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DOT/FRA RIN: 2130-AC67 Publication ID: Fall 2020 
Title: +Amendments to Brake System Safety Standards to Incorporate Waivers and Address Tourist and Historic Railroads (previously Tourist and Historic Railroad Amendments) 
Abstract:

The rulemaking would propose to amend 49 CFR part 232 by incorporating a number of existing long-standing waivers related to end-of-train devices and single car testing. The rule would also propose modifications to appendix B to better address brake system maintenance on tourist, historic, and scenic operations and would propose to extend the existing 4-hours off-air requirement to 24 hours consistent with Canadian railroad operations as requested by AAR via a waiver and rulemaking petition.

 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 215    49 CFR 224    49 CFR 230    49 CFR 232   
Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20102 to 20103    49 U.S.C. 20107    28 U.S.C. 2461, note    49 U.S.C. 20148    49 U.S.C. 20148    49 U.S.C. 21301    49 U.S.C. 20702    49 U.S.C. 20133    49 U.S.C. 20141    49 U.S.C. 20301 to 20303    49 U.S.C. 21301 to 21302    49 U.S.C. 21304   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The rulemaking is a deregulatory action consistent with Executive Order 13771 and that provides permanent relief to railroads on a number of topics for which FRA has granted numerous waivers over the last decade or more. The rulemaking will also address recommendations from the full RSAC related to tourist, historic, and scenic railroad operations as well as a major issue raised by AAR through DOT's Executive Order 13771 public outreach (24 hours off-air).

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The legal bases for the rule include 49 U.S.C. 20102 and 20103, 49 U.S.C. 20107, 28 U.S.C. 2461, note, 49 U.S.C. 20148, 49 U.S.C. 21301, 49 U.S.C. 20702, 49 U.S.C. 20133, 49 U.S.C. 20141, 49 U.S.C. 20301 to 20303, 49 U.S.C. 20306, 49 U.S.C. 21301 and 21302, 49 U.S.C. 21304, and the Secretary's general railroad safety rulemaking authority, see 49 U.S.C. 20103, which has been delegated to the Administrator of FRA. See 49 CFR 1.89.

Alternatives:

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

FRA analyzed the economic impacts of this final rule over a 10-year period, and estimated its costs, cost savings, and benefits. For the final rule, FRA is adding new costs for enhanced training on EOT devices to address loss of communication and limitations of the emergency brake signal. FRA estimates the present value of these costs is small at $1,566 when using a 7% discount rate, and the same $1,566 when using a 3% discount rate (the costs are accounted for only in the first year of the analysis). The resulting net cost savings are $503.0 million (using a 7% discount rate), and $594.6 million (using a 3% discount rate). Based on an interagency comment to the NPRM, FRA has accounted for the benefits of reduced emissions. FRA estimates benefits will total approximately $12.7 million (using a 7% discount rate), and $14.8 million (using a 3% discount rate). This final rule generally increases flexibility for the regulated entities by codifying waivers. It does not impose any new substantive requirements. This final rule will not negatively impact safety in any aspect of railroad operations and FRA does not expect any increase in end-of-train device or brake failures as a result of this rule. As noted in the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) accompanying this rule, overall safety may be improved due to railroad employees experiencing less risk of common injuries such as slips, trips, and falls by having to perform fewer physical inspections, which would produce positive safety benefits, though these have not been quantified.

Risks:

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  01/15/2020  85 FR 2494   
NPRM Comment Period End  03/16/2020 
Final Rule  01/00/2021 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Amanda Maizel
Attorney Adviser
Department of Transportation
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 493-8014
Email: amanda.maizel@dot.gov