Monday, February 29, 2016

FRA Publishes PTC Direct Final Rule

Today the DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a final rule in the Federal Register (81 FR 10126-10131) implementing changes in compliance dates for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology in accordance with the requirements of §1302 of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015 (PL 114-73).

The changes being made in this new final rule include:

• Striking the deadline referenced in 49 CFR §236.1005(b)(1) and is adding a paragraph (b)(7) to address the new deadlines the recent legislation mandates;
• Amending paragraph §236.1005(b)(6) by striking “2015” and replacing it with “2020”;
• Striking the deadline in §236.1006(b)(1) and (b)(3), replacing the latter change with a cross-reference to new paragraph § 236.1005(b)(7);
• Removed paragraph §236.1006(b)(2);
• Striking the introductory phrase in §236.1006(b)(3);
• Adding three years to each date referenced in paragraph §236.1006(b)(4)(iii)(B);
• Amending paragraph §236.1009(a)(5) to reference that new progress report deadline and to avoid confusion and potential redundant submissions;
• Amending the deadline in § 236.1011 to cross-reference to the applicable deadline determined under §236.1005(b)(7); and
• Amending the deadline dates referenced in Appendix A.

This is a direct final rule implementing changes required by Congress, so the typical public comments are not being solicited by FRA. The FRA does note that petitions for reconsideration may be filed via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket #FRA-2016-0012). Petitions should be filed before April 19th, 2016. The effective date of this final rule is April 29th, 2016.

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