FRA PROPOSED RULES FOR CERTIFICATION OF RAILROAD DISPATCHERS AND SIGNAL EMPLOYEES
- On May 31, 2023
Comments Due July 31st!
The FRA today issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking regarding certification rules for railroad dispatcher and signal employees. The rules apply to all freight railroads. However, Class II and III railroads have an extended time to submit their written certification programs (16 months after the final rule effective date vs 8 months for Class I’s, Amtrak and commuter rail). Both rules provide exceptions for railroads that do not perform dispatching functions or do not have a signal system as defined in 49 CFR §246.7, in-plant operations, rapid transit not connected to the general rail system (with some exceptions for dispatching where the FRA has already exercised its jurisdiction) and tourist, scenic, historic or excursion trains that are completely insular, not part of the general rail system, and, for the signal employees, don’t share track with freight or commuter rail or have public crossings.
The proposed rules require railroads to develop a formal certification process for training and testing to assure applicable employees have the requisite ability and skills to perform their safety-related duties. The proposed rules require programs approved by the FRA and require revoking certification if dispatchers or signal employees violate minimum requirements.
To view said rules, please use the links below: