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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is proposing new rules designed to protect passengers from injuries related to the operation of train exterior side doors, the agency announced yesterday in the Federal Register.The proposal was developed with recommendations from the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee's Passenger Safety Task Force as well as from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), according to the Register notice."Through this rulemaking, the FRA intends to limit the number of and severity of injuries associated with the use and operation of passenger train exterior side doors and increase the overall level of safety for passengers and train crew members," the agency wrote.The proposed requirements include:• equipping new passenger cars with powered side doors with an obstruction detection system and a door by-pass feature;• connecting new cars with manual or powered exterior side doors to a door summary circuit to prohibit the train from developing tractive power if any of the exterior side doors are open; • conducting a safety briefing for train crews to identify crew member responsibilities for safe operation of exterior side doors and operating passenger trains with their exterior side doors and trap doors closed when in motion between stations; and• requiring railroads to develop operating rules on how to safely override a door summary circuit or a no-motion system.The new rules would be phased in for all new cars and passenger train locomotives that would be built. The FRA will accept written comments on the proposed rules until May 27.
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