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.