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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FRA's proposed MOW-equipment safety rulemaking hot topic of industry-representative talks, RPI says


Norfolk Southern Railway, Association of American Railroads, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes and Railway Progress Institute (RPI) representatives in late February met Federal Railroad Administration officials to discuss FRA Rail Safety Advisory Committee's notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on roadway maintenance-equipment safety, according to RPI's e-newsletter released March 4.
The parties discussed and tried to resolve various issues, including which crew member could ride maintenance-of-way equipment; where they could ride the machinery; how to ensure worker safety; which governmental body (FRA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has safety jurisdiction; which type of safety glass to use; and how to run the equipment if brakes fail.
Railway suppliers were most interested in clarifying applicable rules for certain types of MOW equipment, such as vacuums and rail grinders, which might be adversely affected by the NPRM, RPI says.
Following lengthy discussions of how this specialized equipment operates, the parties developed methods enabling the machinery to be manufactured and used in accordance with the rulemaking.
FRA plans to issue a final roadway maintenance-equipment safety rule by year end.