Update on new FRA operating procedures regulation

CLEVELAND, April 16 — Last Friday afternoon, we reported receiving word that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was temporarily suspending the Final Rule federalizing operating practices pertaining to hand-operated switches and fixed derails, point protection for shoving movements, and leaving equipment in the foul, which was to take effect on April 14. We have since been advised that the notice suspending the rule was not received by the Federal Register in time for publication in Monday’s edition, meaning that the Final Rule has gone into effect.

FRA also advised the BLET as follows:

  • Although FRA is not able to temporarily suspend the effective date of the rule… FRA will judiciously exercise its enforcement discretion with respect to the aspects of the Final Rule that were petitioned.

  • FRA is well aware that railroads that have asked for relief from the training implementation dates will need to continue to ramp up training of employees and supervisors based on the published implementation schedule. For that reason and others, FRA intends to act on the petitions for reconsideration expeditiously.

    Among the issues under reconsideration in addition to the training schedule are individual liability for civil penalties for willful violation of the regulation, the Good Faith Challenge process, whether point protection is required when shove lights are used, and the extent to which remote control zone pull-out protection technology is governed by the 49 CFR Part 236, Subpart H requirements for processor-based signal and train control systems.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008


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