Thursday, December 12, 2013

FRA Issues Industry-wide Safety Advisory to Ensure Compliance with Speed Restrictions

DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued an industry-wide Safety Advisory in an effort to help ensure railroads adhere to federal regulations regarding maximum train speed limits

This advisory follows the Dec. 1 derailment in New York City of a Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company train that killed four passengers and injured more than 60 others. This incident serves as a reminder of how important it is for railroads to follow speed limits, says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This Safety Advisory, along with the other enforcement measures we’ve taken, will remind all employees of the need to follow speed limits and will help improve safety across all rail lines.”

The Safety Advisory provides five recommended to ensure the safety of the nations railroads, their employees and the general public. FRA recommends railroads:
  • Review the details of the Dec. 1, 2013, Spuyten Duyvil derailment with their operating employees.
  • Provide instruction to their employees during training classes and safety briefings on the importance of compliance with maximum authorized train speed limits and other speed restrictions.
  • Remind employees that Federal railroad safety regulation prohibits the operation of a locomotive or train at a speed which exceeds the maximum authorized speed by at least 10 mph.
  • Evaluate results of operational data regarding speed testing.
  • Reinforce the importance of communication between train crew members located in the controlling locomotive, particularly during safety critical periods when multiple tasks are occurring and during extended periods of inactivity.