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Rail News: Safety

FRA proposes changes to passenger train emergency systems

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced proposed improvements to existing passenger train emergency system regulations that could better protect train riders during emergencies.

The proposed rule would address such passenger train systems as vestibule doors, emergency lighting, signage and markings for emergency entrances and exits, and rescue access. It also would address the application of photo luminescent materials to highlight emergency exit path markings, instructions for emergency system operations and debriefing requirements after emergencies.

“Adoption of these safety measures will help rail passengers locate and operate emergency exits,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a prepared statement. “These improvements will also make sure that first responders can quickly reach passengers in need during emergency situations.”

Adds FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo: “The proposed new requirements are based on the latest developments in passenger train emergency system technologies and best practices.”

The proposed requirements are based on recommendations of the FRA’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, and were developed by its Passenger Safety Working Group, Emergency Preparedness Task Force. The proposed regulation would also incorporate three industry standards developed by the American Public Transportation Association.

Comments on the proposal are due by March 5.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/4/2012