FRA releases NPRM on PTC systems and reporting

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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FRA issues NPRM for PTC functioning and reporting.

With the Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation deadline of December 31, 2020 just three days away, last week the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” or NPRM to revise regulations around PTC system functioning and PTC systems and reporting.

Here is part of the NPRM:

FRA is proposing to revise its regulations governing changes to positive train control (PTC) systems and reporting on PTC system functioning. First, recognizing that the railroad industry intends to enhance further FRA-certified PTC systems to continue improving rail safety and PTC technology’s reliability and operability, FRA proposes to modify the process by which a host railroad must submit a request for amendment (RFA) to FRA before making certain changes to its PTC Safety Plan (PTCSP) and FRA-certified PTC system. Second, to enable more effective FRA oversight, FRA proposes to: Expand an existing reporting requirement by increasing the frequency from annual to biannual; broaden the reporting requirement to encompass positive performance-related information, not just failure-related information; and require host railroads to utilize a new, standardized Biannual Report of PTC System Performance (Form FRA F 6180.152). Overall, the proposed amendments would benefit the railroad industry, the public, and FRA, by reducing unnecessary costs, facilitating innovation, and improving FRA’s ability to oversee PTC system performance and reliability, while not negatively affecting rail safety.

For the complete 26-page NPRM, please follow this link to the Federal Register website.

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