FRA Adjusting Positive Train Control Requirements

Answering a petition from the Association of American Railroads, the DOT agency says it will make changes that reduce PTC costs for locomotives used in rail yards and will expand the de minimis exemption.

The cost to major U.S. railroads of fully implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) technology will go down by some $150 million thanks to changes the Federal Railroad Administration has proposed in the Dec. 11 Federal Register. Answering a petition from the Association of American Railroads, the DOT agency will make changes that reduce PTC costs for locomotives used in rail yards and will expand the de minimis exception.

For example, the exception will be adjusted by raising the number of freight cars containing poison- or toxic-by-inhalation hazmats (PIH or TIH) from 100 to 200 cars, and FRA plans to remove the traffic limitation of 15 million gross tons from the general de minimis exception but not from the categorical exception.

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