Track Safety Standards; Continuous Welded Rail (CWR)
This document responds to a petition for reconsideration of FRA's final rule published on August 25, 2009, which revised the Track Safety Standards. FRA received one petition questioning the definitions of ``adjusting/de-stressing'' and ``buckling-prone condition'' as they are used with regard to continuous welded rail (CWR).
Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC); Working Group Activity Update
The FRA is updating its announcement of RSAC's Working Group activities to reflect its current status.
Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting
FRA announces the forty-first meeting of the RSAC, a Federal advisory committee that develops railroad safety regulations through a consensus process. The RSAC meeting topics will include opening remarks from the FRA Administrator, and status reports will be provided by the Locomotive Standards, Passenger Safety, Track Safety Standards, and Medical Standards Working Groups. Status updates will be provided on the following tasks arising out of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA): Positive Train Control, Passenger Hours of Service, Railroad Bridge Safety Management, and Conductor Certification. FRA may offer a new task on Minimum Training Standards for Safety-Related Railroad Employees, as required by the RSIA. This agenda is subject to change, including the possible addition of further proposed tasks.
Establishment of an Emergency Relief Docket for Calendar Year 2010
This Notice announces the establishment of FRA's emergency relief docket (ERD) for calendar year 2010. The designated ERD for calendar year 2010 is docket number FRA-2010-0003.
Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and its implementing regulations, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hereby announces that it is seeking renewal of the following currently approved information collection activities. Before submitting these information collection requirements for clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below.
Positive Train Control Systems
FRA is issuing regulations implementing a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that defines criteria for certain passenger and freight rail lines requiring the implementation of positive train control (PTC) systems. This final rule includes required functionalities of PTC system technology and the means by which PTC systems will be certified. This final rule also describes the contents of the PTC implementation plans required by the statute and contains the process for submission of those plans for review and approval by FRA. These regulations could also be voluntarily complied with by entities not mandated to install PTC systems. This is a final rule; however, FRA has identified specific provisions for which we are considering making changes to the final rule, if warranted by the public comments received. We expect to publish our response to those comments, including any possible changes to the rule made as a result of them, as soon as possible following the end of the comment period. However, the limited areas of this rule open for additional comment do not affect the requirement for railroads to prepare and submit plans in accordance with the deadlines established in this final rule.
State Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Action Plans
By notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on November 13, 2009 (74 FR 58589), FRA proposed a rule to require the ten States with the most highway-rail grade crossing collisions, on average, over the past three years, to develop State highway-rail grade crossing action plans. This document announces a public hearing to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on the NPRM and announces a fourteen (14) day extension of the comment period, which closed December 14, 2009, to commence on the date of the public hearing. The extension provides interested parties the opportunity to comment on the NPRM and to respond to matters that arise at the public hearing related to the NPRM.
Alcohol and Drug Testing: Determination of Minimum Random Testing Rates for 2010
Using data from Management Information System annual reports, FRA has determined that the 2008 rail industry random testing positive rates were 0.46 percent for drugs and 0.15 percent for alcohol. Because the industry-wide random drug testing positive rate has remained below 1.0 percent for the last two years of data, the Federal Railroad Administrator (Administrator) has determined that the minimum annual random drug testing rate for the period January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010, will remain at 25 percent of covered railroad employees. In addition, because the industry-wide random alcohol testing violation rate has remained below 0.5 percent for the last two years, the Administrator has determined that the minimum random alcohol testing rate will remain at 10 percent of covered railroad employees for the period January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010.
Passenger Equipment Safety Standards; Front End Strength of Cab Cars and Multiple-Unit Locomotives
This final rule is intended to further the safety of passenger train occupants by amending existing regulations to enhance requirements for the structural strength of the front end of cab cars and multiple-unit (MU) locomotives. These enhancements include the addition of requirements concerning structural deformation and energy absorption by collision posts and corner posts at the forward end of this equipment. The requirements are based on standards specified by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). FRA is also making clarifying amendments to existing regulations for the structural strength of passenger equipment and is clarifying its views on the preemptive effect of this part.