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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA issues face-mask mandate


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) late last week issued an emergency order that requires the wearing of face masks during all freight- and passenger-rail operations under the FRA's jurisdiction.

The order was issued to require compliance under President Biden's recent executive order and that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which called for masks to be worn in airports and on planes and various modes of surface transportation, including trains, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The FRA's order mandates that railroads require their personnel to wear a face mask while engaged in railroad operations, including whenever in a transportation hub or facility under the rail carrier's control, regardless of duty status.

Individuals who refuse to wear masks can be removed from service and subject to fines. Railroads that don't enforce the order also could face civil penalties.