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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FRA revises track safety regs

Ronald Batory is administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has revised its regulations governing the minimum safety requirements for track.

The agency amended its regulations on inspection of rail and verification of indications of defective rail to allow for continuous rail testing, according to the FRA's announcement published in the Federal Register.

The previous regulations required immediate verification of certain indications and required all others to be verified within four hours. That timeframe made it practically impossible for track owners to conduct continuous testing, the FRA filing stated.

The changes include allowing inspection of rail using continuous rail testing; allowing the use of flange-bearing frogs in crossing diamonds; relaxing the guard check gage limits on heavy-point frogs used in Class 5 tracks; removing an inspection-method exception for high-density commuter lines; and other revisions.

The revisions went into effect Oct. 7.

The FRA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in December 2019. The proposal was formed by recommendations from the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee and its Track Safety Standards Working Group.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/13/2020