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For a listing of waivers no longer in effect, click here.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.
State-by-State Response Resources for Small Businesses