FRA issues much-needed proposed rule on locomotive cab sanitation standards

The Federal Railroad Administration issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on January 2, proposing sanitation standards for toilet and washing facilities in locomotive cabs.

The proposal provides exceptions for certain existing equipment and operations, and establishes servicing requirements.

The NPRM is the product of the Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) on Locomotive Cab Working Conditions. It has received the consensus of the working group, been approved by the Full RSAC, and cleared the internal government process.

The regulation applies to lead locomotives and any occupied locomotive in a trailing position, except:

For the purposes of this rule, a locomotive's toilet facility is determined to be compliant or non-compliant at the time of the daily inspection. If it does not comply, it is prohibited from use as a lead or occupied locomotive until repaired or made sanitary.

Specific conditions are to be met at the daily inspection, including:

There are provisions to address circumstances of defective ventilation systems, defective toilets where parts are unavailable, and toilets determined to be non-compliant, where determination is made at a remote location and meet a specific set of restrictive conditions.

The FRA will be accepting comments until March 5, 2001, which it will consider before issuing a final rule.

The full text of the proposed rule can be found on the BLE website at: http://www.ble.org/pr/news/sanitationnprm.pdf.

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers