Federal agencies Regulation Rail

FRA issues final rule on training standards for rail safety workers

train tracks

Photo: iStock/Thinkstock

Washington – The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a final rule aimed at strengthening minimum training standards for all safety-related railroad workers.

The final rule requires each railroad or contractor with at least one safety-related railroad worker to develop and submit a training program to FRA for approval. Among other requirements, the railroad or contractor must designate minimum training qualifications for each type of safety-related employee, as well as produce annual written reviews of training programs. Additional requirements will take effect for operators of roadway maintenance machines and brake inspectors.

FRA emphasized the need for well-designed training programs, including:

  • “Hands-on,” engaging training methods when appropriate
  • Initial, ongoing and on-the-job training criteria
  • Testing programs to measure compliance with federal standards
  • Methods to immediately identify and correct critical safety defects

The regulation, which was published in the Nov. 7 Federal Register, is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 6. Petitions for reconsideration are due Dec. 29.