FRA issues final rule to stop unattended trains from rolling away

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued its final rule to prevent unattended trains carrying crude, ethanol, highly flammable or toxic contents from rolling away on Wednesday. 

Railroad employees with the responsibility of securing trains will now be required to communicate with fellow qualified individuals who are trained on the securement requirements of the railroad. This system will be used to verify that both equipment and trains are secured adequately.

“Today’s rule is part of the Department of Transportation’s comprehensive effort to bolster the safety of trains transporting crude oil and other highly flammable contents,”  U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “Verifying that a train has been properly secured is a common sense solution to prevent accidents.”

The ruling comes more than two years after an unattended freight train car carrying Bakken crude oil rolled downhill and derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Canada, killing 47 people.

“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,” Acting FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said. “Requiring that an additional, trained individual double check that the handbrakes have been set on a train will help stop preventable accidents. While today’s rule came out of a lesson learned from the Lac-Mégantic derailment, FRA will not hesitate to take additional actions to keep the rail system in the United States safe.”

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