Federal Railroad Administration Funds Two Grants for Railroads Hauling Hazardous Materials

The grants aim to mitigate risk among short line railroads

According to a release from the Depart of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration funded two grants totaling $350,000 to support development of a Short Line Safety Institute. The Institute will help mitigate risk associated with shipping hazardous materials by rail by working to improve the culture of safety within the short line and regional rail industry while improving its overall safety record.

“Nearly half of all short line and regional railroads handle some type of hazardous materials, and today’s grants will play an important role in ensuring those materials and all shipments reach their destination safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in the statement. “These grants are just the latest step in our comprehensive approach to improving the safe transport of crude oil and other hazmat by rail.”

The purpose of the Institute will be to conduct safety compliance assessments to measure compliance with federal safety standards and safety culture assessments to evaluate the steps each railroad is taking to promote safety education, training and development to managers and employees. Assessors from the Institute will visit member railroads, evaluate safety compliance and safety culture and document their findings in a written report. The Institute will also provide education, training and employee development following the assessments.

“Although the Short Line Industry has an excellent safety record overall, we owe it to the public and the industry to drive continuous safety improvement,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo in the statement. “These grants are a first step in assisting the industry to further identify and contain risks.”

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    September 2020

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