Monday, May 10, 2010

FRA publishes proposed rule for high-speed, high cant

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According to a notice published in the May 10 Federal Register, the Federal Railroad Administration is proposing to amend the Track Safety Standards and Passenger Equipment Safety Standards applicable to high-speed and high- cant-deficiency train operations in order to promote the safe interaction of rail vehicles with the track over which they operate.

The proposal would revise existing limits for vehicle response to track perturbations and add new limits as well. The proposal accounts for a range of vehicle types that are currently used and may likely be used on future high-speed or high-cant-deficiency rail operations, or both. The proposal is based on the results of simulation studies designed to identify track geometry irregularities associated with unsafe wheel/rail forces and accelerations, thorough reviews of vehicle qualification and revenue service test data, and consideration of international practices.

Written comments must be received by July 9, 2010. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent possible without incurring additional expense or delay.

FRA anticipates being able to resolve this rulemaking without a public, oral hearing. However, if FRA receives a specific request for a public, oral hearing prior to June 9, 2010, one will be scheduled and FRA will publish a supplemental notice in the Federal Register to inform interested parties of the date, time, and location of any such hearing.

Comments related to Docket No. FRA-2009-0036 may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, D.C. 20590.

Hand Delivery: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, D.C., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Fax: 202-493-2251.

For further information, contact: John J. Mardente, Engineer, Office of Railroad Safety, Mail Stop 25, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, D.C. 20590 (telephone 202-493-1335); Ali Tajaddini, Program Manager for Vehicle/Track Interaction, Office of Railroad Policy and Development, Mail Stop 20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, D.C. 20590 (telephone 202-493-6438); or Daniel L. Alpert, Trial Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, Mail Stop 10, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, D.C. 20590 (telephone 202-493-6026).

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