Revisions to Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness Regulations
FRA is amending its existing regulation entitled Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness by revising or clarifying various provisions. The final rule clarifies that railroad personnel who communicate or coordinate with first responders during emergency situations must receive certain initial and periodic training and be subject to operational tests and inspections related to the railroad's emergency preparedness plan. The final rule also clarifies that railroads must develop procedures in their emergency preparedness plans that specifically address the safety of passengers with disabilities during actual and simulated emergency situations, such as during train evacuations. The rule also limits the need for FRA to formally approve certain purely administrative changes to approved emergency preparedness plans. In addition, the final rule requires that operational tests and inspections be conducted in accordance with a program that meets certain minimum requirements. Finally, the rule removes as unnecessary the provision discussing the preemptive effect of the regulations.