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Proposed rule updates passenger train emergency procedures

January 4, 2012

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Washington – The Federal Railroad Administration published a notice of proposed rulemaking (.pdf file) on Jan. 3 to update existing emergency system and safety requirements for passenger train occupants.

FRA is proposing to add requirements for emergency exit signage, markings and lighting, as well as post-emergency situation communication and debriefing.

The proposal also would incorporate an emergency evacuation approach developed by the Washington-based American Public Transportation Association that establishes when it is safest for train occupants in an emergency to move to an adjacent train car or to evacuate the train.

In a press release, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said the added safety measures will assist train occupants in locating emergency exits, as well as help first responders reach injured occupants.

Comments on the proposal are due March 5.

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