Federal agencies Legislation Rail

FRA issues final rule on securing unattended trains


Washington – A new final rule from the Federal Railroad Administration is aimed at preventing unattended trains carrying crude oil and other highly flammable contents from rolling away.

The rule, announced July 29, adds a layer of checks and balances by requiring a second trained and qualified worker to verify that a train has been properly secured.

The final rule also requires:

  • An improved communication system, including job briefings among workers responsible for securing the trains
  • Exterior locks on locomotives that are properly installed and used
  • Setting of sufficient hand brakes
  • Removal of train reverser
  • Correct use of air brakes

Any train carrying crude oil, ethanol or other materials defined as poisonous or toxic by inhalation is subject to the final rule.

“Where the Federal Railroad Administration can take smart steps to quickly raise the bar on safety, it will, and that is exactly what we are doing today,” FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg said in a press release. “Requiring that an additional, trained individual double-check that the hand brakes have been set on a train will help stop preventable accidents.”