News & Analysis as of

Federal Railroad Administration

Positive Train Control: Roadblocks to Interoperability

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Positive Train Control ("PTC") is a system that will automatically apply the train’s brakes in certain situations. PTC systems consist of technologies designed to help detect dangerous situations and automatically intervene...more

USDOT Agencies Propose New Rule to Eliminate Duplication of Environmental Reviews for Transportation Projects

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), (U.S. DOT) have published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on DOT’s Program for Eliminating...more

DOT Backs Away From Rulemaking on “Safety Sensitive Positions” in Highway and Rail Transportation

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: DOT has withdrawn its rulemaking on safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation. This week the U.S. Department of Transportation has withdrawn its March 10, 2016 Advance Notice of...more

FMCSA Withdraws Proposed Sleep Apnea Rulemaking

by SmithAmundsen LLC on

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have withdrawn the proposed rulemaking aimed at identifying and treating obstructive sleep apnea in workers in safety...more

FRA Invites Bids to Replace Amtrak on Three Routes

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced final rules permitting eligible petitioners to submit proposals to replace Amtrak on up to three Amtrak routes. The rules implement provisions of the Fixing America's...more

Eighth Circuit Strikes Down STB Rules Defining "On-Time" Passenger Performance

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Union Pacific Railroad Company v. Surface Transportation Board, No. 16-3307, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has held that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) exceeded its authority when it promulgated...more

New Federal Railway Administration Requirements For Maintenance-Of-Way Workers Take Effect June 12, 2017

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration’s (“FRA”) final rule expanding drug and alcohol testing to maintenance-of-way (“MOW”) employees takes effect on June 12, 2017. MOW employees are...more

NEC Future Names Preferred Alternative and Releases the Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

After nearly four years of planning and evaluation, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released its Preferred Alternative to improve the Northeast Corridor for passenger rail transportation from Washington, DC, to...more

Rail Issues Before the New Administration

by Holland & Knight LLP on

There was a plenty of rail-related activity during the 114th Congress and the last two years of the Obama Administration. Amtrak and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) were reauthorized with major changes to Amtrak's...more

On the Right Track: FRA Proposes High-Speed Train Rules

by Freeborn & Peters LLP on

At the end of November, the Federal Railroad Administration proposed updates to the passenger train safety standards relating to the operation of high-speed trains. In the works for nearly a decade, the proposal amends...more

FRA/OSHA Safety Advisory – Identification and Mitigation of Hazards Through Job Safety Briefings and Hazard Recognition Strategies

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Federal Railroad Administration’s new Safety Advisory seeks to cover activities that fall outside the scope of FRA safety regulations, but within the purview of the OSHA regulations. The Federal...more

Miscommunication leads to many railway and train accidents

An Amtrak train collided with a maintenance vehicle in Chester, Pennsylvania, killing two Amtrak employees, Backhoe operator Joseph Carter Jr., and supervisor Peter Adamovich in the early morning of April 3, 2016. About 30...more

FCA Penalties Slated to Nearly Double This Year

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

A little known federal agency, the Railroad Retirement Board (“Board”), which administers retirement-survivor and unemployment-sickness benefit programs for railroad workers, published an interim final rule on May 2, 2016...more

$2 Billion In Unused Earmarks Now Available for Transportation Infrastructure Projects

by K&L Gates LLP on

Eligible transportation projects in need of funding now have the opportunity to access roughly $2 billion in previously earmarked federal transportation under recently released guidance from the U.S. Department of...more

State and Local Governments May Now Request Railroad Bridge Inspection Reports

by Nossaman LLP on

State and local governments can now obtain railroad bridge inspection reports by making requests on the website of the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”). This new tool will help state and local governments gain better...more

Federal Transportation Update: Highway Extensions, Buy America Waivers and Rulemakings

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Two Week Highway Trust Fund Extension While Conference Takes Place - Congress agreed to extend the Highway Trust Fund by two weeks until Dec. 4 so that House and Senate conferees could meet to craft a final version of...more

Deadline Fast Approaching for Positive Train Controls

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Failure to Implement Safety Measures Will Result in Interrupted Railway Service - Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Washington, D.C. Government Relations Services team is monitoring an urgent issue now being considered by the...more

FRA Issues New Hazmat Train Securement Rule and Sunsets Emergency Order 28

by Nossaman LLP on

The Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") has issued new train securement rules for trains left unattended on a mainline, siding, or rail yard carrying 20 or more crude or ethanol cars or trains carrying poison by...more

FRA Issues Safety Advisory to All Passenger Railroads in Response to Recent Amtrak and Metro-North Derailments

by Nossaman LLP on

On June 9, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") issued Safety Advisory 2015-03 requiring passenger railroads to make operational and signal modifications to ensure compliance with speed restrictions. The FRA is...more

DOT Tank Car Rule Reflects Refined Cost-Benefit Analysis

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation, acting through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, issued a much-anticipated final rule on the enhanced tank car standards and operational...more

New Federal Oil-By-Rail Regulations Published

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Today, May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule for rail transport of crude oil in the Federal Register. These rules come after several high-profile oil train derailments,...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: The DOT’s Final Rule Is Out—How Can Producers and Midstream Transporters Comply with the New Classification...

by BakerHostetler on

On May 1, the Department of Transportation—through its operating agencies the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration—issued its final crude-by-rail rule. The rule...more

Recent Crude-by-Rail Developments

by Nossaman LLP on

The transportation of crude oil by rail continues to be a key issue for rail and energy industry stakeholders as well as policy makers. Below is a summary of recent developments. 1. DOT Takes Six Crude-by-Rail Safety...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

by Perkins Coie on

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

FRA's Proposed Rule on Risk Reduction Programs Puts the Outreach Obligations Squarely on Railroad Management

by Nossaman LLP on

On February 27, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") published its proposed rule on Risk Reduction Programs in the Federal Register. The proposed rule would require Class I railroads and railroads with an...more

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