The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a rule in the Jan. 24 edition of The Federal Register, amending the Federal Track Safety Standards to promote the safety of railroad operations by enhancing rail-flaw detection processes.
In particular, FRA is establishing minimum qualification requirements for rail-flaw detection equipment operators, as well as revising requirements for effective rail inspection frequencies, rail-flaw remedial actions and rail inspection records. In addition, FRA is removing regulatory requirements concerning joint bar fracture reporting. This final rule is intended to implement section 403 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
FRA anticipates that the final rule, which takes effect March 25, 2014, will enhance the Track Safety Standards by allocating more time to rail inspections, increasing the opportunity to detect more serious defects sooner, providing assurance that qualified operators are inspecting the rail and causing inspection records to be updated with more useful information.
A more detailed description of this rule change will appear in the February issue of RT&S.