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Federal Railroad Administration Funds Two Grants to Mitigate Risk among Short Line Railroads Hauling Hazardous Materials

WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration today funded two grants totaling $350,000 to support development of a Short Line Safety Institute. The Institute will help mitigate risk associated with shipping hazardous materials by rail by working to improve the culture of safety within the short line and regional rail industry while improving its overall safety record.

U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Freight Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations to Improve National Freight System

Recommendations emphasize the importance of a long-term transportation plan

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced receipt of a report from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) that makes recommendations to improve the performance of the Nation’s freight transportation system. These recommendations will be used to inform the development of the DOT’s National Freight Strategic Plan.

FRA to Issue Proposed Rule on Minimum Train Crew Size

Railroad Safety Advisory Committee Approves Other Key Recommendations on Train Securement and Hazardous Materials Regulations

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced its intention to issue a proposed rule requiring two-person train crews on crude oil trains and establishing minimum crew size standards for most main line freight and passenger rail operations.  The FRA also intends to advance a rulemaking on train securement and recommends a rulemaking on the movement of hazardous materials.

News Digest DOT 31-13

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Proposes New Passenger Train Door Rules.  The Federal Railroad Administration today announced a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) intended to improve the integrity of passenger train exterior side door safety systems. The proposed rule would create new safety standards that would help decrease accidents and improve the safe operation and use of passenger train exterior side doors.

Federal Railroad Administration Releases Results of Metro North Safety Review

Metro North ordered to address issues identified through Operation Deep Dive in 60 days

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced its findings and recommendations from an intensive 60-day comprehensive safety assessment of Metro-North Commuter Railroad.  The assessment, known as Operation Deep Dive, found that Metro-North’s management emphasizes on-time performance to the detriment of safe operations and adequate maintenance of its infrastructure, resulting in a deficient safety culture, increased risk and reduced safety on the Metro-North system. The report requires Metro-North to submit plans to FRA within 60-days on how it will improve the effectiveness of its Safety Department and training programs.     

DOT Issues Emergency Order Requiring Stricter Standards to Transport Crude Oil by Rail

Today’s action marks the 4th emergency order or safety advisory on crude oil in the last seven months

EDITOR's NOTE: As of March 6, 2014, this article links below to an amended Emergency Order that supercedes the earlier order.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued an Emergency Order requiring all shippers to test product from the Bakken region to ensure the proper classification of crude oil before it is transported by rail, while also prohibiting the transportation of crude oil in the lowest-strength packing group.

Federal Railroad Administration Launches Operation Deep Dive

Inspectors to conduct 60-day comprehensive safety assessment of Metro-North

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced the launch of a 60-day comprehensive safety assessment of Metro-North Commuter Railroad in response to the December 1st crash. Operation Deep Dive, beginning December 16, 2013, will exhaustively review Metro-North’s compliance with federal regulations, its procedures and practices, and its safety culture.

Federal Railroad Administration Issues Industry-wide Safety Advisory to Ensure Compliance with Speed Restrictions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued an industry-wide Safety Advisory to help ensure railroads adhere to federal regulations regarding maximum authorized train speed limits. The advisory contains four recommendations to ensure railroads comply with speed restrictions through appropriate operating policies, procedures and effective implementation.