January 18, 2010
Employment positions in this issue's classifieds include an Executive Director; an Executive Director, Operations; and a Chief Operations Officer!
DOT/FRA Announce Historic New Rail Safety Standards
On Jan. 12, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) Joseph Szabo announced historic safety regulations requiring the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on the nation’s major rail lines as well as commuter and intercity passenger rail routes—to enable passenger trains to prevent collisions.
“Safety is our highest priority, and we believe the installation of this equipment will make our nation’s railroads safer,” LaHood said.
“We believe this final rule, as mandated by Congress, is a giant step forward toward ensuring the safety and reliability of our freight, commuter, and intercity passenger rail routes,” added Szabo.
The final rule will also allow railroads to immediately begin finalizing their PTC Implementation Plans, which are required by statute to be submitted to FRA by April 16, 2010.
The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandates that interoperable PTC systems must be fully operational by the end of 2015. Some properties, however, are voluntarily planning to have this in place before that date. While train control systems such as PTC will be mandatory for most commuter rail operations and for trains hauling certain hazardous materials, they are not required for such passenger rail systems as light rail, rapid transit, and subways.
APTA compliments FRA on its inclusive and transparent rulemaking process, and is now reviewing the technical points of this ruling.