Allen Railroad Consulting Track Risk Management
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Important Railroad Track Safety Inspection Notice from the White House
“Railroad safety user fee”
 
Allen Railroad Consulting has been performing required periodic FRA Railroad Track Safety Inspections for thousands of industries who own railroad tracks throughout the Midwest for more then 30 years. This year, industries that own or operate a section of railroad track must start a regular Track Safety Inspection regiment.
 
This fall the FRA will begin raising $50 million through FRA Track Safety Inspections.  When companies who own and operate railroad track become required to pay the FRA for Railroad Track Safety Inspections, the FRA Track Inspectors will be looking for every inch of track they can find to inspect. We all know that the private sector can provide services better and less expensive then the federal government.
7 Different Railroad Contractors spread across the Midwest, East Coast and Southern States (35 track construction crews) work with ARC performing needed track work
 
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Obama Proposes Fee for Rail Inspections
John D. Boyd | Feb 2, 2010 3:16PM GMT
The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story
FRA would aim to recoup $50 million for its services in 2011
 
President Obama’s budget proposes to have the Federal Railroad Administration start charging for some of its safety inspection services, to bring in $50 million in fee income during the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
 
The “railroad safety user fee” is intended, the budget said, “to help offset the costs associated with railroad safety inspectors and their activities.”
 
Obama also tucked in a request to spend $4.5 million for the FRA to hire 31 full-time equivalent new rail inspection and grant program workers.
 
A government spokesperson said the idea of a safety user fee has been around for some time, and was previously authorized but never put into the budget proposal. The FRA would have to develop a plan on how much to charge for what services, and introduce it through a formal rule-making process.
 
Up to now, the FRA has not charged user fees for its services. It does assess civil penalties for railroad infractions of agency rules, but those are paid directly into the federal treasury while the safety user charges would be a new fee income for the FRA.
 
The proposal comes as the president is injecting billions of dollars of new federal spending into the rail network to spur development of inter-city passenger rail service. Much of that money, both from an $8 billion stimulus program and an ongoing $1 billion continued yearly allocation, will go into existing freight railroad lanes to either add new passenger train service or improve average speeds where that service already operates.
John D. Boyd
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Ask about ARC’s complimentary track inspection service. Call 606-663-4700 today to schedule a Track Safety Inspection or go to http://www.allenrailroad.com/trackinspector/Track_Inspection1.htm

(10/17/08) -- President Bush signed a sweeping railroad safety bill which is the  most comprehensive rail safety legislation proposed in 34 years. HR 2095 Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 Nothing has changed the way railroads day-to-day operations are conducted more since the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976.

(Read Full Bill Here)

FRA to increase track inspectors by 50%

Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 Among the many issues passed is a dramatic increase of Federal Railroad Administration government track inspectors (Section 301). The FRA is required to increase their present track inspectors by 50%. The more FRA Track Inspectors the more private track inspectors needed by the railroad industry to assure compliance. 

SEC. 301. HUMAN CAPITAL INCREASES: (a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall increase the number of Federal Railroad Administration employees by—50 employees in fiscal year 2009, 50 employees in fiscal year 2010, 50 employees in fiscal year 2011, 25 employees in fiscal year 2012; and 25 employees in fiscal year 2013. There are currently 421 Federal rail safety inspectors and 160 State inspectors. 

FRA to require minimum training standards

Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008Requires minimum training standards for all crafts (Section 401). The transportation department of railroads have always been required to submit their training program to the FRA for the FRA's approval. Now for the first time, railroad track repair departments will also have to submit their training programs to the FRA for their approval. 

SEC. 401. MINIMUM TRAINING STANDARDS AND PLANS. AMENDMENT.—Subchapter II of chapter 201, as amended by section 210 of this division, is further amended by adding at the end the following new section:

§ 20162. Minimum training standards and plans ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Transportation shall, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, establish—

This section requires the Secretary to establish minimum training standards for each craft of railroad employees. It also requires the railroad carriers to submit their training and qualification programs to the Federal Railroad Safety Administration. HR 2095 has changed the 20102 Of Title 49 of the United States Code Section 201 to include mandated, on going safety training for "all crafts" as the Secretary of the FRA determines. 

FRA to change track safety inspection criteria

SEC. 403. TRACK INSPECTION TIME STUDY—Not later that 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report containing the results of a study to determine whether—(a)
(1) the required intervals of track inspections for each class of track should be amended;
(2) track remedial action requirements should be amended;
(3) different track inspection and repair priorities or methods should be required; and
(4) the speed at which railroad track inspection vehicles operate and the scope of the territory they  generally cover allow for proper inspection of the track and whether such speed and appropriate scope should be regulated by the Secretary.
 

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