Brightline Petitions for Waiver of Compliance

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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David C. Lester

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Brightline has petitioned the FRA for a waiver of compliance from 49 CFR 213.353(e).

In a public notice from the Federal Register, Brightline has petitioned the FRA for “a waiver of compliance from 49 CFR 213.353(e), turnouts, crossovers, and lift rail assemblies or other transition devices on moveable bridges.” 

According to the notice, BLF requested relief to allow BLF to “proceed with the critical testing processes of Positive Train Control (PTC) Field Qualification Testing (FQT), PTC Simulated Revenue Service Demonstration (SRSD), and Simulated Service Demonstration (SSD) on the segment of its Phase 2 project connecting West Palm Beach, Florida with Cocoa, Florida (Phase 2 N/S Corridor).” In doing so, BLF also requested that the waiver apply to “train movements necessary in support of PTC Testing and crew qualification” and would expire as soon as the Simulated Service Demonstration was completed.

In 49 CFR 213.353, paragraph e, it states that hand operated switches are required to be “equipped with a redundant operating mechanism for maintaining the security of switch point position.” BLF stated that there are 55 hand operated switches in the Corridor, but the waiver only applies to 31 switches “that are located in Class 6 track.” It also says that already existing mitigations would be “in place for the purpose of completing testing and service demonstration (i.e., the PTC system will provide protection for improperly lined switches through enforcement of the protecting signals and after passing a signal, if a switch in the block becomes improperly lined, the automatic train control (ATC) system will enforce the most restrictive cab signal state).” BLF has asked for an expedited review.

The notice states that any communications about these proceedings should be submitted to (with the appropriate docket number), and another copy should be sent to Carolyn Hayward-Williams, Director, Office of Railroad Systems and Technology by September 12th in order to be considered by the FRA.

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