FRA Grants Temporary Regulatory Relief for US Railroads
The FRA has made temporary regulatory relief available to all U.S. railroads through May 24, 2020, encompassing certain requirements of 49 CFR Parts 213, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 228, 229, 232, 234, 236, 239, 240, 242 and 243. See the FRA Section under "Regulatory Response" for requirements for the exemption process.
On April 3, 2020 ASLRRA filed an additional request. Under the requested waiver, the railroads seek to evaluate the performance of engineer recertification candidates remotely, utilizing available electronic information sources, specifically locomotive event recorders. The skills testing requirements of § 240.127 make social distancing virtually impossible. This request is pending.
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).
As essential workers, the freight rail industry is not affected by the DHS’s announcement on border crossing restrictions between the US and Canada.
Linked here are some additional thoughts and suggestions that may help to minimize disruptions to your ongoing operations, which we have gathered from conversations with dozens of railroads over the past few days.