The COVID-19 virus pandemic has caused an unprecedented experience for our industry, and the communities we serve.

ASLRRA is working hard on our members’ behalf in a number of areas, and we will be providing updates as needed via this page. Association staff members are available to assist members with any question as the industry navigates this difficult period. Although ALRRA’s offices are closed through April 24, 2020 per DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Order 2020-053, our staff is working from home and available for you. 

On April 13, OSHA announced its “Interim Enforcement Response Plan to Protect Workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic” which provides flexibility for addressing reports of workplace hazards related to the coronavirus. Fatalities and imminent danger exposures related to the coronavirus will be prioritized for on-site inspections. 

On April 9, the US Customs and Border Control provided a new memorandum which provides updated guidance on shipments of scarce or threatened health or medical resources, focused on commercial quantities. The full temporary final rule has been published in the Federal Register. On April 19, 2020, template letters of attestation were provided for railroad use in the following circumstances PPE contractually procured before Jan 1, 2020; movement with the company or corporation for internal use; cloth and paper face coverings not covered by the federal prioritization; and hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions to maintain workplace hygiene.

FRA Grants Temporary Regulatory Relief for US Railroads

The FRA has responded to ASLRRA’s request to extend certain temporary waivers through July 21,2020. Weekly reporting of waivers utilized is still required with the same waiver-specific reporting requirements. The waiver of Part 213.233(c), Inspection Frequencies for Main Line Track Including Sidings now requires any railroad implementing the relief on Class 2 track or above to reduce the track speed to the next lower track class. For a listing of waivers no longer in effect, click here. ASLRRA has provided an updated summary here.

On April 10, 2020 FRA granted a temporary waiver to railroads seeking to re-certify engineers, while maintaining social distancing recommendations.  The waiver approves the use of event recorders in order to comply with paragraph (c)(5) of § 240.127, requiring a designated supervisor of locomotive engineers (DSLE) to perform certification rides.

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.


Regulatory Response        Legislative Response      

       State-by-State Response       Resources for Small Businesses 

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

ASLRRA is conducting 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.

Register Now


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