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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT notes close call reporting system, R&D strides in rail industry


A recent analysis shows the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Close Call Confidential Reporting System demonstration project has shown significant strides in boosting safety, including a decrease in derailments, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced on Friday.

The analysis showed a 31 percent increase in the number of rail cars moved between incidents since designated corrective actions were implemented. In addition, a survey taken by employees suggested that their company’s safety culture had improved since the reporting system was introduced at their location.

“Interviews indicated that disciplinary cases decreased by over 90 percent, thus reducing large amounts of time and paperwork that labor and management needed in order to resolve each case,” USDOT officials said in a news brief.

Meanwhile, the FRA recently highlighted ongoing and completed research during its annual research and development review at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C.

The FRA’s Office of Research and Development reviewed crashworthiness research that improved the safety of next-generation passenger cars; an analysis of vehicle-track interaction that led to revised rules for track safety standards and vehicle qualification; the development of a freight train braking algorithm that allows the safety benefits of positive train control to be achieved without adversely affecting operations; and the success of several safety culture improvement pilot programs that have reduced the number of accidents and incidents caused by human error, USDOT officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/29/2012