
microprocessor or microprocessor memory circuitry for ground leakage 
current, the final rule also explicitly excludes such circuitry from 
the grounds prohibition. To improve the readability of the rule, the 
text has been separated into two paragraphs: Paragraph (a) providing 
the limitation on grounds, and paragraph (b) listing the exceptions.

Amendments to 49 CFR Part 235, Instructions Governing Applications for 
Approval of a Discontinuance or Material Modification of a Signal 
System or Relief From the Requirements of Part 236

Section 235.6 Expedited Application for Approval of Certain Changes
    This final rule adds new Sec.  235.6, which allows specified 
changes within existing signal or train control systems to be made 
without the necessity of filing an application for approval with FRA's 
Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer 
(Associate Administrator). The amendment provides each railroad a 
simplified process to obtain approval to modify existing signal systems 
directly associated with PTC system implementation.
    Under a different provision, Sec.  235.7, Changes not requiring 
filing of application, a railroad may avoid filing an application for a 
broad variety of modifications to a signal system, so long as the 
resultant arrangement is in compliance with part 236. FRA recognizes 
that, during the process of installing the wayside PTC equipment, the 
railroads may have the resources and time available to implement needed 
or desired wayside signal system upgrades. Such modifications generally 
require FRA approval in accordance with Sec.  235.5, Changes requiring 
filing of application. Given that the outcome of such modifications 
must be in compliance with part 236, FRA now creates an expedited 
approval process for modifications of the signal system by the 
installation, relocation, or removal of signals, interlocked switches, 
derails, movable-point frogs, or electronic locks in an existing system 
where the modification is directly associated with the implementation 
of PTC systems. Instead of filing an application for approval to the 
Associate Administrator, a railroad is permitted to instead submit its 
request to the FRA regional office that has jurisdiction over the 
affected territory, with a copy provided to representatives of signal 
employees, similar to the information provided under the provisions for 
pole line circuit elimination, Sec.  235.7(c)(24)(vi). If the Regional 
Administrator for the appropriate regional office denies approval of 
the requested modification, the request would then be forwarded to the 
FRA Railroad Safety Board as an application for signal system 
modification. However, express approval from the Regional Administrator 
is necessary before the modifications may begin. In the NPRM, this 
provision was located in a new paragraph of Sec.  235.7, but has been 
moved to a new section to reflect that it does not fall cleanly into 
either Sec.  235.5 or Sec.  235.7.
    Amtrak, in its comment, sought clarification that FRA does not 
intend to allow the removal of signal systems without approval under 
part 235. This reading is correct; the amendments to Sec.  235.7 do not 
allow the discontinuance of a signal system nor a decrease of its 
limits. FRA rejected such a proposal, as discussed in more detail below 
in the analysis of Sec.  236.1021. Section 235.5 defines three types of 
changes: discontinuance; decrease of limits; and modification. The 
language of Sec.  235.6 authorizes this expedited procedure only for 
modifications, and not for discontinuances or decreases of limits. 
Accordingly, a railroad may not use the process defined in Sec.  
235.7(d) for the removal of an entire signal system. Amtrak continues 
to have the authority to comment on any such proposed removal through a 
part 235 discontinuance proceeding or review of a railroad's Request 
for Amendment (of a plan or system made by a PTC railroad in accordance 
with Sec.  236.1021) (RFA) requesting discontinuance in accordance with 
Sec.  236.1021(c).
    AAR asked that FRA revise this section to be consistent with Sec.  
235.7(c)(24)(vi), governing modifications of signal systems as part of 
a conversion from pole line circuits to electronic (coded) track 
circuits. Paragraph (c)(24)(vi) provides that a signal system 
modification will be deemed acceptable unless the Regional 
Administrator stays action within 60 days of receiving notice from the 
railroad of the proposed modifications, whereas paragraph (d) requires 
an affirmative response from the Regional Administrator. Because FRA 
anticipates signal system modifications related to PTC system 
implementation to be of a broader nature than the modifications 
associated with pole line conversion, the 60-day deadline of the pole 
line conversion provision would not provide adequate time for review in 
all cases. However, FRA will work expeditiously to respond to all 
railroad requests for modifications under new Sec.  235.6.

Amendments to 49 CFR Part 236, Rules, Standards, and Instructions 
Governing the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of 
Signal and Train Control Systems, Devices, and Appliances

Section 236.0 Applicability, Minimum Requirements, and Penalties
    The final rule removes paragraph (i), Preemptive effect. FRA 
believes that this

[[Page 49699]]

provision is unnecessary because 49 U.S.C. 20106 sufficiently addresses 
the preemptive effect of FRA's regulations. Providing a separate 
Federal regulatory provision concerning the preemptive effect of 49 CFR 
part 236 is duplicative and unnecessary. FRA received no comments on 
the proposal to remove the provision on preemptive effect.
Section 236.2 Grounds
    Mirroring old Sec.  234.213, old Sec.  236.2 provided that each 
circuit that affects the safety of train operations shall be kept free 
of any ground, or combination of grounds, that permits a current flow 
of 75 percent or more of the release value of any relay or 
electromagnetic device in the circuit. For the same reasons cited in 
the discussion of old and revised Sec.  234.213 above, the final rule 
amends old Sec.  236.2 to prohibit any ground or combination of grounds 
that permits a current flow of 75 percent or more of the value 
necessary to retain a permissive state of a safety appliance, such as a 
signal lamp or locking circuit. As with Sec.  234.213, the text has 
been separated into two paragraphs: paragraph (a) providing the 
limitation on grounds, and paragraph (b) listing the exceptions.
Section 236.15 Timetable Instructions
    In the interest of providing clarity, FRA amends old Sec.  236.15 
to require explicitly the designation of PTC system territory, equal to 
the other types of signal and train control systems that are already 
required to be designated in a railroad's timetable instructions (i.e., 
``[a]utomatic block, traffic control, train stop, train control, and 
cab signal . . .''). During the July 9, 2013, PTC WG meeting, FRA 
discussed broadening the old provision to require that ``all signal and 
train control systems'' be designated in timetable instructions, in 
order to account for future advances in signal and train control 
systems. However, the discussion indicated that this change would cause 
more confusion, and accordingly the final rule simply adds PTC to the 
list of systems governing operations in a territory that must be 
designated in timetable instructions. Beyond that issue, FRA received 
no comments on this provision as proposed.
Section 236.567 Restrictions Imposed When Device Fails and/or Is Cut 
Out en Route
    Old Sec.  236.567, which applied to territories where ``an 
automatic train stop, train control, or cab signal device fails and/or 
is cut out en route,'' required trains with en route failures to 
proceed in a specified restrictive manner until reaching the next 
available point of communication, where a report had to be made to a 
designated officer and an absolute block had to be established in 
advance of the train on which the device was inoperative. Once the 
railroad established the absolute block (under the manual block 
system), the train was permitted to proceed at a speed not exceeding 79 
miles per hour (mph), premised upon the same requirement in old Sec.  
236.0 as applicable to a train operating in a manual block system with 
an absolute block in advance of the train. However, effective on or 
after January 17, 2012, manual block systems are no longer approved as 
a method of operation for freight trains operating at greater than 49 
mph or passenger trains operating at greater than 59 mph under Sec.  
236.0(c)(2). See 75 FR 2598 at 2607 (Jan. 15, 2010). This change to 
Sec.  236.0 resulted in an inconsistency between Sec.  236.0 and old 
Sec.  236.567, which was not contemporaneously revised.
    To rectify this inconsistency, FRA's present final rule amends old 
Sec.  236.567 to reflect the amendment previously made to Sec.  236.0. 
Accordingly, for trains operating in territory without a block signal 
system installed and operated in compliance with part 236, this 
amendment to old Sec.  236.567 reduces the maximum allowable speed from 
79 mph to 59 mph for passenger trains and to 49 mph for freight trains. 
Where a block signal system is operational, the maximum allowable speed 
remains at 79 mph. FRA received no comments on this provision as 
proposed.
    Because the harmonizing changes made the old paragraph structure 
too complicated, FRA has reorganized the section with discrete 
paragraphs for each of the three operating phases: (1) Prior to the 
report to a designated officer; (2) after the report but prior to the 
establishment of an absolute block in advance of the train; and (3) 
after the establishment of the absolute block. This reorganization does 
not change the meaning of Sec.  236.567, except as discussed above. For 
trains operating without a block signal system installed and operated 
in compliance with part 236, this amendment to Sec.  236.567 reduces 
the maximum allowable speed from 79 mph to 59 mph for passenger trains 
and to 49 mph for freight trains. Where a block signal system is 
operational, the maximum allowable speed remains at 79 mph. The 
language has also been revised to replace the phrase ``medium speed'' 
with an explicit speed, 40 mph, to reduce confusion.
Section 236.1003 Definitions
    The final rule replaces ``PIH Materials'' with ``PIH materials'' to 
correct an error in capitalization and to change the definition to make 
clear that even though the term is in the plural, the term includes the 
singular (i.e., only one PIH material).
Section 236.1005 Requirements for Positive Train Control Systems
    Paragraph (a) specifies PTC system functionality and implementation 
requirements. A typographical error is corrected in the table header in 
paragraph (a); an asterisk is present with no accompanying text.
    Paragraph (b) provides for certain exclusions and the temporary 
rerouting of unequipped locomotives, locomotive consists, and trains 
(i.e., locomotives, locomotive consists, and trains not equipped with 
PTC) on PTC-system-equipped track. Until amended by this final rule, 
the allowable exclusions of Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii) addressed track 
segments with de minimis risk based upon specified criteria that can be 
expected to result in a risk a PTC-preventable accident being 
negligible on the subject track segment. The categorical criteria under 
old paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) were as follows:
     A minimal amount of PIH materials cars transported (fewer 
than 100 cars per year, either loads or residue);
     A train speed limitation of either Class 1 or 2 track as 
described in 49 CFR part 213;
     Less than 15 MGT of traffic annually;
     A ruling grade of less than 1 percent; and
     A train-spacing requirement where any train transporting a 
car containing PIH materials (including a residue car) shall be 
operated under conditions of temporal separation from other trains.

A general de minimis exception under paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C) was also 
available for additional line segments carrying fewer than 100 PIH cars 
annually and less than 15 MGT annually and where it was established to 
the satisfaction of the Associate Administrator that risk mitigations 
will be applied that will ensure that risk of a release of PIH 
materials is negligible.
    In its Petition, AAR made certain proposals to modify these 
criteria, which are further discussed below. In the NPRM, FRA adopted 
some of these proposals, modified others, and rejected some elements. 
In this final rule, FRA is adopting additional elements of the Petition 
and adjusting the general de minimis exception for clarity.
    In considering the suggestions contained in the Petition, FRA

[[Page 49700]]

recognizes that any de minimis exception (in the generic sense of the 
term, as developed in case law) must apply in a way that fulfills 
Congress' intent. In other words, such exceptions must only cover 
situations where ``the burdens of regulation yield a gain of trivial or 
no value'' and should apply not ``to depart from the statute, but 
rather [as] a tool to be used in implementing the legislative design.'' 
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. EPA, 82 F.3d 451, 466 (D.C. Cir. 
1996) (inner quotations omitted); Alabama Power Co. v. Costle, 636 F.2d 
323, 360-61 (D.C. Cir. 1979).
    FRA continues to believe that de minimis exceptions are warranted 
for low-density main lines with minimal safety hazards that carry a 
truly minimal quantity of PIH materials. The preamble discussion to the 
final rule published January 15, 2010, focused primarily on the risks 
associated with PIH materials exposure. However, any de minimis 
exception must also consider the risks associated with the events that 
Congress intended PTC systems must be designed to prevent. In other 
words, when a de minimis exception applies, there must be de minimis 
risk that a train-to-train collision, overspeed derailment, incursion 
into a roadway worker zone, or movement over a switch in the wrong 
position may occur. See 49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(3).
    After reviewing the Petition and the comments received in response 
to the NPRM, FRA is amending the old categorical de minimis exception 
at Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) to reflect with the 
restrictions discussed below.
1. Annual Limit on Number of PIH Cars Carried on the Track Segment
    The final rule moves the annual limitation on cars carrying PIH 
materials from paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) into paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) 
and restricts its scope to no longer include cars containing only a 
residue of PIH material. As background, first, AAR proposed that the 
limit of fewer than 100 cars apply to loaded PIH cars only, not residue 
cars. FRA responded in the NPRM by proposing in Sec.  
236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) to increase the total car limit to fewer than 
200 cars containing PIH materials, including both loaded cars and 
residue cars, expressing concern that completely excluding residue cars 
from consideration could increase the risk of a PIH materials release 
beyond a negligible level. As was noted in the NPRM, most residue tank 
cars are routed back to the original shipper along the identical route 
that brought them to the location where they were offloaded. While this 
fact supported FRA's proposal, it also indicated that the impact of 
excluding residue cars from consideration would not dramatically 
increase the set of track segments eligible for the de minimis 
exception, as most track segments that would qualify under the limit of 
fewer than 100 loaded cars would also qualify under the limit of fewer 
than 200 loaded and residue cars. The PTC WG identified two situations 
where residue cars are not travelling back along an identical route to 
their original shipment route. First, AAR identified situations where 
multiple track segments deliver loaded tank cars, with residue car 
traffic being consolidated for a return trip. Second, several members 
of the PTC WG raised the issue of tank car repair facilities. Because a 
tank car is considered to be a residue car unless it is refilled or 
cleaned and purged, the locations where the cleaning and purging take 
place will necessarily have a disproportionately high volume of residue 
tank cars that does not necessarily entail a disproportionately high 
level of risk from the residue of PIH materials. As the hazards related 
to the movement of residue PIH cars are diminished somewhat compared to 
the hazards of loaded PIH cars, and considering the public interest in 
purging, cleaning, and repairing cars handling PIH materials in a 
timely manner, FRA finds it unnecessary to address those limited number 
of line segments that may haul significantly more residue cars than 
loaded cars. Moreover, the new limitations that must be met to qualify 
under the de minimis exception further reduce the risk from these 
residue cars. For these reasons, FRA concludes that removing residue 
cars from the annual limit of fewer than 100 cars is appropriate.
    This conclusion does not change DOT's underlying position on the 
risk posed by tank cars containing a residue of hazardous materials. 
Rather, FRA recognizes the contextual difference between regulating the 
treatment of individual tank cars containing a residue of hazardous 
materials and assessing the risk to a track segment as a whole based on 
the total number of tank cars containing a residue of hazardous 
materials operating over the track segment on an annual basis. It 
remains imperative for each car containing a residue of hazardous 
materials to be properly marked, labeled, placarded, and inspected 
prior to being offered for transportation, and to conform with all 
other regulations applicable to the transportation of hazardous 
materials. However, when viewed in conjunction with the other 
limitations of the de minimis exception, the movement of residue cars 
is not a determining factor in increasing the level of risk on a given 
track segment as a whole above a negligible level, and the final rule 
therefore removes cars containing only a residue of PIH materials from 
consideration in the annual car limit.
2. New Limit on the Number of Trains per Day Carrying Any Quantity of 
PIH Materials on the Track Segment
    The old rule text did not provide a daily train limitation. 
However, with the potential increase in PIH materials traffic moving 
over a track segment under this final rule, FRA views it to be 
necessary to look not only to the risk profile of a track segment on an 
annual basis, but also on a day-by-day basis. In the NPRM, FRA proposed 
to add the limitation on trains per day carrying PIH materials to 
ensure that the risk of PIH materials release remained negligible in 
light of the other changes made to the de minimis exception. Under 
ordinary circumstances, one might reasonably expect the overall number 
of cars containing PIH materials to be distributed throughout the year, 
such that the train-per-day limit would not be necessary. AAR noted 
this in its comment, opposing the imposition of the limit but stating, 
``[f]rom an operational perspective, this limit is not a significant 
issue because the annual limit on the number of PIH cars makes a 2-
train per day limit insignificant.'' This perspective assumes some 
degree of uniform distribution of cars carrying PIH materials, but that 
assumption may not be met in all circumstances. Absent a daily 
limitation on the number of trains carrying PIH materials, a railroad 
would be permitted to operate a large number of trains carrying PIH 
materials in a single day on a track segment subject to the de minimis 
exception, while nonetheless increasing the exposure to the risk of 
PIH-materials release on that day well above what would be the case in 
the ordinary situation of transporting cars containing PIH materials 
regularly throughout the year, due to the increased PIH materials 
traffic on that particular day. The qualitative judgment of FRA is that 
such a potential outcome would likely exceed negligible risk and 
therefore the final rule adds an additional limit of two trains 
carrying any quantity of PIH materials per day to the de minimis 
exception. Because this restriction is not a calculation of the level 
of risk posed by aggregate movements over the track segment, but rather 
governs the day-to-day operations on the track segment,

[[Page 49701]]

this limitation includes cars containing only a residue of PIH 
materials. The trains-per-day limitation removes such unusual 
operations from the scope of the general de minimis exception. It bears 
emphasis that AAR indicated in its comment that it viewed the 
limitation as ``insignificant,'' reflecting a degree of industry 
agreement with FRA's underlying premise that the limitation will not 
reach the ordinary circumstances that it is not intended to address. 
Rather, the limitation precludes only the unusual outlier situations 
which are best handled under paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C). A railroad 
anticipating one or more days upon which it expects to move many trains 
carrying PIH materials may request that the track segment at issue be 
excluded despite the high number of trains carrying PIH materials on 
particular days by showing what steps will be taken to render the 
exposure to risk of PIH-materials release on those days to a level 
equivalent or lesser than the risk of operations where the 
transportation of cars containing PIH materials is divided throughout 
the year.
3. Limit to Class 1 or 2 Track Segments or Limit the Speed of the PIH 
Trains Over the Track Segment
    Until amended by this final rule, the categorical de minimis 
exception, under Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(B)(1), limited maximum 
authorized train speed on the subject track segment to that afforded 
for Class 1 (10 mph) or Class 2 (25 mph) tracks in order to reduce the 
kinetic energy available in any accident and to ensure that involved 
tank cars carrying PIH materials are capable of surviving the forces 
generated. AAR's Petition proposed that the regulation provide a speed 
limitation only for those trains transporting PIH materials. 
Specifically, AAR proposed a speed restriction of 40 mph (i.e., the 
same maximum authorized speed provided for certain rail-to-rail at-
grade crossings under Sec.  236.1005(a)(1)(i)), to be enforced by 
operating rules and only for trains carrying PIH materials. In the 
NPRM, FRA expressed concern that increasing the speed limit on the 
track segment from 25 mph to 40 mph would substantially increase the 
risk of PIH materials release due to the increase in kinetic energy in 
the event of a collision. However, comments received in response to the 
NPRM and discussions with the PTC WG indicate that the current track 
class limitation serves as a disincentive to maintain the track segment 
to a higher standard. By moving from a limitation based on track class 
(restricting the speed of all movement over the track segment) to a 
speed restriction for only those trains carrying PIH materials, the 
revised rule will encourage routing the PIH materials traffic over 
track segments maintained to a higher quality, which should decrease 
the risk of track-caused incidents.\3\ Track-caused accidents and 
incidents are generally not PTC-preventable, but represent a larger 
percentage of accidents and incidents than PTC-preventable accidents 
and are appropriately considered when considering the overall level of 
risk posed by operations over a track segment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ See, e.g., Athaphon Kawprasert and Christopher P. L. Barkan, 
Effect of Train Speed on Risk Analysis of Transporting Hazardous 
Materials by Rail, 2159 Transportation Research Record 59 (Dec. 
2010), available at https://trb.metapress.com/content/7682666175324228.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the comments received and discussions during PTC WG 
meetings, FRA has also considered other limitations imposed on PIH 
materials traffic. When considering then-current tank car strength, the 
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration set a speed 
limitation of 50 mph for tank cars containing PIH materials. 49 CFR 
174.86. Since that rulemaking, newer tank car designs have further 
reduced the probability of rupture in the event of collision or 
derailment due to improvements in structural design. When combined with 
the other limitations of the de minimis exception, the 40-mph limit is 
an appropriate replacement for the track class restriction that existed 
in old Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(B)(1).
    In the NPRM, FRA also expressed concern regarding the enforcement 
of a speed restriction for trains carrying PIH materials. AAR responded 
in its comment by noting that any speed restriction would be subject to 
errors by the locomotive engineer, whether that speed restriction was 
imposed for all trains operating over a given track segment or only for 
those trains carrying PIH materials. This argument has merit; without a 
PTC system or automatic train control system, a train's speed is 
limited only by rule and is subject to human failure by the train crew. 
It is also not unusual for FRA regulations or railroad operating rules 
to require temporary speed restrictions for certain trains or certain 
track segments, such as where a significant track defect exists.
4. Limitation on the Grade of the Track Segment; Definition of ``Heavy 
Grade''
    In its Petition, AAR proposed that lines eligible for the 
categorical de minimis exception be restricted to grades that are not 
``heavy grades'' as defined by FRA in part 232. ``Heavy grade'' is 
defined in Sec.  232.407(a)(1).
    The steeper the grade, the more susceptible a train operation 
becomes to concerns relating to train handling, overspeed, and other 
factors that may contribute to a PTC-preventable accident. FRA 
continues to believe that placing a limit on ruling grade helps to 
avoid situations in which an engineer may lose control of a train as a 
result of a failure to make a timely and sufficiently strong brake 
application. In the NPRM, FRA expressed concern with the train-specific 
nature of the proposed definition, as the requirement to implement PTC 
systems applies to track segments in addition to locomotives. The PTC 
WG discussed the issue and supported referencing the definition, with 
the possibility of civil penalties in instances where the trailing 
tonnage of a train causes the track segment to be classified as heavy 
grade. The NPRM proposed that track segments with average grades equal 
to or greater than one percent over three continuous miles and less 
than two percent over two continuous miles could qualify for the 
general de minimis exception despite being ineligible for the 
categorical de minimis exception. However, the train-specific criterion 
is specific enough that it is feasible to include in the categorical de 
minimis exception.
    The final rule references Sec.  232.407, such that a track segment 
will not qualify for the categorical de minimis exception if it has a 
``heavy grade'' as that term is defined under that section for a train 
operating over the track segment. Any operation of a train with more 
than 4,000 trailing tons over a segment that has an average grade 
exceeding one percent over three continuous miles, and that has been 
excluded under the categorical de minimis exception, will constitute a 
violation of this Sec.  236.1005.
5. Additional Operating Rule Risk Mitigations
    As an additional risk mitigation, AAR's Petition recommended 
strengthening operating practices protecting against unauthorized 
incursions into roadway work zones on track segments that have received 
approval to avoid PTC system implementation under the de minimis risk 
provision. AAR proposed that--in the case of a train approaching 
working limits on a line subject to the de minimis exception--the train 
crew be required to call the roadway worker in charge at a minimum 
distance of two miles in advance of the working limits to advise of the 
train's approach. If the train crew does not have knowledge of

[[Page 49702]]

the working limits prior to approaching within two miles of the working 
limits or if it is impracticable to provide notification two miles in 
advance, such as if the working limits are less than two miles from the 
initial terminal, AAR proposed that the train crew would be required to 
call the roadway worker in charge as soon as practicable. In the NPRM, 
FRA indicated that it viewed the criterion as covering the same 
requirements as existing operating rules. However, as preventing 
incursions into roadway work zones is a core function of PTC, it is 
appropriate for the categorical de minimis exception to include 
mitigations to reduce the risk of this form of PTC-preventable 
accident, and commenters expressed concern over protection for roadway 
workers. Accordingly, the final rule adopts the proposal of AAR's 
Petition and includes the requirement that a railroad adopt and comply 
with an operating rule requiring train crews approaching working limits 
to notify the roadway worker in charge at least two miles in advance of 
the working limits, or as soon as practical if the train crew does not 
have advance knowledge of the working limits.
6. Required Separation of PIH Materials Traffic From Other Trains on 
the Track Segment
    Until amended by this final rule, a requirement of the categorical 
de minimis exception was that trains carrying PIH materials be 
temporally separated \4\ from other trains. Temporal separation reduces 
the risk of train-to-train collisions, a core PTC function, by 
prohibiting other trains from operating on the track segment at the 
same time as any train carrying PIH material. In its Petition, AAR 
requested that FRA revise the requirement so that a vacant block ahead 
of and behind the train would constitute temporal separation. The NPRM 
explained that such a requirement would not be temporal separation, but 
requested comment on the concept as an alternative to temporal 
separation. AAR, in its comment, reiterated its argument from the 
Petition that this form of protection would suffice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ For a discussion of the meaning of ``temporal separation,'' 
see Sec.  236.1019(e) and 49 CFR part 211, appendix A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FRA previously expressed openness to the concept, and suggested 
that interested railroads use the general de minimis exception at Sec.  
236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C) as the basis for excluding track segments using 
a vacant block ahead of and behind a train as an alternative means of 
protecting against train-to-train collisions. AAR's comment argued that 
the desire to substitute its alternative for the prior temporal 
separation requirement is industry-wide, suggesting that an industry-
wide resolution of the proposal is appropriate. In light of the other 
elements of the categorical de minimis exception, FRA is revising the 
separation requirement to no longer require temporal separation, and 
instead allow track segments to qualify where any train carrying PIH 
materials is operated with a vacant block ahead of and behind the 
train.
7. Annual Traffic Density on the Track Segment for Categorical De 
Minimis Exception
    AAR recommended that if the other criteria for de minimis 
exceptions are met, the amount of annual traffic on the track segment 
should not disqualify it from eligibility for the exemption. With 
respect to paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B), FRA has endeavored to address 
AAR's concerns with a provision that is broad enough to permit 
considerations of actual circumstances, limit this exception to track 
segments that would not otherwise need to have a PTC system 
implemented, and make explicit reference to the requirement for 
potential safety mitigations. FRA has chosen below 15 MGT as the area 
where mitigations are in place, or could be put in place, to establish 
a high sense of confidence that operations will continue to be 
conducted safely. FRA has concern that eliminating the traffic density 
criterion would result in an exception being outside the scope of the 
de minimis risk, and specifically that increasing the traffic density 
criterion would put the exception outside of FRA's statutory authority 
to grant a de minimis exception. As explained above, any de minimis 
exception must only cover situations where ``the burdens of regulation 
yield a gain of trivial or no value.'' Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. 
v. EPA, 82 F.3d 451, 466 (D.C. Cir. 1996). A de minimis exception 
explicitly may not be granted where ``the regulatory function does 
provide benefits, in the sense of furthering the regulatory objectives, 
but the agency concludes that the acknowledged benefits are exceeded by 
the costs.'' Alabama Power Co. v. Costle, 636 F.2d 323, 361 (D.C. Cir. 
1979). The derailment data cited by AAR is only a portion of the data 
that needs to be considered, as it concerns only one of the four 
varieties of PTC-preventable accidents. When analyzing AAR's proposal, 
FRA found that the track segments AAR sought to exclude received 
disproportionately higher benefits from the implementation of PTC 
systems. It is therefore impossible for FRA to conclude that PTC 
implementation on those segments yields ``a gain of trivial or no 
value'': The gain is greater than the average track segment required to 
implement PTC systems. As such, granting AAR's request is well outside 
of FRA's inherent authority to grant a limited de minimis exception 
based on the lack of benefits. Even if FRA did possess such authority, 
the fact that the track segments at issue receive greater-than-average 
benefits from PTC system implementation means that granting AAR's 
request to remove the 15 MGT limitation would be ill-advised. 
Throughout the PTC regulatory process, FRA has sought to use what 
little authority it has to focus PTC system implementation on those 
track segments that will receive the most benefit from the systems, and 
removing the track segments at issue would be antithetical to that aim.
    FRA does recognize the potential for a higher density line not 
being eligible for this exemption even though it may have fewer than 
100 PIH materials cars on the line in a year and even though that 
particular track segment may have less comparable risk than a track 
segment covered by the categorical de minimis exception. Consequently, 
while the final rule does not amend this limitation, FRA remains open 
to the possibility of considering some risk evaluation factors in lieu 
of a prescriptive train-density limitation. During PTC WG meetings, AAR 
suggested the number of trains traversing a track segment annually as 
an example of an alternative metric of train density. The flexibility 
available under paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C) allows for such alternatives 
if the track segment is similar to those covered by the categorical de 
minimis exception.
8. General De Minimis Exception at Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(A) and (C)
    AAR's Petition also requested several changes to Sec.  
236.1005(b)(4)(iii)(C), which provides that FRA will ``consider'' 
relief from the obligation to install PTC systems on track segments 
with annual traffic levels under 15 MGT where the risk of a release of 
PIH materials is ``negligible.'' In addition to requesting the 
elimination of the 15-MGT limit within the categorical de minimis 
exception, AAR suggested eliminating the limit contained in general de 
minimis exception as well. Moreover, AAR contended that it is unclear 
what constitutes a ``negligible'' risk and what discretion FRA would 
exercise should there be a showing of

[[Page 49703]]

negligible risk. AAR further requested that FRA set a quantitative 
threshold for negligible risk, and suggests ``one-in-a-million'' as the 
criterion. AAR references a U.S. Department of Defense standard 
regarding standard practice for system safety, MIL-STD-882C,\5\ as the 
basis for such criterion, which provides a method for categorizing and 
assessing risk, but does not specifically explain how this standard 
would apply.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ MIL-STD-882C has been superseded by MIL-STD-882E, available 
at https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=514013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to the arguments made by AAR that the exception was 
vague and unworkable without quantification, the final rule replaces 
the general de minimis exception with a provision more consistent with 
FRA's intent for the exception. The provision of paragraph 
(b)(4)(iii)(A) limiting the application of the de minimis exception to 
only those track segments carrying less than 15 MGT annually has been 
moved to paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B), applying solely to the categorical 
de minimis exception. Paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C) now allows for a de 
minimis exception for FRA approval of track segments similar but not 
identical to those covered by paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B), the categorical 
de minimis exception. Instead of being measured against the 
``negligible risk'' standard, a railroad requesting the exception must 
demonstrate to FRA that the track segment at issue poses an equivalent 
or lesser risk of a PTC-preventable accident than the risk posed by 
track segments qualifying for the categorical de minimis exception by 
comparing the discrepancies between the categorical standard and the 
proposed alternative.
    In the NPRM, FRA proposed to preserve the general de minimis 
exception largely, only changing the exception to eliminate the 15-MGT 
traffic density limitation. The NPRM responded to AAR's request to 
quantify ``negligible risk'' by explaining that such quantification 
would not be a valuable decisional criterion, would require additional 
determinations on appropriate factors to quantify, and may not be 
possible given FRA's experience attempting to develop the residual risk 
test. See generally 77 FR 28285. FRA has come to view the general de 
minimis exception as providing flexibility for circumstances similar to 
but nonetheless distinct from the criteria of the categorical de 
minimis exception. FRA has determined that the track segments 
qualifying for the categorical de minimis exception pose a negligible 
risk, and therefore any similar track segment that can be shown to have 
an equivalent or lesser level of risk would necessarily also pose only 
a negligible risk. However, this interpretation was not readily 
apparent from the text of the NPRM. To address AAR's concerns of 
ambiguity, the general de minimis exception has been replaced with a 
provision providing an exception for track segments similar to those 
covered by the categorical de minimis exception where the track 
segments are shown to pose an equivalent or lesser level of risk of a 
PTC-preventable accident. For instance, a track segment with a higher 
annual MGT traffic density could qualify for the exception based on 
fewer PIH cars carried annually or additional operating rules providing 
additional protection beyond that present in the categorical de minimis 
exception.\6\ This comparison will necessarily be qualitative; rather 
than calculate the absolute risk levels involved, FRA review of such 
requests will entail an evaluation of the deviances from the 
categorical de minimis exception to ensure that the proposal maintains 
an equivalent level of safety. Where available, quantitative data on 
the proposals compared to the requirements of paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) 
will be a valuable component of that review, but not a necessary 
component.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Note that, because the general de minimis exception 
considers the totality of the circumstances of a track segment, 
there may exist other characteristics on a track segment otherwise 
is as described above that elevate the risk on that track segment 
above a negligible level.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It bears emphasizing that the risk considered under the general de 
minimis exception is the risk of all PTC-preventable accidents rather 
than being limited solely to PTC-preventable accidents resulting in the 
release of PIH materials. In the January 15, 2010 PTC final rule, while 
FRA indicated that any de minimis exception would have to consider the 
four statutory PTC-preventable accident types and the level of PIH 
materials release, FRA also focused primarily on de minimis PIH 
materials risk, titling the paragraph ``Lines with de minimis PIH 
risk.'' This may have been confusing, and FRA would like to take this 
opportunity to provide further clarification. FRA originally used this 
term since the exception would only apply to freight traffic on lines 
where PIH materials are transported. To be clear, FRA did not intend to 
exclude the four statutory PTC-preventable accidents as risk elements 
requiring consideration in order to qualify for the exception. 
Accordingly, the final rule changes the regulatory language to comport 
with this perspective by modifying the heading of paragraph (b)(4)(iii) 
to eliminate the potential for confusion; the heading now reads, 
``Freight lines with de minimis risk not used for regularly provided 
intercity or commuter passenger service.''
Section 236.1006 Equipping Locomotives Operating in PTC System 
Territory
    AAR, in its Petition, requested that FRA permit locomotives without 
operational onboard PTC apparatuses to operate over PTC-equipped track 
segments when the movement is for freight switching operations or 
freight transfer train movements. AAR suggested that dispatchers hold 
the area of such movement clear of PTC-equipped trains through what AAR 
dubbed ``absolute protection,'' with trains lacking operational onboard 
PTC apparatuses limited to speeds below 30 mph and multiple concurrent 
train movements limited to restricted speed. The final rule largely 
adopts this suggestion.
    In this section, FRA uses the term ``freight switching service'' to 
refer to switching service as defined by Sec.  232.5. In turn, Sec.  
232.5 defines ``train'' as ``one or more locomotives coupled with one 
or more freight cars, except during switching service.'' This 
distinction between switching service and train movements is drawn from 
longstanding judicial interpretations of what constitutes a ``train 
movement.'' See, e.g., United States v. Seaboard Air Line R. R. Co., 
361 U.S. 78 (1959); Louisville & Jeffersonville Bridge Co. v. United 
States, 249 U.S. 534 (1919); see also 66 FR 4104, 4148 (Jan 17, 2001) 
(defining ``switching service''). FRA has previously recognized that 
the nature of switching service precludes the application of some 
safety technologies or operational practices that are applicable to 
train movements. See, e.g., 49 CFR part 232, subpart C (not requiring 
air brake tests as part of switching service, but requiring such tests 
for train movements of short distances). FRA has also previously 
recognized that Congress did not intend to sweep in yard tracks in the 
mandate for PTC system implementation. In the first PTC system 
rulemaking, FRA defined ``main line'' to exclude ``where all trains are 
limited to restricted speed within a yard or terminal area or an 
auxiliary or industry tracks.'' Sec.  236.1003. In the final rule 
prescribed in that proceeding, FRA stated that ``any track within a 
yard used exclusively by freight operations moving at restricted speed 
is excepted from the definition of main line.'' 75 FR 2598, 2657 (Jan. 
15, 2010); see also Sec.  236.1003. Such tracks are generally 
considered to be other-

[[Page 49704]]

than-main line track, and Congress's limitation of the PTC system 
mandate to ``main line'' suggests that these tracks were not intended 
to be included. See also S. Rep. 110-270 (taking notice of the limited 
value that PTC systems offer in preventing accidents in yards or 
terminals). FRA also exercised its authority to define ``main line'' 
with respect to passenger trains to exclude trackage ``used exclusively 
as yard or terminal tracks by or in support of regularly scheduled 
intercity or commuter passenger service.'' 49 CFR 236.1019(b); see also 
49 U.S.C. 20157(i)(2)(b). The result of excluding freight yard track 
from the PTC system implementation mandate is that many freight 
switching operations are excluded from the scope of the PTC system 
mandate, where these operations do not extend onto the main line track 
that connects to the yard.
    However, as AAR explains in its Petition, freight switching 
operations frequently require some movement along main track adjacent 
to or within a yard, for purposes of reaching other yard tracks or 
obtaining necessary distance, or ``headroom,'' from yard tracks to make 
switching movements. Despite the exclusion of these other-than-main 
line tracks, switching service could therefore require PTC-equipped 
locomotives in order to make these movements on main line track. Given 
the statutory language suggesting that switching service is not subject 
to the PTC system mandate and the potential to apply operation 
restrictions to reduce risk to an acceptable level, FRA agrees that it 
would be appropriate to provide an additional exception for freight 
locomotives performing switching service from the requirements to be 
equipped with a PTC system if appropriate safeguards are implemented.
    In response to the Petition, the NPRM proposed to create a new de 
minimis exception for yard movements. The proposed exception was 
limited to 10-mile movements with a maximum authorized speed of 25 mph, 
in order to maintain consistency with the de minimis exception of Sec.  
236.1005(b)(4) and the overall 20-mile zone of unequipped movements 
allowed by Sec.  236.1006(b)(4). This exception would add to the 
existing definitional exclusion of operations at restricted speed 
within a yard, terminal, auxiliary tracks, and industry tracks from the 
meaning of ``main line.''
    AAR, in its comment, argues that because ``yard movements'' were 
not intended to be included within the scope of PTC system 
implementation, movements onto PTC-equipped main track made pursuant to 
yard, local, industrial, or hostling service should all be excluded 
from the requirement to have an operational onboard PTC apparatus. In 
support of this position, AAR cites discussion in FRA's first final 
rule implementing the PTC system mandate where FRA acknowledges that 
yard tracks and yard movements were not intended to be covered by the 
PTC system mandate. However, that discussion references the existing 
exclusion of yard, industry, and auxiliary track from the scope of the 
PTC mandate, not an exception for movements made on PTC-equipped track 
by locomotives without operational onboard PTC apparatuses. Mindful of 
this distinction, FRA nonetheless recognizes the impracticability of 
initializing PTC systems for switching operations and transfer train 
movements. Similarly, AAR makes a reasonable argument that it may not 
be feasible for PTC systems to provide appropriate communications to 
each locomotive operating in a yard environment.
    In the NPRM, FRA proposed a performance-based exception for yard 
movements, allowing the exception to apply whenever sufficient risk 
mitigations were applied to reduce the risk of a PTC-preventable 
accident to negligible levels. AAR, in its comment, expressed concern 
over this formulation, arguing that the negligible-risk standard is too 
vague if left unquantified. While FRA refrains from developing a 
definite method to quantify risk, to address AAR's concern the final 
rule provides a prescriptive set of requirements for the freight yard 
movement exception, with an option for performance-based alternatives 
if justified in a railroad's PTC Safety Plan (PTCSP).
    In the NPRM, FRA proposed a speed restriction of 25 mph, consistent 
with the speed restriction applied to movements under the categorical 
de minimis exception of Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii). AAR, in its comment, 
argues that 30 mph is a more appropriate speed, referencing the 
previous en route failure language of Sec.  236.1029. This suggestion 
has merit. The categorical de minimis exception applies to operations 
over an unequipped track segment, whereas both the freight yard 
movement exception and the en route failure provision address movement 
without operational onboard PTC apparatuses within PTC-equipped 
territory. FRA agrees that the en route failure procedures are the more 
apt analogy. Accordingly, the speed restriction in the final rule has 
been increased to 30 mph.
    AAR also suggested that the PTC system enforce positive stops to 
ensure that no trains with operative onboard PTC apparatuses are 
permitted to enter a zone where unequipped movements are taking place 
and that, when multiple PTC-inoperative movements occur in the same 
zone concurrently, the maximum speed be reduced to restricted speed.
    While the PTC system will prevent PTC-equipped trains from entering 
an area where unequipped movements occur, it is unable to protect 
equipped trains from a PTC-unequipped yard movement that has exceeded 
its authority on PTC-equipped main track. In the July 9, 2013, PTC WG 
meeting, FRA raised the idea of taking this procedure and adding a 
requirement that a vacant absolute block be placed between unequipped 
movements and PTC-equipped trains, in order to address this concern. 
The railroads presented substantial arguments during the meeting that 
such a requirement would hamstring yard operations, given the number of 
PTC-equipped main tracks over which a yard movement might operate, even 
if the route were locked in such a way as to preclude a PTC-unequipped 
locomotive or train from exceeding its authority into an area where 
PTC-equipped trains could operate. The PTC WG discussion led to the 
idea of a more narrowly-tailored restriction, applying only where the 
risk of such an incursion exists: situations where the unequipped 
movement is to end on PTC-equipped main track. In such situations, if 
the unequipped movement exceeds its authority, it would pose a risk to 
PTC-equipped trains that the PTC system would be unable to protect 
against. The final rule mitigates this risk by requiring that, if a 
movement terminates on PTC-equipped main track, the movement must 
operate on that final main track segment at restricted speed. While 
restricted speed is not a panacea against train-to-train collisions, it 
does reduce the risk of such collisions to an acceptable level when 
combined with the other operational restrictions in place in the yard 
movements exception.
    AAR also suggested the use of what it terms ``absolute protection'' 
to mitigate the risk of train-to-train collisions. From AAR's 
presentation at the July 9, 2013, PTC WG meeting, FRA understands 
``absolute protection'' to refer to an operating practice adopted by 
some railroads wherein a route is lined for a movement by a dispatcher 
and ``locked'' to require explicit acknowledgement and action before 
any switch in the route is permitted to be lined for a conflicting 
movement. The final rule

[[Page 49705]]

adopts this suggestion, requiring that the route of the unequipped 
movement be protected from conflicting movements by the PTC system and 
sufficient operating rules. The type of protection described by AAR is 
sufficient; however, because the discussion in the PTC WG meeting 
indicated that there is some degree of diversity in the implementation 
of the concept, the final rule is phrased generally for greater 
flexibility.
    AAR did not discuss how to handle roadway workers or roadway 
working limits in the Petition or in its comments to the NPRM. Several 
labor organizations commented to express concern for roadway worker 
protection during periods where PTC-inoperative movements are 
occurring. To mitigate this hazard, the final rule also requires 
movements at restricted speed when the zone of PTC-inoperative 
movements includes working limits established under 49 CFR part 214. 
This requirement is intended to reduce the risk of an incursion into 
established work zone limits, one of the four statutory PTC system 
functions.
    The NPRM also considered the exception for movements by Class II 
and Class III railroads under Sec.  236.1006(b)(4) in determining an 
appropriate distance limitation for yard movements. While the maximum 
allowable distance for Class II and Class III railroads with unequipped 
locomotives is 20 miles, the NPRM limited the maximum distance of yard 
movements under the exception to 10 miles in either direction from a 
point of entry on to PTC-equipped main track to limit the total area of 
unequipped movements to 20 miles. Such a limitation would cover a 20-
mile transfer train movement that originated and ended at the same 
location, but would not include pairs of transfer train movements of 20 
miles each between two points. Allowing 20-mile movements in either 
direction from a point of entry on to PTC-equipped main tracks creates 
a 40-mile zone where potential movements without operative onboard PTC 
apparatuses; however, this potential also exists for Class II and Class 
III movements. With the operating restrictions in place, as discussed 
above, and considering the limitations of PTC systems for yard 
movements and transfer trains, FRA has concluded that allowing 
movements of up to 20 miles does not increase the risk of a PTC-
preventable accident beyond a negligible level.
    To provide some flexibility, the yard movements exception also 
allows railroads to propose alternatives. Because the ``negligible 
risk'' standard for evaluating these alternatives has caused great 
concern, the final rule provides an alternative structure. AAR proposes 
a quantified level of risk. However, as noted in the NPRM and discussed 
in more detail above, FRA has previously attempted, but was unable, to 
develop appropriate risk-quantification methodology with the necessary 
level of precision to be used for such a task. See 77 FR 28285 (May 14, 
2012). Instead, the final rule uses the parameters of the freight yard 
movement exception discussed above as an explicit baseline; 
alternatives will be accepted if, in FRA's discretion, they are 
determined to be as safe as or safer than the prescriptive 
requirements. This method of analysis is consistent with the final 
rule's restatement of the general de minimis exception.
    The final rule adds a new paragraph (b)(5) to exclude certain 
freight yard movements from the requirement to be controlled by a 
locomotive with an operational onboard PTC apparatus. Paragraphs 
(b)(5)(i) through (vi) provide the general parameters for approval of 
the exception. Paragraph (b)(5)(vii) provides the opportunity for 
railroads to propose alternatives, with the consideration of those 
alternatives committed to FRA's discretion. Subparagraph (viii) makes 
clear that this provision does not prohibit locomotives with operative 
onboard PTC apparatuses from making certain types of movements to 
assist other locomotives, such as rescuing locomotives or cars.
    In addition to the new freight yard movement exception, several 
other changes have been made to Sec.  236.1006. Paragraph (a) has been 
revised to clarify that it encompasses all operations, not just PIH 
operations specifically. Paragraph (b)(2) has been reserved, as 
discussed in the analysis of Sec.  236.1009, below. A new paragraph (d) 
has been added to address the onboard PTC apparatus. The text of new 
paragraph (d)(1), regarding the visibility of the onboard PTC 
apparatus, has been moved from Sec.  236.1029(f) to Sec.  236.1006. 
Sec. 236.1006(d)(1) is a more intuitive location for the requirement. 
Aside from changing the phrase ``PTC system's onboard apparatus'' to 
the commonly-used phrase ``onboard PTC apparatus,'' the content has not 
changed; no change in meaning exists or is intended. New paragraph 
(d)(2) incorporates the concept that the NPRM addressed in proposed 
Sec.  236.1029(g), and responds to GE Transportation's comment. FRA 
views distributed onboard PTC apparatuses to be acceptable if 
contemplated within a railroad's PTCSP, and now provides regulatory 
text making that view explicit.
Section 236.1009 Procedural Requirements
    The final rule moves the PTCIP reporting requirement from old 
paragraph (b)(2) of Sec.  236.1006 to a new paragraph (a)(5) of Sec.  
236.1009. The purpose of this change is not merely for organizational 
purposes; the annual report no longer pertains solely to locomotives. 
The revised text requires the submission of additional information so 
that FRA may better fulfill its Congressional reporting obligations and 
otherwise fully and accurately monitor the progress of PTC system 
implementation. The previous language of Sec.  236.1006(b)(2) required 
each railroad to report the status of achieving its goals with respect 
to equipping locomotives with fully-operative onboard PTC apparatuses 
for use on PTC-equipped track segments. However, for FRA to fulfill its 
statutory obligations and regulatory objectives, it requires additional 
implementation information concerning all components of PTC system 
implementation. Accordingly, in the final rule, FRA requires submission 
of implementation data relating to wayside interface units, 
communication technologies, back-end computer systems, transponders, 
and any other PTC system components. FRA did not receive comments on 
this amendment as proposed.
Section 236.1015 PTC Safety Plan Content Requirements and PTC System 
Certification
    In response to AAR's proposals for modifications to Sec.  236.1029, 
FRA expressed concern that the less restrictive proposals may result in 
locomotives with faulty onboard PTC apparatuses being used for 
significant distances before being repaired or being exchanged with 
other locomotives equipped with fully-operative PTC apparatuses. During 
PTC WG meetings, AAR suggested that FRA alleviate this concern by 
requiring that railroads submit, as part of their PTCSP, the locations 
where locomotives will regularly be exchanged or repaired, as well as 
listing potential movements of locomotives with failed onboard PTC 
apparatuses that exceed 500 miles. The final rule adopts this 
suggestion, and a new paragraph (d)(21) has been added to this Sec.  
236.1015 to require that this information be submitted as part of each 
railroad's PTCSP.
Section 236.1029 PTC System Use and Failures
    The final rule revises old paragraph (a) of Sec.  236.1029 by 
adding a heading (``In general.'') and correcting a

[[Page 49706]]

grammatical error (disagreement between subject and verb) in the last 
sentence of the paragraph. No change in meaning is intended.
    As amended by this final rule, paragraph (b) of Sec.  236.1029 
provides a means of safely reacting to the en route failure of a PTC 
system. When a component of a PTC system fails en route resulting in 
loss of PTC functionality aboard the locomotive, the old text of Sec.  
236.1029(b) required that the train proceed at restricted speed--or at 
medium speed where a block signal system is in operation according to 
signal indication--until an absolute block is established ahead of the 
train; after the absolute block is established, the train may proceed 
at speeds between 30 mph and 79 mph, depending on the nature of the 
signal system in place, if any, and the nature of the train. AAR, in 
its Petition, assented to this procedure for each location where a PTC 
system is the exclusive means of delivering mandatory directives, but 
suggested substantial revisions to this procedure where a PTC system is 
not the exclusive means of delivering mandatory directives (e.g., where 
mandatory directives are also delivered by radio). The AAR proposal 
would allow trains to continue to a designated repair or exchange 
location identified in a railroad's PTCSP. While travelling to one of 
these locations, freight trains would be allowed under the proposal to 
continue at track speed in signaled territory, up to 40 mph for freight 
trains in non-signaled territory, and up to 30 mph for trains carrying 
cars loaded with PIH materials. The proposal also recommended a 30 mph 
limitation for passenger trains; Amtrak suggested that the appropriate 
limitation for passenger trains is 40 mph, which AAR later endorsed. 
The AAR proposal broke from how the en route failure of train control 
systems has been handled in the past by not requiring an absolute block 
in advance of the train that experienced failure; as discussed above, 
Sec.  236.567 requires an absolute block be established in advance of 
the movement. However, AAR and other participants in the PTC WG 
meetings made the valid point that the comparison between PTC systems 
and systems covered by Sec.  236.567 is not completely apt, as PTC 
systems are not the method of operation in the overwhelming majority of 
situations, unlike cab signal systems. FRA agrees that this is a 
relevant difference that supports changes to the procedures for 
handling en route failures.
    FRA is also sensitive to the concerns expressed regarding PTC 
system reliability and the railroads' desire to ensure that PTC system 
implementation does not result in dramatically reduced railroad 
capacity. AAR, in its comment to the NPRM, provided data suggesting 
that there could be substantial disruptions in service due to frequent 
failures of PTC systems. This data is necessarily somewhat speculative, 
since PTC systems remain in development. FRA expects that system 
reliability will improve as railroads acquire more experience with PTC 
systems. Reflecting the current status of PTC system development and 
the economic risks of substantially reduced rail capacity, the final 
rule provides additional flexibility for railroads. This relief is 
provided in several forms. First, while the final rule maintains the 
speed limitations present in the old rule, the final rule removes the 
requirement that an absolute block be established in advance of the 
train. Given the potential scope of PTC system failures, FRA is 
concerned that requiring an absolute block in advance of each train 
experiencing PTC system failure may exacerbate system disruptions as 
train dispatchers manage each of the blocks.
    Old paragraph (f) of Sec.  236.1029 has been moved to new Sec.  
236.1006(d)(1), as that section is a more intuitive location for that 
requirement. No change in meaning exists or is intended as part of this 
rearrangement. See discussion under new Sec.  236.1006(d)(1), above.
    New paragraph (g) of Sec.  236.1029 provides three forms of 
temporary relief, which will be in effect from October 21, 2014 through 
the first two years following the statutory deadline for full 
implementation of PTC systems. First, under paragraph (g)(1), a 
railroad may choose in its PTCSP to operate under the requirements of 
new Sec.  236.567 (the provision that applies to automatic train stop, 
automatic train control, and cab signal systems) in lieu of new Sec.  
236.1029. The provisions of new Sec.  236.567 are structured similarly 
to those of new Sec.  236.1029, but authorize higher maximum speeds of 
up to 79 mph where a functional signal system remains in place, though 
they require an absolute block in advance of the movement.
    Second, under paragraph (g)(2) of Sec.  236.1029, a train may 
proceed under either new Sec.  236.1029 or new Sec.  236.567 where the 
PTC system fails to initialize prior to the train's departure from its 
initial terminal. This relief will permit rail traffic to continue to 
flow when PTC system initialization problems occur while exchange or 
repair is arranged at one of the locations designated in the railroad's 
PTCSP.
    Finally, under paragraph (g)(3) of Sec.  236.1029, where a PTC 
system requires repair or maintenance that necessitates removing the 
system from service, a railroad may do so with notice to the 
appropriate FRA regional office either a week in advance for planned 
work or contemporaneously in the event of unplanned work. When a 
railroad exercises this option, the rule requires that it make 
reasonable efforts to schedule the removal from service for those times 
posing the least risk to railroad safety, generally but not necessarily 
when few or no trains are expected to operate over the track segment. 
The railroad is also required to place the system back into service 
without undue delay, the same requirement that is in place for all 
signal and train control system failures. This provision is intended to 
give railroads the flexibility necessary to address system software and 
hardware issues quickly without unduly restricting rail capacity or 
creating excessive safety risks. In summary, the final rule appends new 
paragraph (g), which provides these temporary authorities.
    In authorizing these more lenient provisions until the end of the 
first two years following the statutory mandate for full PTC system 
implementation, FRA recognizes that there may be issues that could be 
identified and resolved in the early days following PTC system 
implementation and revenue service operation. AAR argues that the 
complex nature of PTC systems will inevitably create frequent and 
unavoidable en route failures, and that these problems will not be 
solved in time. Based on the evidence available at this time, FRA 
disagrees. However, under this final rule, it will be several years 
before the default en route failure provisions are due to come fully 
into effect. Experience over these intervening years will provide more 
empirical data on PTC system reliability, and may be a basis for FRA to 
revisit this issue at a later date should circumstances warrant. To 
facilitate the gathering of this data, the final rule includes a new 
reporting requirement in new paragraph (h) relating to en route 
failures. Each calendar year, the rule requires railroads that have 
implemented PTC systems to report the number of PTC system failures, 
categorized by type. This report will allow FRA to be aware of 
reliability issues as PTC systems are implemented and put into use, and 
will provide useful information for potential improvements in the rule 
once FRA and the rail industry have more experience with this new 
technology. This requirement was discussed in the July 9, 2013, PTC WG 
meeting, and members did not express any objections.

[[Page 49707]]

    Additionally, as noted in the NPRM, old Sec.  236.1029 had avenues 
for flexibility with respect to en route failures. Old paragraph (c) 
allowed for deviations from the requirements of old paragraph (b) if 
justified in a railroad's PTCDP, PTCSP, or Order of Particular 
Applicability.\7\ However, this language was unnecessarily vague, and 
the final rule clarifies the intent of the provision. A railroad may, 
based on the circumstances of its operations, propose alternative en 
route failure procedures similar to those of paragraph (b) for approval 
as part of its PTCSP, RFA, or Order of Particular Applicability. The 
final rule revises the language of old paragraph (c) to make it 
consistent with similar provisions discussed earlier with respect to 
the de minimis exception and the yard movements exception.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Orders of Particular Applicability are one of the mechanisms 
by which a previously approved PTC system may receive expedited 
certification pursuant to Sec.  236.1031.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    AAR, in its Petition, also requested clarification concerning the 
failure of an onboard PTC apparatus of the train's controlling 
locomotive, where a second PTC-equipped locomotive exists capable of 
providing PTC system functionality. In the NPRM, FRA proposed to amend 
old Sec.  236.1029 to indicate specifically that, when a trailing 
locomotive is used to maintain full PTC system functionality, the 
system is considered operable and therefore is not considered to have 
failed en route. However, as discussed above, this proposal has been 
adopted in new Sec.  236.1006(d)(2) and revised to apply to PTC systems 
generally, rather than being limited to only instances where there is a 
PTC system failure.

V. Regulatory Impact and Notices

A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures

    This final rule has been evaluated in accordance with existing 
policies and procedures, and determined to be significant under 
Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT policies and 
procedures. 44 FR 11034 (Feb. 26, 1979). FRA prepared and placed in the 
docket a regulatory impact analysis (RIA) addressing the economic 
impact of this final rule.
    In this final rule, FRA mainly amends the regulations implementing 
the 2008 statutory mandate that certain passenger and freight railroads 
install PTC systems governing operations on certain main line tracks. 
In particular, the final rule amends 49 CFR part 236 by revising an 
existing regulatory exception to the requirement to install a PTC 
system for track segments carrying freight only that present a de 
minimis safety risk; adding a new exception for unequipped freight 
trains associated with certain yard operations to operate within PTC 
systems; revising the provision related to en route failures of a PTC 
system; and adding new temporary provisions related to various failures 
of a PTC system. The final rule also streamlines and simplifies the 
application process for FRA approval of a material modification of a 
signal system under 49 CFR part 235 where the application would have 
been filed as part of a PTC system installation. In addition to making 
these changes related to the PTC requirements, the final rule makes 
technical amendments to FRA's other signal and train control 
regulations at 49 CFR part 236 and FRA's regulations governing highway-
rail grade crossing warning systems at 49 CFR part 234.
    FRA analyzed the final rule under three cases. The ``base case'' is 
FRA's best estimate of the likely impact of the final rule. To address 
uncertainty related to assumptions and inputs, FRA also analyzed a 
``high case,'' where the impacts are estimated as greater than FRA's 
best estimate, and a ``low case.'' where the impacts are estimated as 
less than FRA's best estimate.
    FRA's base case analyzed the impact of extending the de minimis 
exception to cover an additional 4,073 miles of wayside (based on 
comments from the Association of American Railroads (AAR)) at an 
estimated savings of $50,000 per mile, as well as two sensitivity 
cases--one where the estimated savings per mile was higher ($100,000), 
the high case, and one where the mileage affected was lower (3,000 
miles), the low case.
    FRA also analyzed the benefits of adding a regulatory exception at 
49 CFR 236.1006(b)(5) for locomotives not equipped with onboard PTC 
apparatuses that are involved in yard operations with equipped 
locomotives. Again, FRA faced uncertainty in estimating the number of 
locomotives that will be affected. For the base case, FRA estimated 
that 2,098 locomotives will be affected at a unit savings of $55,000 
per locomotive. FRA also analyzed two cases for sensitivity--a high 
case where the unit savings would be $68,750 and a low case where 1,500 
locomotives will be affected.
    FRA used values from AAR comments to determine how many units of 
installations could be avoided by the final rule, and used unit costs 
from the first PTC final rule. The number of units from the AAR 
comments are much higher than FRA's assumptions used to analyze the 
NPRM, and may be high. FRA's assumptions of unit costs from that 
analysis of the first PTC final rule appear to be low, based on 
anecdotal evidence, especially reports from commuter railroads. Class I 
railroads may be able to avoid some of the factors that have led to 
higher unit costs on commuter railroads, but the unit costs used in the 
base case analysis of the first PTC final rule are now appearing to be 
low case estimates. FRA continues to use those unit cost estimates in 
order to allow more comprehensible comparisons between the estimated 
net costs of the first PTC final rule and this final rule. Were FRA to 
adjust the unit cost estimates for this rule, small reductions in the 
scope of the total PTC system implementation could render total net 
costs, reflecting each of the four PTC final rules issued to date, 
dramatically lower.
    All values in the analysis are measured in 2009 dollars. FRA used 
values in 2009 dollars in order to continue using the same values used 
in analyzing the 2010 final rule amended here, so that readers may 
readily evaluate the cumulative effect of the initial final rule and 
amendments to that rule.
    For both wayside and onboard portions of the benefit, FRA included 
the maintenance costs saved by avoiding installation. FRA estimated the 
annual maintenance costs as 15 percent of the value of the installed 
base. The reader should note that this regulation reduces regulatory 
burden, so the benefits of the final rule are reduced regulatory costs, 
and the costs of the final rule are foregone safety benefits, a mirror 
image of the typical elements of a benefit cost analysis.

[[Page 49708]]



               Table 1--Total 20-Year Discounted Benefits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Discount factor
                                   -------------------------------------
                                        7 Percent          3 Percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..           $397,319           $446,926
    Wayside Installation Benefit..        446,266,012        587,977,605
    Onboard Installation Benefit..        252,858,508        333,153,625
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............        699,521,839        921,578,156
High case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..            397,319            446,926
    Wayside Installation Benefit..        892,532,024      1,175,955,209
    Onboard Installation Benefit..        316,073,135        416,442,032
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............      1,209,002,478      1,592,844,167
Low case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..            397,319            446,926
    Wayside Installation Benefit..        328,700,721        433,079,503
    Onboard Installation Benefit..        180,785,397        238,193,726
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............        509,883,437        671,720,155
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals in each respective category may not add due to rounding.

    FRA also estimated the annualized benefits of the accompanying 
final rule.

                   Table 2--Total Annualized Benefits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Discount factor
                                   -------------------------------------
                                        7 percent          3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..            $37,504            $30,040
    Wayside Installation Benefit..         42,124,355         39,521,331
    Onboard Installation Benefit..         23,868,054         22,393,157
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............         66,029,913         61,944,528
High case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..             37,504             30,040
    Wayside Installation Benefit..         84,248,709         79,042,661
    Onboard Installation Benefit..         29,835,068         27,991,446
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............        114,121,281        107,064,148
Low case:
    Applications Avoided Benefit..             37,504             30,040
    Wayside Installation Benefit..         31,027,023         29,109,745
    Onboard Installation Benefit..         17,064,863         16,010,360
                                   -------------------------------------
        Total Benefit.............         48,129,389         45,150,146
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals in each respective category may not add due to rounding.

    In general, the costs of allowing railroads the ability to avoid 
PTC implementation costs will be foregone safety benefits coupled with 
some reporting costs. The provisions to extend the de minimis risk 
exception affect track segments that are likely to have a risk of PTC-
preventable accidents that is only slightly greater than similar 
segments equipped with PTC wayside units. FRA analyzed those 
incremental costs, the only costs analyzed.

                 Table 3--Discounted 20-Year Total Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Discount factor
                                               -------------------------
                                                 7 percent    3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case.....................................   $6,609,680   $9,752,784
High Case.....................................    6,609,680    9,752,784
Low Case......................................    4,937,849    7,285,947
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                 Table 4--Annualized 20-Year Total Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Discount factor
                                               -------------------------
                                                 7 percent    3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case.....................................     $623,907     $655,540
High Case.....................................      623,907      655,540
Low Case......................................      466,098      489,730
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A second de minimis exception,\8\ codified under Sec.  
236.1006(b)(5), affects

[[Page 49709]]

whether locomotives used in freight switching operations need to be 
equipped with onboard PTC apparatuses in order to cross or travel along 
main track in yards. This newly created provision requires the 
railroads to maintain a negligible risk of PTC-preventable accidents. 
FRA believes that negligible risk is near zero, and that the marginal 
costs of that risk compared to PTC are practically zero.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Here, the term ``de minimis exception'' is used in the 
generic sense of a de minimis exception developed under case law, as 
described earlier in the preamble to this final rule. See 
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. v. EPA, 82 F.3d 451, 466 (D.C. Cir. 
1996) (inner quotations omitted); Alabama Power Co. v. Costle, 636 
F.2d 323, 360-61 (D.C. Cir. 1979).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The costs of the changes to reporting requirements (Sec.  
236.1029(h)) are very low, and only consist of forwarding to FRA data 
likely already compiled for railroad management purposes.
    FRA calculated the net societal benefits, both 20-year discounted 
totals and 20-year annualized values.

             Table 5--Discounted 20-Year Total Net Benefits
                          [Benefits Less Costs]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Discount factor
                                       ---------------------------------
                                           7 percent        3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case.............................     $692,912,160     $911,825,373
High Case.............................    1,202,392,799    1,583,091,384
Low Case..............................      504,945,587      664,434,208
------------------------------------------------------------------------


             Table 6--Annualized 20-Year Total Net Benefits
                          [Benefits Less Costs]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Discount factor
                                       ---------------------------------
                                           7 percent        3 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Case.............................      $65,406,006      $61,288,988
High Case.............................      113,497,374      106,408,608
Low Case..............................       47,663,291       44,660,415
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FRA analyzed alternatives to the final rule. One alternative would 
be to leave the rule unchanged, the ``status quo'' alternative. By 
definition, the ``status quo'' alternative is treated as having no 
benefits or costs; however, it is the benchmark from which all other 
cases are analyzed.
    FRA also analyzed an alternative where the de minimis exception (at 
Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii)) would apply without regard to line tonnage. 
This alternative would create greater net societal benefits, since 
nearly 7,000 miles could be excluded; however, because of concerns 
about additional risks which are not negligible, FRA does not believe 
that it has the authority to adopt this alternative. FRA believes that 
if it had the authority to adopt this alternative and if FRA adopted 
it, the net societal benefits would be $1,062,422,244 over 20 years, 
discounted at 7 percent, or $1,393,851,865 over 20 years, discounted at 
3 percent.
    In short, the final rule will create net benefits in all scenarios, 
with the only uncertainty being the magnitude of those benefits. At the 
NPRM stage, FRA requested comments on all aspects of the RIA. Such 
comments and related discussion are discussed in the RIA submitted to 
the docket.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272

    To ensure that the impact of this rulemaking on small entities is 
properly considered, FRA developed this final rule in accordance with 
Executive Order 13272 (``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in 
Agency Rulemaking'') and DOT's policies and procedures to promote 
compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). 
The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires an agency to review regulations 
to assess their impact on small entities. The meaning of ``small 
entity'' for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act is discussed 
below. An agency must conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis unless 
it determines and certifies that a rule is not expected to have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    This final rule is summarized under the immediately previous 
section of the preamble as well as earlier in the preamble. FRA is 
certifying that this final rule will result in ``no significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.'' The 
following section explains the reasons for this certification.
1. Description of the Small Entities Subject to This Final Rule and 
Impacts of the Final Rule on Those Entities
    The ``universe'' of the entities under consideration here includes 
only those small entities that can reasonably be expected to be 
directly affected by the provisions of this final rule. In this case, 
FRA concludes that the ``universe'' will be five Class III freight 
railroads that operate on rail lines that are currently required to 
have PTC systems installed. Such lines are owned by railroads not 
considered to be small. No small passenger railroads will be affected 
by the final rule.
    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stipulates in its 
``Size Standards'' that the largest that a for-profit railroad business 
firm may be, and still be classified as a ``small entity,'' is 1,500 
employees for ``Line Haul Operating Railroads'' and 500 employees for 
``Switching and Terminal Establishments.'' ``Small entity'' is defined 
in the Regulatory Flexibility Act as a small business that is 
independently owned and operated, and is not dominant in its field of 
operation. Additionally, 5 U.S.C. 601(5) defines ``small entity'' as 
including governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, 
school districts, or special districts with populations less than 
50,000.
    Federal agencies may adopt their own size standards for small 
entities in consultation with SBA and in conjunction with public 
comment. Pursuant to that authority, FRA has published a final policy 
that formally establishes ``small entities'' for purposes of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act as including freight railroads that meet the 
line haulage revenue requirements of a Class III railroad and passenger 
railroads that serve populations less than 50,000.\9\ The revenue 
requirements are currently $20 million or less in annual operating 
revenue. The $20 million limit (which is adjusted by applying the 
railroad revenue deflator adjustment) \10\ is based on the Surface 
Transportation Board's (STB) threshold for a Class III railroad 
carrier. FRA is using the STB's threshold in its definition of ``small 
entities'' that are freight railroads for this rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ See 68 FR 24891 (May 9, 2003); 49 CFR part 209, app. C.
    \10\ For further information on the calculation of the specific 
dollar limit, please see 49 CFR 1201.1-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This final rule adds new Sec.  235.6, which allows specified 
changes within existing signal or train control systems to be made 
without the necessity of filing an application for approval with FRA's 
Associate Administrator. The amendment provides each railroad a 
simplified process to obtain approval to modify existing signal systems 
directly associated with PTC system implementation. In the absence of 
this change in the accompanying rule, a railroad would have to submit 
the detailed application required for approval under Sec.  235.10, 
along with the additional information required by Sec.  235.12, every 
time it modified any of the underlying signal systems as described in 
Sec.  235.5, even if those changes were part of the PTCIP. The entire 
application would then be subject

[[Page 49710]]

to the filing procedure described in Sec.  235.13, and FRA would 
publish under the requirements of Sec.  235.14 and resolve protests 
under the provisions of Sec.  235.20. The process is burdensome for 
both the railroad and FRA, where FRA has already reviewed significant 
elements of what would be the application, as part of the PTCIP. FRA 
believes this could create a benefit for any of the five small 
railroads affected by the final rule, but that the likelihood of such 
filings is very low for the small railroads affected. If the small 
railroads do file, the filing is likely to be for a very small portion 
of the railroad affected, and the benefits would be very small.
    FRA believes that portions of the rule revising the requirements at 
49 CFR 236.567 regarding en route failures are technical in nature, and 
do not create any economic impacts on any regulated entities, large or 
small.
    The changes to the de minimis provisions in the final rule (i.e., 
Sec.  236.1005(b)(4)(iii)) will impact Class III freight railroads that 
operate on lines of other railroads currently required to have PTC 
systems installed. To the extent that such host railroads receive 
relief from such a requirement along certain lines, Class III freight 
railroads that operate over those lines will not have to equip their 
locomotives with PTC system components. FRA believes that small 
railroads operating over the affected lines are already allowed to 
avoid equipping locomotives under existing Sec.  236.1006(b)(4), or are 
otherwise equipping their locomotives to operate over other track 
segments equipped with PTC systems. Further, some Class III freight 
railroads host passenger operations, but FRA does not believe any of 
those Class III freight railroads have any switching operations that 
would be affected by the final rule (i.e., the freight yard movements 
exception at Sec.  236.1006(b)(5)). To the extent that any Class III 
freight railroads are affected in circumstances of which FRA is 
unaware, the effect would be a benefit, in that the Class III freight 
railroads would be able to avoid installing PTC systems on some 
locomotives. FRA requested comment on whether any other small entities 
would be affected, and if such small entities would be affected what 
the impacts on them would be, whether those impacts would be 
significant and whether the number of small railroads affected is 
substantial, but received no comments on the topic. FRA believes that 
no small entities will be affected by changes to the de minimis 
provisions and the freight locomotive yard movements exception, and 
that therefore the number of small entities affected is not 
substantial, and that the impact on them is not significant.
    These five small freight railroads are required to file a PTCIP by 
the existing PTC regulations and will be affected by the final rule's 
changes in the reporting requirements in Sec.  236.1009. The reporting 
requirements will require the railroad to report its progress in 
installing PTC, in April 2013, 2014, and 2015, in order to comply with 
the statutory deadlines. FRA believes that all railroads implementing 
PTC will track this information and compile the information as part of 
internal management activities at least as frequently for what is 
likely to be a relatively large capital project on every affected 
railroad. FRA believes the incremental reporting regulatory burden is 
negligible, on the order of forwarding to FRA an email already 
generated within a railroad. FRA believes this is not a significant 
burden upon the railroads affected.
    Certain other provisions (e.g., Sec.  236.15 (regarding timetable 
instructions) and Sec.  236.1015(d)(21) (lists related to locomotives 
with failed onboard PTC apparatus, etc.) are minor and should not 
create any economic impacts on any regulated entities, large or small 
other than paperwork, which is accounted for under V.C. of the 
preamble, below; FRA believes these are not a significant burden on 
these five small railroads.
    FRA believes that the portions of the rule revising the 
requirements at Sec.  234.207 (regarding adjustment, etc. of essential 
components), Sec.  234.213 (regarding grounds), Sec.  236.2 (regarding 
grounds), and Sec.  236.567 (regarding en route failures) are technical 
in nature, and do not create any economic impacts on any regulated 
entities, large or small. Likewise, the revised and new relief 
provisions at Sec.  236.1029(b), (c), and (g) (which are considered as 
clarifying the intent of the original PTC final rule) are not expected 
to create economic impacts on any regulated entities, large or small.
    For the reasons summarized above, FRA believes the reporting 
requirements will not have a significant impact on a substantial number 
of small entities.
2. Certification
    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the 
FRA Administrator certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Executive Order 13175

    FRA analyzed this rule in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 13175 (``Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments'').
    Because this rule does not significantly or uniquely affect tribes 
and does not impose substantial and direct compliance costs on Indian 
tribal governments, the funding and consultation requirements of 
Executive Order 13175 do not apply, and a tribal summary impact 
statement is not required.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements in this final rule are 
being submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. 
The sections that contain the both the new and current information 
collection requirements and the estimated time to fulfill each 
requirement are as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Respondent        Total annual     Average time per    Total annual burden
          CFR section                 universe          responses           response               hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
234.275--Processor-Based         20 Railroads.....  25 letters.......  4 hours..........  100 hours.
 Systems--Deviations from
 Product Safety Plan (PSP)--
 Letters.
235.6--Requests to FRA Regional  38 Railroads.....  500 application    5 hours..........  2,500 hours.
 Administrators for                                  requests.
 Modification of a Signal
 System Related to PTC
 Implementation--Expedited
 Application (New Requirement).
    --PTC Related Modification   38 Railroads.....  500 application    30 minutes.......  250 hours.
     Request--Expedited                              request copies.
     Application--Copies to
     Railroad Union(s) (New
     Requirement).
    --Railroad Rescindment of    38 Railroads.....  25 letters.......  6 hours..........  150 hours.
     Expedited Application--
     Letters (New Requirement).

[[Page 49711]]

 
    --RR Submission of           38 Railroads.....  13 submission/     5 hours..........  65 hours.
     (Revised) Application                           applications.
     completed under Sections
     235.5 and 235.9-235.20
     (New Reqmnt).
    --Revised Application        38 Railroads.....  13 copies........  30 minutes.......  7 hours.
     Copies to Railroad
     Union(s) (New Requirement).
236.15--Timetable Instructions-- 38 Railroads.....  13 timetable       1 hour...........  13 hours.
 Designation of Positive Train                       Instructions.
 Control (PTC) Territory in
 Instructions (Revised
 Requirement).
236.18--Software Mgmt Control    184 Railroads....  184 plans........  2,150 hours......  395,600 hours.
 Plan--.
    --Updates to Software Mgmt.  90 Railroads.....  20 updates.......  1.50 hours.......  30 hours.
     Control Plan.
236.905--Updates to RSPP.......  78 Railroads.....  6 plans..........  135 hours........  810 hours.
    --Response to Request For    78 Railroads.....  1 updated doc....  400 hours........  400 hours.
     Additional Info.
    --Request for FRA Approval   78 Railroads.....  1 request/         400 hours........  400 hours.
     of RSPP Modification.                           modified RSPP.
236.907--Product Safety Plan     5 Railroads......  5 plans..........  6,400 hours......  32,000 hours.
 (PSP)--Dev.
236.909--Minimum Performance
 Standard.
    --Petitions For Review and   5 Railroads......  2 petitions/PSP..  19,200 hours.....  38,400 hours.
     Approval.
    --Supporting Sensitivity     5 Railroads......  5 analyses.......  160 hours........  800 hours.
     Analysis.
236.913--Notification/           6 Railroads......  1 joint plan.....  25,600 hours.....  25,600 hours.
 Submission to FRA of Joint
 Product Safety Plan (PSP).
    --Petitions For Approval/    6 Railroads......  6 petitions......  1,928 hours......  11,568 hours.
     Informational Filings.
    --Responses to FRA Request   6 Railroads......  2 documents......  800 hours........  1,600 hours.
     For Further Info. After
     Informational Filing.
    --Responses to FRA Request   6 Railroads......  6 documents......  16 hours.........  96 hours.
     For Further Info. After
     Agency Receipt of Notice
     of Product Development.
    --Consultations............  6 Railroads......  6 consults.......  120 hours........  720 hours.
    --Petitions for Final        6 Railroads......  6 petitions......  16 hours.........  96 hours.
     Approval.
    --Comments to FRA by         Public/RRs.......  7 comments.......  240 hours........  1,680 hours.
     Interested Parties.
    --Third Party Assessments    6 Railroads......  1 assessment.....  104,000 hours....  104,000 hours.
     of PSP.
    --Amendments to PSP........  6 Railroads......  15 amendments....  160 hours........  2,400 hours.
    --Field Testing of Product-- 6 Railroads......  6 documents......  3,200 hours......  19,200 hours.
     Info. Filings.
236.917--Retention of Records.
    --Results of tests/          6 Railroads......  3 documents/       160,000 hrs.;      360,000 hours.
     inspections specified in                        records.           160,000 hrs.;
     PSP.                                                               40,000 hrs.
    --Report to FRA of           6 Railroads......  1 report.........  104 hours........  104 hours.
     Inconsistencies with
     frequency of safety-
     relevant hazards in PSP.
236.919--Operations &
 Maintenance Man.
    --Updates to O & M Manual..  6 Railroads......  6 updated docs...  40 hours.........  240 hours.
    --Plans For Proper           6 Railroads......  6 plans..........  53,335 hours.....  320,010 hours.
     Maintenance, Repair,
     Inspection of Safety-
     Critical Products.
    --Hardware/Software/         6 Railroads......  6 revisions......  6,440 hours......  38,640 hours.
     Firmware Revisions.
236.921--Training Programs:      6 Railroads......  6 Tr. Programs...  400 hours........  2,400 hours.
 Development.
    --Training of Signalmen &    6 Railroads......  300 signalmen; 20  40 hours; 20       12,400 hours.
     Dispatchers.                                    dispatchers.       hours.
236.923--Task Analysis/Basic     6 railroads......  6 documents......  720 hours........  4,320 hours.
 Requirements: Necessary
 Documents.
    --Records..................  6 railroads......  350 records......  10 minutes.......  58 hours.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Subpart I--New Requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
236.1001--RR Development of      38 railroads.....  3 rules..........  80 hours.........  240 hours.
 More Stringent Rules Re: PTC
 Performance Stds.
236.1005--Requirements for PTC
 Systems
    --RR Request for Relief to   38 railroads.....  27 relief          64 hours.........  1,728 hours.
     Install PTC System.                             requests.
    --Temporary Rerouting:       38 railroads.....  47 requests......  8 hours..........  376 hours.
     Emergency Requests.
    --Written/Telephonic         38 railroads.....  47 notifications.  2 hours..........  94 hours.
     Notification to FRA
     Regional Administrator.
    --Temporary Rerouting        38 railroads.....  720 requests.....  8 hours..........  5,760 hours.
     Requests Due to Track
     Maintenance.
    --Temporary Rerouting        38 railroads.....  361 requests.....  8 hours..........  2,888 hours.
     Requests That Exceed 30
     Days.
236.1006--Requirements for
 Equipping Locomotives
 Operating in PTC Territory.
    --PTC Progress Reports.....  38 railroads.....  35 reports.......  16 hours.........  560 hours.
236.1007--Additional
 Requirements for High Speed
 Service.
    --Required HSR-125           38 railroads.....  3 documents......  3,200 hours......  9,600 hours.
     Documents with approved
     PTCSP.

[[Page 49712]]

 
    --Requests to Use Foreign    38 railroads.....  2 requests.......  8,000 hours......  16,000 hours.
     Service Data.
    --PTC Railroads Conducting   38 railroads.....  3 documents......  3,200 hours......  9,600 hours
     Operations at More than
     150 MPH with HSR-125
     Documents.
    --Requests for PTC Waiver..  38 railroads.....  1 request........  1,000 hours......  1,000 hours.
236.1009--Procedural
 Requirements.
    --Host Railroads Filing      38 Railroads.....  1 PCTIP; 20 RFAs.  535 hours; 320     6,935 hours.
     PTCIP or Request for                                               hours.
     Amendment (RFAs).
    --Jointly Submitted PTCIPs.  38 Railroads.....  5 PTCIPs.........  267 hours........  1,335 hours.
    --Notification of Failure    38 Railroads.....  1 notification...  32 hours.........  32 hours.
     to File Joint PTCIP.
    --Comprehensive List of      38 Railroads.....  1 list...........  80 hours.........  80 hours.
     Issues Causing Non-
     Agreement.
    --Conferences to Develop     38 Railroads.....  1 conf. calls....  60 minutes.......  1 hour.
     Mutually Acceptable PCTIP.
    --Annual Implementation      38 Railroads.....  38 reports + 38    8 hours + 60       2,584 hours.
     Status Report.                                  reports.           hours.
    --Type Approval............  38 Railroads.....  2 Type Appr......  8 hours..........  16 hours.
    --PTC Development Plans      38 Railroads.....  20 Ltr. + 20 App;  8 hrs/1600 hrs.;   44,960 hours.
     Requesting Type Approval.                       2 Plans.           6,400 hours.
    --Notice of Product Intent   38 Railroads.....  3 NPI; 1 IP......  1,070 + 535 hrs..  3,745 hours.
     w/PTCIPs (IPs).
    --PTCDPs with PTCIPs (DPs +  38 Railroads.....  1 DP.............  2,135 hours......  2,135 hours.
     IPs).
    --Updated PTCIPs w/PTCDPs    38 Railroads.....  1 IP; 1 DP.......  535 + 2,135 hrs..  2,670 hours.
     (IPs + DPs).
    --Disapproved/Resubmitted    38 Railroads.....  1 IP + 1 NPI.....  135 + 270 hrs....  405 hours.
     PTCIPs/NPIs.
    --Revoked Approvals--        38 Railroads.....  1 IP + 1 DP......  135 + 535 hrs....  670 hours.
     Provisional IP/DP.
    --PTC IPs/PTCDPs Still       38 Railroads.....  1 IP + 1 DP......  135 + 535 hrs....  670 hours.
     Needing Rework.
    --PTCIP/PTCDP/PTCSP Plan     38 Railroads.....  1 document.......  8,000 hours......  8,000 hours.
     Contents--Documents
     Translated into English.
    --Requests for               38 Railroads.....  38 ltrs; 38 docs.  8 hrs.; 800 hrs..  30,704 hours.
     Confidentiality.
    --Field Test Plans/          38 Railroads.....  190 field tests;   800 hours........  153,600 hours.
     Independent Assessments--                       2 assessments.
     Req. by FRA.
    --FRA Access: Interviews     38 Railroads.....  76 interviews....  30 minutes.......  38 hours.
     with PTC Wrkrs..
    --FRA Requests for Further   38 Railroads.....  8 documents......  400 hours........  3,200 hours.
     Information.
236.1011-PTCIP Requirements--    7 Interested       1 rev.; 40 com...  143 + 8 hrs......  463 hours.
 Comment.                         Groups.
236.1015--PTCSP Content
 Requirements & PTC System
 Certification.
    --Non-Vital Overlay........  38 Railroads.....  3 PTCSPs.........  16,000 hours.....  48,000 hours.
    --Vital Overlay............  38 Railroads.....  28 PTCSPs........  22,400 hours.....  627,200 hours.
    --Stand Alone..............  38 Railroads.....  1 PTCSP..........  32,000 hours.....  32,000 hours.
    --Mixed Systems--Conference  38 Railroads.....  3 conferences....  32 hours.........  96 hours.
     with FRA regarding Case/
     Analysis.
    --Mixed Sys. PTCSPs (incl.   38 Railroads.....  1 PTCSP..........  28,800 hours.....  28,800 hours.
     safety case).
    --FRA Request for            38 Railroads.....  19 documents.....  3,200 hours......  60,800 hours.
     Additional PTCSP Data.
    --PTCSPs Applying to         38 Railroads.....  19 PTCSPs........  3,200 hours......  60,800 hours.
     Replace Existing Certified
     PTC Systems.
    --Non-Quantitative Risk      38 Railroads.....  19 assessment....  3,200 hours......  60,800 hours.
     Assessments Supplied to
     FRA.
236.1017--PTCSP Supported by     38 Railroads.....  1 assessment.....  8,000 hours......  8,000 hours.
 Independent Third Party
 Assessment.
    --Written Requests to FRA    38 Railroads.....  1 request........  8 hours..........  8 hours.
     to Confirm Entity
     Independence.
    --Provision of Additional    38 Railroads.....  1 document.......  160 hours........  160 hours.
     Information After FRA
     Request.
    --Independent Third Party    38 Railroads.....  1 request........  160 hours........  160 hours.
     Assessment: Waiver
     Requests.
    --RR Request for FRA to      38 Railroads.....  1 request........  32 hours.........  32 hours.
     Accept Foreign Railroad
     Regulator Certified Info.
236.1019--Main Line Track
 Exceptions.
    --Submission of Main Line    38 Railroads.....  36 MTEAs.........  160 hours........  5,760 hours.
     Track Exclusion Addendums
     (MTEAs).
    --Passenger Terminal         38 Railroads.....  19 MTEAs.........  160 hours........  3,040 hours.
     Exception--MTEAs.
    --Limited Operation          38 Railroads.....  19 plans.........  160 hours........  3,040 hours.
     Exception--Risk Mit.
    --Ltd. Exception--Collision  38 Railroads.....  12 analyses......  1,600 hours......  19,200 hours.
     Hazard Anal.
    --Temporal Separation        38 Railroads.....  11 procedures....  160 hours........  1,760 hours.
     Procedures.
236.1021--Discontinuances,       38 Railroads.....  19 RFAs..........  160 hours........  3,040 hours.
 Material Modifications,
 Amendments--Requests to Amend
 (RFA) PTCIP, PTCDP or PTCSP.
    --Review and Public Comment  7 Interested       7 reviews + 20     3 hours; 16 hours  341 hours.
     on RFA.                      Groups.            comments.
236.1023--PTC Product Vendor     38 Railroads.....  38 lists.........  8 hours..........  304 hours.
 Lists.
    --RR Procedures Upon         38 Railroads.....  38 procedures....  16 hours.........  608 hours.
     Notification of PTC System
     Safety-Critical Upgrades,
     Rev., Etc.
    --RR Notifications of PTC    38 Railroads.....  142 notification.  16 hours.........  2,272 hours.
     Safety Hazards.
    --RR Notification Updates..  38 Railroads.....  142 updates......  16 hours.........  2,272 hours.

[[Page 49713]]

 
    --Manufacturer's Report of   5 System           5 reports........  400 hours........  2,000 hours.
     Investigation of PTC         Suppliers.
     Defect.
    --PTC Supplier Reports of    5 System           142 reports + 142  16 hours + 8       3,408 hours.
     Safety Relevant Failures     Suppliers.         rpt. copies.       hours.
     or Defective Conditions.
236.1029--Report of On-Board     38 Railroads.....  836 reports......  96 hours.........  80,256 hours.
 Lead Locomotive PTC Device
 Failure.
    --Submission by RR of Order  38 Railroads.....  1 Order..........  3,200 hours......  3,200 hours.
     of Particular Availability
     with an Alternative System
     Failure Procedure to FRA
     (New Requirement).
    --Notice to FRA at least 7   38 Railroads.....  76 planned         10 hours.........  1,900 hours.
     days in Advance of Planned                      notices + 114
     Disabling of PTC System                         unplanned
     Service and                                     notices.
     Contemporaneous Notice for
     Unplanned Disabling of PTC
     System Service (New
     Requirement).
    --Annual Report of PTC       38 Railroads.....  38 reports.......  20 hours.........  760 hours.
     System Failures (New
     Requirement).
236.1031--Previously Approved
 PTC Systems.
    --Request for Expedited      38 Railroads.....  3 REC Letters....  160 hours........  480 hours.
     Certification (REC) for
     PTC System.
    --Requests for               38 Railroads.....  3 requests.......  1,600 hours......  4,800 hours.
     Grandfathering on PTCSPs.
236.1035--Field Testing          38 Railroads.....  190 field test     800 hours........  152,000 hours.
 Requirements.                                       plans.
    --Relief Requests from       38 Railroads.....  38 requests......  320 hours........  12,160 hours.
     Regulations Necessary to
     Support Field Testing.
236.1037--Records Retention.
    --Results of Tests in PTCSP  38 Railroads.....  836 records......  4 hours..........  3,344 hours.
     and PTCDP.
    --PTC Service Contractors    38 Railroads.....  18,240 records...  30 minutes.......  9,120 hours.
     Training Records.
    --Reports of Safety          38 Railroads.....  4 reports........  8 hours..........  32 hours.
     Relevant Hazards Exceeding
     Those in PTCSP and PTCDP.
    --Final Report of            38 Railroads.....  4 final reports..  160 hours........  640 hours.
     Resolution of
     Inconsistency.
236.1039--Operations &           38 Railroads.....  38 manuals.......  250 hours........  9,500 hours.
 Maintenance Manual (OMM):
 Development.
    --Positive Identification    38 Railroads.....  114,000 i.d.       1 hour...........  114,000 hours.
     of Safety-critical                              components.
     components.
    --Designated RR Officers in  38 Railroads.....  76 designations..  2 hours..........  152 hours.
     OMM. regarding PTC issues.
236.1041--PTC Training Programs  38 Railroads.....  38 programs......  400 hours........  15,200 hours.
236.1043--Task Analysis/Basic    38 Railroads.....  38 evaluations...  720 hours........  27,360 hours.
 Requirements: Training
 Evaluations.
    --Training Records.........  38 railroads.....  560 records......  10 minutes.......  93 hours.
236.1045--Training Specific to   38 Railroads.....  32 trained         20 hours.........  640 hours.
 Office Control Personnel.                           employees.
236.1047--Training Specific to   38 Railroads.....  7,600 trained      3 hours..........  22,800 hours.
 Loc. Engineers & Other                              conductors.
 Operating Personnel.
    --PTC Conductor Training...  38 Railroads.....  7,600 trained      3 hours..........  22,800 hours.
                                                     conductors.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All estimates include the time for reviewing instructions; 
searching existing data sources; gathering or maintaining the needed 
data; and reviewing the information. Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(2)(B), FRA solicits comments concerning: Whether these 
information collection requirements are necessary for the proper 
performance of the functions of FRA, including whether the information 
has practical utility; the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of 
the information collection requirements; the quality, utility, and 
clarity of the information to be collected; and whether the burden of 
collection of information on those who are to respond, including 
through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology, may be minimized. For information or a copy of 
the paperwork package submitted to OMB, contact Mr. Robert Brogan, 
Information Clearance Officer, Office of Safety, at 202-493-6292, or 
Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of Information Technology, at 202-493-6132, 
or via email at the following addresses: Robert.Brogan@dot.gov; 
Kimberly.Toone@dot.gov.
    Organizations and individuals desiring to submit comments on the 
collection of information requirements should direct them to the Office 
of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 
Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FRA Desk Officer. Comments may also be 
sent via email to the Office of Management and Budget at the following 
address: oira_submissions@omb.eop.gov.
    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of 
information requirements contained in this final rule responding to 
petitions for reconsideration between 30 and 60 days after publication 
of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment to OMB 
is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 
days of publication.
    FRA cannot impose a penalty on persons for violating information 
collection requirements which do not display a current OMB control 
number, if required. FRA intends to obtain current OMB control numbers 
for any new information collection requirements resulting from this

[[Page 49714]]

rulemaking action prior to the effective date of this final rule. The 
OMB control number, when assigned, will be announced by separate notice 
in the Federal Register.

E. Federalism Implications

    Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999), 
requires FRA to develop an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful 
and timely input by State and local officials in the development of 
regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' ``Policies 
that have federalism implications'' are defined in the Executive Order 
to include regulations that have ``substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government.'' Under Executive Order 13132, the agency 
may not issue a regulation with federalism implications that imposes 
substantial direct compliance costs and that is not required by 
statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to 
pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments 
or the agency consults with State and local government officials early 
in the process of developing the regulation. Where a regulation has 
federalism implications and preempts State law, the agency seeks to 
consult with State and local officials in the process of developing the 
regulation.
    FRA has analyzed this rule in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. If adopted, this rule 
would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the 
relationship between the Federal government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. FRA has also determined that this rule would not impose 
substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. 
Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 
13132 do not apply.
    However, this rule could have preemptive effect by operation of law 
under 49 U.S.C. 20106 (Section 20106). Section 20106 provides that 
States may not adopt or continue in effect any law, regulation, or 
order related to railroad safety or security that covers the subject 
matter of a regulation prescribed or order issued by the Secretary of 
Transportation (with respect to railroad safety matters) or the 
Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to railroad security 
matters), except when the State law, regulation, or order qualifies 
under the ``local safety or security hazard'' exception to Section 
20106.
    In sum, FRA has analyzed this rule in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. As 
explained above, FRA has determined that this rule has no federalism 
implications, other than the possible preemption of State laws under 
Section 20106. Accordingly, FRA has determined that preparation of a 
federalism summary impact statement for this rule is not required.

F. Environmental Impact

    FRA has evaluated this rule in accordance with its ``Procedures for 
Considering Environmental Impacts'' (FRA's Procedures) (64 FR 28545, 
May 26, 1999) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), other environmental statutes, Executive Orders, 
and related regulatory requirements. FRA has determined that this 
action is not a major FRA action (requiring the preparation of an 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment) because it 
is categorically excluded from detailed environmental review pursuant 
to section 4(c)(20) of FRA's Procedures. 64 FR 28547, May 26, 1999. In 
accordance with section 4(c) and (e) of FRA's Procedures, the agency 
has further concluded that no extraordinary circumstances exist with 
respect to this final rule that might trigger the need for a more 
detailed environmental review. As a result, FRA finds that this rule is 
not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the 
human environment.

G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Pursuant to Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4, 2 U.S.C. 1531), each Federal agency ``shall, unless 
otherwise prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory 
actions on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector 
(other than to the extent that such regulations incorporate 
requirements specifically set forth in law).'' Section 202 of the Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1532) further requires that ``before promulgating any general 
notice of proposed rulemaking that is likely to result in the 
promulgation of any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may 
result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more 
(adjusted annually for inflation) [currently $140,800,000] in any 1 
year, and before promulgating any final rule for which a general notice 
of proposed rulemaking was published, the agency shall prepare a 
written statement'' detailing the effect on State, local, and tribal 
governments and the private sector. FRA is publishing this final rule 
to provide additional flexibility in standards for the development, 
testing, implementation, and use of PTC systems for railroads mandated 
by RSIA to implement PTC systems. The RIA provides a detailed analysis 
of the costs and benefits of the final rule. This analysis is the basis 
for determining that this rule will not result in total expenditures by 
State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector of $140,800,000 or more in any one year. The costs 
associated with this final rule are reduced accident reduction from an 
existing rule.

H. Energy Impact

    Executive Order 13211 requires Federal agencies to prepare a 
Statement of Energy Effects for any ``significant energy action.'' See 
66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001). Under the Executive Order a ``significant 
energy action'' is defined as any action by an agency that promulgates 
or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or 
regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed 
rulemaking, and notices of proposed rulemaking: (1)(i) that is a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 or any 
successor order, and (ii) is likely to have a significant adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is 
designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. FRA has evaluated 
this rule in accordance with Executive Order 13211. FRA has determined 
that this rule is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on 
the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Consequently, FRA has 
determined that this final rule is not a ``significant energy action'' 
within the meaning of the Executive Order.

I. Privacy Act

    FRA wishes to inform all interested parties that anyone is able to 
search the electronic form of any written communications and comments 
received into any agency docket by the name of the individual 
submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on 
behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Interested 
parties may also review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000

[[Page 49715]]

(65 FR 19477) or visit https://www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice.

List of Subjects

49 CFR Part 234

    Highway safety, Highway-rail grade crossings, Penalties, Railroad 
safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

49 CFR Part 235

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Railroad safety, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

49 CFR Part 236

    Penalties, Positive Train Control, Railroad safety, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

The Rule

    In consideration of the foregoing, FRA amends chapter II, subtitle 
B of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 234--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 234 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107, 20152, 21301, 21304, 21311, 
22501 note; Pub. L. 110-432, Div. A, Secs. 202, 205; 28 U.S.C. 2461, 
note; and 49 CFR 1.89.
0
2. Revise Sec.  234.207 to read as follows:


Sec.  234.207  Adjustment, repair, or replacement of component.

    (a) When any essential component of a highway-rail grade crossing 
warning system fails to perform its intended function, including but 
not limited to failures resulting in an activation failure, partial 
activation, or false activation, the cause shall be determined and the 
faulty component adjusted, repaired, or replaced without undue delay.
    (b) If the failure of an essential component results in an 
activation failure, partial activation, or false activation, as defined 
in Sec.  234.5, a railroad shall take appropriate action under Sec.  
234.105, Activation failure, Sec.  234.106, Partial activation, or 
Sec.  234.107, False activation, until adjustment, repair, or 
replacement of the essential component is completed.

0
3. Revise Sec.  234.213 to read as follows:


Sec.  234.213  Grounds.

    (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, 
each circuit that affects the proper functioning of a highway-rail 
grade crossing warning system shall be kept free of any ground or 
combination of grounds that will permit a current flow of 75 percent or 
more of the value necessary to retain a permissive state of a safety 
appliance.
    (b) Exception. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the 
following:
    (1) Circuits that include track rail;
    (2) Alternating current power distribution circuits that are 
grounded in the interest of safety;
    (3) Circuitry internal to microprocessor-based appliances;
    (4) Circuitry internal to semiconductor-based memory; and
    (5) Common return wires of grounded common return single break 
circuits.

PART 235--[AMENDED]

0
4. The authority citation for part 235 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 
CFR 1.89.


0
5. Add Sec.  235.6 to read as follows:


Sec.  235.6  Expedited application for approval of certain changes.

    (a) Qualifying changes. A railroad may seek approval under this 
section, instead of under Sec. Sec.  235.5 and 235.9-235.20 of this 
chapter for the following changes:
    (1) Modification of a signal system consisting of the installation, 
relocation, or removal of one or more signals, interlocked switches, 
derails, movable-point frogs, or electric locks in an existing system 
directly associated with the implementation of positive train control 
pursuant to subpart I of part 236 of this chapter, if the modification 
does not include the discontinuance or decrease of limits of a signal 
or train control system.
    (2) [Reserved]
    (b) Procedure of expedited application. (1) To seek approval under 
this section, a railroad shall provide a notice and profile plan for 
the proposed modification to the FRA Regional Administrator having 
jurisdiction over the affected territory.
    (2) Simultaneously with its filing with the FRA Regional 
Administrator, the railroad shall serve, either by hard copy or 
electronically, a copy of the notice and profile plan to 
representatives of employees responsible for maintenance, inspection, 
and testing of the affected signal system under part 236 of this 
chapter, as well as representatives of employees responsible for 
operating trains or locomotives in the affected territory.
    (3) The railroad shall include in its submission to the FRA 
Regional Administrator a statement affirming that the railroad has 
complied with the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section, 
together with a list of the names and addresses of the persons served.
    (4) In response to receipt of a notice and profile plan under 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall in 
writing deny or approve, in full or in part, and with or without 
conditions, the request for signal system modification. For any portion 
of the request that is denied, the Regional Administrator shall refer 
the issue to the Railroad Safety Board as an application to modify the 
signal system.
    (5) A railroad may rescind its application to the Regional 
Administrator and submit an application under Sec. Sec.  235.5 and 
235.9-235.20 of this chapter at any time prior to the decision of the 
Regional Administrator.
    (c) The resultant arrangement of any change under this section 
shall comply with part 236 of this chapter.

PART 236--[AMENDED]

0
6. The authority citation for part 236 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20102-20103, 20107, 20133, 20141, 20157, 
20301-20303, 20306, 20701-20703, 21301-21302, 21304; 28 U.S.C. 2461, 
note; and 49 CFR 1.89.


Sec.  236.0  [Amended]

0
7. In Sec.  236.0, remove paragraph (i).

0
8. Revise Sec.  236.2 to read as follows:


Sec.  236.2  Grounds.

    (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, 
each circuit, the functioning of which affects the safety of train 
operations, shall be kept free of any ground or combination of grounds 
having a current flow of 75 percent or more of the value necessary to 
retain a permissive state of a safety appliance.
    (b) Exception. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the 
following:
    (1) Circuits that include any track rail;
    (2) The common return wires of single-wire, single-break, and 
signal control circuits using a grounded common;
    (3) Circuitry internal to microprocessor-based appliances;
    (4) Circuitry internal to semiconductor-based memory; or
    (5) Alternating current power distribution circuits that are 
grounded in the interest of safety.

0
9. Revise Sec.  236.15 to read as follows:


Sec.  236.15  Timetable instructions.

    Automatic block, traffic control, train stop, train control, cab 
signal, and positive train control territory shall be designated in 
timetable instructions.

0
10. Revise Sec.  236.567 to read as follows:

[[Page 49716]]

Sec.  236.567  Restrictions imposed when device fails and/or is cut out 
en route.

    (a) Except as provided in subparts H or I of this part, where an 
automatic train stop, train control, or cab signal device fails and/or 
is cut out en route, the train on which the device is inoperative may 
proceed to the next available point of communication where report must 
be made to a designated officer, at speeds not to exceed the following:
    (1) If no block signal system is in operation, restricted speed; or
    (2) If a block signal system is in operation, according to signal 
indication but not to exceed 40 miles per hour.
    (b) Upon completion and communication of the report required by 
paragraph (a) of this section, a train may continue to a point where an 
absolute block can be established in advance of the train at speeds not 
to exceed the following:
    (1) If no block signal system is in operation, restricted speed; or
    (2) If a block signal system is in operation, according to signal 
indication but not to exceed 40 miles per hour.
    (c) Upon reaching the location where an absolute block has been 
established in advance of the train, as referenced in paragraph (b) of 
this section, the train may proceed at speeds not to exceed the 
following:
    (1) If no block signal system is in operation and the train is a 
passenger train, 59 miles per hour;
    (2) If no block signal system is in operation and the train is a 
freight train, 49 miles per hour; and
    (3) If a block signal system is in operation, 79 miles per hour.


Sec.  236.1003  [Amended]

0
11. In Sec.  236.1003, remove the words ``PIH Materials'' and add, in 
their place, ``PIH materials''.

0
12. In Sec.  236.1005, revise the header row in the table in paragraph 
(a)(1)(i), revise the heading of paragraph (b)(4)(iii), and revise 
paragraphs (b)(4)(iii)(A), (b)(4)(iii)(B), and (b)(4)(iii)(C) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  236.1005  Requirements for Positive Train Control systems.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Protection
          Crossing type                Max. speed           required
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (iii) Freight lines with de minimis risk not used for regularly 
provided intercity or commuter rail passenger service. (A) In a PTCIP 
or an RFA, a railroad may request review of the requirement to install 
a PTC system on a track segment where a PTC system is otherwise 
required by this section, but has not yet been installed, based upon 
the presence of a minimal quantity of PIH materials traffic. Any such 
request shall be accompanied by estimated traffic projections for the 
next 5 years (e.g., as a result of planned rerouting, coordination, or 
location of new business on the line). Where the request involves prior 
or planned rerouting of PIH materials traffic, the railroad must 
provide the information and analysis identified in paragraph (b)(4)(i) 
of this section. The submission shall also include a full description 
of potential safety hazards on the segment of track and fully describe 
train operations over the line. This paragraph does not apply to line 
segments used for commuter rail or intercity rail passenger service.
    (B) Absent special circumstances related to specific hazards 
presented by operations on the line segment, FRA will approve a request 
for relief under this paragraph for a rail line segment that meets all 
of the following criteria:
    (1) That carries less than 15 million gross tons annually;
    (2) That does not have a heavy grade as ``heavy grade'' is defined 
in Sec.  232.407 of this chapter for any train operating over the track 
segment;
    (3) Where the railroad adopts and complies with an operating rule 
requiring the crew of any train approaching working limits established 
under part 214 of this chapter to notify the roadway worker in charge 
of the train's approach at least 2 miles in advance of the working 
limits or, if the train crew does not have advance knowledge of the 
working limits, as soon as practical;
    (4) That carries fewer than 100 cars containing PIH materials per 
year, excluding those cars containing only a residue, as defined in 
Sec.  171.8 of this title, of PIH materials;
    (5) That carries 2 or fewer trains per day carrying any quantity of 
PIH materials;
    (6) Where trains carrying any quantity of PIH materials operate at 
speeds not to exceed 40 miles per hour; and
    (7) Where any train transporting a car containing any quantity of 
PIH materials is operated with a vacant block ahead of and behind the 
train.
    (C) FRA may, in its discretion, approve other track segments not 
used for regularly provided intercity or commuter passenger service 
that have posed an equivalent or lesser level of risk of a PTC-
preventable accident or PIH materials release as those track segments 
covered by paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, where such other 
track segments are similar to those covered by paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(B) 
of this section.
* * * * *

0
13. In Sec.  236.1006, revise paragraph (a), remove and reserve 
paragraph (b)(2), and add paragraphs (b)(5) and (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  236.1006  Equipping locomotives operating in PTC territory.

    (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, 
each locomotive, locomotive consist, or train on any track segment 
equipped with a PTC system shall be controlled by a locomotive equipped 
with an onboard PTC apparatus that is fully operative and functioning 
in accordance with the applicable PTCSP approved under this subpart.
    (b) * * *
    (2) [Reserved]
* * * * *
    (5) Freight yard movements. For the purpose of freight switching 
service or freight transfer train service, a locomotive, locomotive 
consist, or train may operate without onboard PTC apparatus installed 
or operational where an onboard PTC apparatus is otherwise required by 
this part only if all of the following six requirements and conditions 
are met:
    (i) The locomotive, locomotive consist, or train must be engaged in 
freight switching service or freight transfer train service, including 
yard, local, industrial, and hostling service, movements in connection 
with the assembling or disassembling of trains, and work trains;
    (ii) The movement must originate either:
    (A) In a yard; or
    (B) Within 20 miles of a yard with the yard as the final 
destination point;
    (iii) The locomotive, locomotive consist, or train shall not travel 
to a point in excess of 20 miles from its point of entry onto the PTC-
equipped main line track;
    (iv) The speed of the locomotive, locomotive consist, or train 
shall not exceed restricted speed, except if:
    (A) No other locomotive, locomotive consist, or train is operating 
on any part of the route without an operational onboard PTC apparatus;
    (B) No working limits are established under part 214 of this 
chapter on any part of the route; and
    (C) Either an air brake test under part 232 of this chapter is 
performed, in

[[Page 49717]]

which case the locomotive, locomotive consist, or train may proceed at 
a speed not to exceed 30 miles per hour; or an air brake test under 
part 232 of this chapter is not performed, in which case the 
locomotive, locomotive consist, or train may proceed at a speed not to 
exceed 20 miles per hour;
    (v) The speed of the locomotive, locomotive consist, or train shall 
not exceed restricted speed on PTC-equipped track where the route 
terminates; and
    (vi) The route of the locomotive or train is protected against 
conflicting operations by the PTC system and sufficient operating rules 
to protect against train-to-train collisions, as specified in the 
PTCSP.
    (vii) FRA may, in its discretion, approve yard movement procedures 
other than the yard movement procedures in paragraphs (b)(5)(i) through 
(b)(5)(vi) of this section in a PTCSP or an RFA that provide an 
equivalent or greater level of safety as the requirements of paragraphs 
(b)(5)(i) through (b)(5)(vi) of this section, where such procedures are 
similar to those of paragraphs (b)(5)(i) through (b)(5)(vi) of this 
section.
    (viii) A locomotive, locomotive consist, or train with an operative 
onboard PTC apparatus may assist a locomotive, locomotive consist, or 
train operating without an operative onboard PTC apparatus for purposes 
such as locomotive malfunction, rescue of locomotive or cars, or to add 
or remove power, provided that such a movement is made at restricted 
speed.
* * * * *
    (d) Onboard PTC apparatus. (1) The onboard PTC apparatus shall be 
so arranged that each member of the crew assigned to perform duties in 
the locomotive can receive the same PTC information displayed in the 
same manner and execute any functions necessary to that crew member's 
duties. The locomotive engineer shall not be required to perform 
functions related to the PTC system while the train is moving that have 
the potential to distract the locomotive engineer from performance of 
other safety-critical duties.
    (2) The onboard PTC apparatus may be distributed among multiple 
locomotives if such functionality is included with the applicable PTCSP 
approved under this subpart. The controlling locomotive shall be 
equipped with a fully operative interface that complies with paragraph 
(d)(1) of this section and is consistent with appendix E of this part.

0
14. Add Sec.  236.1009(a)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  236.1009  Procedural requirements.

    (a) * * *
    (5) Each railroad filing a PTCIP shall report annually, on the 
anniversary of its original PTCIP submission, and until its PTC system 
implementation is complete, its progress towards fulfilling the goals 
outlined in its PTCIP under this part, including progress towards PTC 
system installation pursuant to Sec.  236.1005 and onboard PTC 
apparatus installation and use in PTC-equipped track segments pursuant 
to Sec.  236.1006, as well as impediments to completion if each of the 
goals.
* * * * *

0
15. Add Sec.  236.1015(d)(21) to read as follows:


Sec.  236.1015  PTC Safety Plan content requirements and PTC System 
Certification.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (21) A list of each location where a locomotive with a failed 
onboard PTC apparatus will be regularly be exchanged or repaired 
pursuant to Sec.  236.1029(b)(6) and a list of each movement that could 
take place pursuant to Sec.  236.1029(b)(6) if the movement potentially 
could exceed 500 miles.
* * * * *

0
16. Section 236.1029 is amended by--
0
a. Revising the section heading,
0
b. Revising the last sentence in paragraph (a),
0
c. Revising paragraphs (b) and (c),
0
d. Removing and reserving paragraph (f), and
0
e. Adding paragraphs (g) and (h).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  236.1029  PTC system use and failures.

    (a) In general. * * * Until repair of such essential components is 
completed, a railroad shall take appropriate action as specified in its 
PTCSP.
    (b) En route failures. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (g) 
of this section, where a controlling locomotive that is operating in, 
or is to be operated within, a PTC-equipped track segment experiences 
PTC system failure or the PTC system is otherwise cut out while en 
route (i.e., after the train has departed its initial terminal), the 
train may only continue in accordance with all of the following:
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(5) of this section, where 
no block signal system is in use, the train may proceed at a speed not 
to exceed 40 miles per hour; however, if the involved train is 
transporting one or more cars containing PIH materials, excluding those 
cars containing only a residue of PIH materials, the train may only 
proceed at a speed not to exceed 30 miles per hour.
    (2) Where a block signal system is in place:
    (i) A passenger train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 59 miles 
per hour;
    (ii) A freight train transporting one or more cars containing PIH 
materials, excluding those cars containing only a residue of PIH 
materials, may proceed at a speed not to exceed 40 miles per hour; and
    (iii) Any other freight train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 
49 miles per hour.
    (3) Where a cab signal system with an automatic train control 
system is in use, the train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 79 
miles per hour.
    (4) A report of the failure or cut-out must be made to a designated 
railroad officer of the host railroad as soon as safe and practicable.
    (5) Where the PTC system is the exclusive method of delivering 
mandatory directives, an absolute block must be established in advance 
of the train as soon as safe and practicable, and the train shall not 
exceed restricted speed until the absolute block in advance of the 
train is established.
    (6) Where the failure or cut-out is a result of a defective onboard 
PTC apparatus, the train may continue no farther than the next forward 
designated location for the repair or exchange of onboard PTC 
apparatuses.
    (c) Exception for alternative system failure procedure. A railroad 
may submit for approval a PTCSP, an RFA, or an Order of Particular 
Applicability with an alternative system failure procedure other than 
that required by paragraph (b) of this section. FRA may, in its 
discretion, approve such an alternative system failure procedure if it 
provides similar requirements of, and an equivalent or greater level of 
safety as, the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.
* * * * *
    (f) [Reserved]
    (g) Temporary exceptions. From October 21, 2014 through the 24 
months following the date of required PTC system implementation 
established by section 20157 of title 49 of the United States Code--
    (1) A railroad's PTCSP or Order of Particular Applicability may 
provide for compliance with the en route failure requirements of Sec.  
236.567 instead of paragraph (b) of this section where a controlling 
locomotive that is operating

[[Page 49718]]

in, or is to be operated within, a PTC-equipped track segment 
experiences PTC system failure or the PTC system is otherwise cut out 
while en route;
    (2) A train may proceed as prescribed under either paragraph (b) of 
this section or Sec.  236.567 where the PTC system fails to initialize 
for any reason prior to the train's departure from its initial 
terminal; and
    (3) A railroad's PTCSP may provide for the temporary disabling of 
PTC system service where necessary to perform PTC system repair or 
maintenance. In this paragraph (g)(3), ``PTC system service'' does not 
refer to the failure of the onboard PTC apparatus for a single 
locomotive, locomotive consist, or train.
    (i) The PTCSP shall specify appropriate operating rules to apply 
when the PTC system is temporarily disabled in accordance with this 
paragraph (g)(3).
    (ii) The railroad shall make reasonable efforts to schedule the 
temporary disabling of PTC system service for times posing the least 
risk to railroad safety.
    (iii) The railroad shall provide notice to the FRA regional office 
having jurisdiction over that territory at least 7 days in advance of 
planned temporary disabling of PTC system service and contemporaneous 
notice for unplanned temporary disabling of PTC system service.
    (iv) The PTC system that is temporarily disabled in accordance with 
this paragraph (g)(3) shall be placed back into service without undue 
delay.
    (h) Annual report of system failures. Annually, by April 16 of each 
year following the date of required PTC system implementation 
established by section 20157 of title 49 of the United States Code, 
each railroad shall provide FRA with a report of the number of PTC 
failures that occurred during the previous calendar year. The report 
shall identify failures by category, including but not limited to 
locomotive, wayside, communications, and back office system failures.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 8, 2014.
Joseph C. Szabo,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-19849 Filed 8-21-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P