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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA issues safety advisory on ballast conditions


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) posted on the Federal Register yesterday a safety advisory to emphasize the importance of timely repair of ballast defects and conditions on main tracks.

The advisory notes that ballast defects and conditions that are not repaired on time can lead to future defects, FRA officials said in the notice.

"The FRA believes it is important for track inspectors to be aware that ballast defects and conditions can cause track components to deteriorate rapidly and compromise the stability of the track structure, and that inspectors are trained to identify and repair ballast defects and conditions," the notice states.

The safety advisory recommends track owners and railroads:
• update engineering instructions on ballast safety to provide specific guidance to track inspectors;
• train track inspectors on the updated engineering instructions and the FRA’s safety advisory to ensure they know how to identify and initiate remedial action;
• make sure supervisors adequately oversee track inspections to identify and remediate ballast defects and other conditions.

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More News from 8/27/2015