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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA: BNSF joins close-call reporting system

"With this new agreement, BNSF dispatchers can participate in C3S, confidentially sharing their experiences to the benefit of workers and the general public," said FRA Administrator Amit Bose (shown).
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The Federal Railroad Administration yesterday announced that the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA) and BNSF Railway Co. will partner with the FRA to join a pilot program of the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS).

As a result of the agreement, BNSF employees represented by the ATDA will be able to confidentially report unsafe events without fear of retribution or FRA enforcement, according to an FRA press release.

"We can all agree that addressing safety concerns before they cause a reportable accident, injury or death is commonsense. With this new agreement, BNSF dispatchers can participate in C3S, confidentially sharing their experiences to the benefit of workers and the general public," said FRA Administrator Amit Bose.

BNSF is the second Class I to join the FRA's C3RS program after U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called on all Class Is to enroll in the system due to a Norfolk Southern Railway train that derailed in February 2023 in East Palestine, Ohio.

NS — in partnership with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers–Transportation Division — was the first Class I to enroll in C3RS.

BNSF joins NS and the 28 passenger and freight railroads that also have joined the program. FRA officials remain committed to working with the remaining Class Is and their workforces interested in joining C3RS.

FRA partners with NASA to operate C3RS as an independent third party. The program informs corrective actions that mitigate hazards and shares data and analyses conducted by NASA under C3RS with the railroad industry, which ultimately improves rail safety, FRA officials said. Lessons learned and best practices are also shared during briefings and at FRA-hosted workshops.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/26/2024