The Railroad Research Foundation (RRF) has received two new federal grants from the Federal Railroad Administration; one related to the transportation of hazardous materials and the other to discourage employee distractions on the job. These grants support the central goals of the RRF to promote safety in the railroad industry.
“The Railroad Research Foundation is pleased to receive funding to further its goals of promoting safety and security for the railroad industry. Through projects like reducing the distractions of electronic devices and developing security strategies for moving hazardous materials between Class 1 and Class 2 railroads, the RRF demonstrates its ability to handle a variety of research endeavors on behalf of the industry,” said Dr. Sharon Cole, senior program director for the RRF.
The awards are:
• A joint project with the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association to assist regulated Class 2 and Class 3 shortline railroads who transport Rail Security Sensitive Materials (RSSM) to comply with the requirements of the “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.” Prior to this point, railroad SSM hazmat related emphasis has been directed towards issues associated with securing the hazmat of large Class 1 railroads. In terms of both level of effort and funding, federal regulators, industry representatives and Class 1 railroads have prioritized the development and implementation of risk reduction solutions to overcome the complex problems of large multi-route interstate Carriers. This work has resulted in the optimization of RRF’s Federal Railroad Administration funded project entitled “Rail Corridor Risk Management System (RCRMS)” that is capable of assisting Class 1 and larger Class 2 railroads to assess their RSSM hazmat vulnerabilities and reduce the risks associated with hazmat transportation on their systems.
• With its partner, Norfolk Southern, the RRF has received funding to design a process to assist NS employees in reducing electronic device distraction while on the job and thereby, reducing the risk of accidents, incidents, injuries and fatalities. Through education around the dangers of electronic distraction and peer support for appropriate use of electronic devices, this program will facilitate the development of safe habits to avoid distraction and thereby avoid incidents. This project will be located at the Norfolk Sothern’s Inman yard located in Atlanta.