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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA advises railroads to examine wayside detectors

FRA Administrator Amit Bose
Photo – railroads.dot.gov


The Federal Railroad Administration yesterday issued a notice of a safety advisory that urges railroads to examine how they use and maintain hot bearing wayside detectors.

The safety advisory recommends that railroads evaluate the thresholds for inspections based on hot bearing detector (HBD) data; consider the use of real-time trend analyses of HBD data as a criterion for inspection; ensure the proper training and qualification of personnel responsible for the calibration, inspection and maintenance of HBDs; ensure proper inspection of rolling stock with HBD alerts; and improve the safety culture of their organization, particularly as it pertains to operational decisions based on HBD data.

The advisory is being issued in the aftermath of the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern Railway train in East Palestine, Ohio, and other recent derailments.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators have said the NS train derailed after the crew received a warning from a wayside detector that a wheel bearing was overheating. The train was carrying hazardous materials, some of which spilled into the environment.

The NTSB's investigation into the derailment is ongoing.