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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has once again delayed a requirement for commuter and intercity passenger railroads to develop a system safety program (SSP).Passenger railroads now have until Dec. 4, 2018, to develop their SSPs, which are aimed at improving the safety of their operations, according to a notice published yesterday in the Federal Register.In August 2016, the FRA first issued the requirement and gave passenger-rail systems until Oct. 11, 2016, to develop the safety programs. However, the FRA extended the deadline four times in 2017.In the latest notice, the FRA noted that there have been "multiple requests for a continued stay of the rule." Petitions for a continued delay must be received by Jan. 19, 2018. Comments in response to those petitions must be received by March 5, 2018.SSPs are structured programs with "proactive processes and procedures" to identify and reduce or eliminate hazards, according to the Register. Railroads have flexibility to tailor their programs to their own specific operations.
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