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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Denton County agency seeks FRA waiver for new crashworthy rail vehicles


The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) has submitted the rail industry’s first Alternative Vehicle Technology waiver to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), authority officials said in a prepared statement.

The purpose of the waiver is to obtain permission to use the DCTA Stadler GTW rail vehicles, which feature alternate crashworthiness elements, in service concurrently with the authority’s fleet of traditional vehicles, DCTA officials said.

The waiver request follows months of study and analysis in cooperation with the FRA, DCTA’s Swiss vehicle suppler Stadler and systems consultant LTK Engineering Services, they said.

“This effort promises to transport the rail vehicle industry and the face of commuter rail in the United States by increasing the use of rail vehicles that use alternative crashworthy designs,” said Tom LeBeau, DCTA’s vice president of rail development and capital projects.

The waiver submittal demonstrates that the enhanced crashworthiness and passenger protection systems in the new fleet of rail vehicles are equal to current U.S. safety standards, DCTA officials said.

The authority uses temporal separation over the A-train corridor so integration of the Stadler GTWs into service will not be contingent upon the AVT waiver, they said. However, the waiver would enable the agency to introduce the new cars sooner.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/3/2012