Information and Guidance on the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Emergency Window Exits on Railroad Passenger Cars
FRA has become aware of occurrences when emergency window exits on passenger cars did not operate as intended because the emergency pull handle became detached from the window gasket when pulled, the gasket tore into multiple pieces, or the gasket was otherwise difficult to remove. While investigating these occurrences, FRA discovered that some railroads were not following, or did not clearly understand, the existing Federal regulations on the inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) of these window exits, particularly the requirement that a railroad must utilize a test sampling method that conforms with a formalized statistical test method. FRA does not believe any of these occurrences involved passengers or precluded passengers from opening a window in an emergency situation. However, in light of these concerns, FRA is issuing this document to provide information and guidance to railroads operating passenger train service on the existing regulatory requirements regarding ITM of emergency window exits.