Wednesday, January 3, 2024

FRA Sends Train Crew Size Final Rule to OMB

Yesterday, the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had received a final rule from DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on “Train Crew Staffing”. The notice of proposed rulemaking for this action was published on July 28th, 2022.

According to the Fall 2023 Unified Agenda entry for this rulemaking:

“This rulemaking would address the potential safety impact of one-person train operations, including appropriate measures to mitigate an accident's impact and severity, and the patchwork of State laws concerning minimum crew staffing requirements. This rulemaking would address the issue of minimum requirements for the size of train crews, depending on the type of operations. In an effort to encourage public participation, FRA extended the comment period from 60 to 146 days and held a public hearing on December 14, 2022.”

While this rulemaking is a little more down-in-the-weeds in railroad operations than I typically cover in this blog, the NPRM contained specific provisions (see my post) for hazmat trains that may affect loading operations at some chemical facilities. 

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