The COVID-19 virus pandemic has caused an unprecedented experience for our industry, and the communities we serve. As companies continue to grapple with the ongoing impact of the global pandemic, ASLRRA is also working hard on our members’ behalf in a number of areas, including with the FRA, PHMSA and STB, and also Congressional members to ensure Short Line Industry needs are considered.

Association staff members are available to assist members as the industry navigates this difficult period. Although ALRRA’s offices are closed per DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Order 2020-103, our staff is working from home and available for you. 

Railroad Workers are Critical Infrastructure Workers per CISA

Freight railroad workers, including those that support maintenance of rail and transportation infrastructure, have been designated as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to our country during this crisis by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and on April 17, 2020 advisory guidance on defining essential critical infrastructure workers was issued. The CDC has issued updated guidance on implementing safety practices for employees who have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 for critical infrastructure workers, such as railroaders.

As essential workers, the freight rail industry is not affected by the DHS’s announcement on border crossing restrictions between the US and Canada.

FRA Grants Temporary Regulatory Relief for US Railroads

The FRA has responded to ASLRRA’s request to extend certain temporary waivers through September 18, 2020. Weekly reporting of waivers utilized is still required with the same waiver-specific reporting requirements. For a listing of waivers no longer in effect, click here. ASLRRA has provided an updated summary here.

Regulatory Response         COVID Relief Laws

State-by-State Response       Small Business Resources

Reopening Resources       Short Line Response

Outlining the Impact of COVID-19 Legislation on Small Businesses & Railroads

ASLRRA has conducted a series of webinars to help members understand how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) legislation impacts small railroads and industry suppliers. Recorded webinars are available in ASLRRA’s On-Demand Webinars Library.

Learn More

Have something to add? We welcome your suggestions! Please share your COVID-19 resources with ASLRRA by emailing