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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 7, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 213 → Subpart A


Title 49: Transportation
PART 213—TRACK SAFETY STANDARDS


Subpart A—General


Contents
§213.1   Scope of part.
§213.3   Application.
§213.4   Excepted track.
§213.5   Responsibility for compliance.
§213.7   Designation of qualified persons to supervise certain renewals and inspect track.
§213.9   Classes of track: operating speed limits.
§213.11   Restoration or renewal of track under traffic conditions.
§213.13   Measuring track not under load.
§213.14   Application of requirements to curved track.
§213.15   Penalties.
§213.17   Waivers.
§213.19   Information collection.

§213.1   Scope of part.

(a) This part prescribes minimum safety requirements for railroad track that is part of the general railroad system of transportation. In general, the requirements prescribed in this part apply to specific track conditions existing in isolation. Therefore, a combination of track conditions, none of which individually amounts to a deviation from the requirements in this part, may require remedial action to provide for safe operations over that track. This part does not restrict a railroad from adopting and enforcing additional or more stringent requirements not inconsistent with this part.

(b) Subparts A through F apply to track Classes 1 through 5. Subpart G and 213.2, 213.3, and 213.15 apply to track over which trains are operated at speeds in excess of those permitted over Class 5 track.

[63 FR 34029, June 22, 1998, as amended at 78 FR 16100, Mar. 13, 2013]

§213.3   Application.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this part applies to all standard gage track in the general railroad system of transportation.

(b) This part does not apply to track:

(1) Located inside an installation that is not part of the general railroad system of transportation (i.e., a plant railroad). As used in this part, a plant railroad means a plant or installation that owns or leases a locomotive, uses that locomotive to switch cars throughout the plant or installation, and is moving goods solely for use in the facility's own industrial processes. The plant or installation could include track immediately adjacent to the plant or installation if the plant railroad leases the track from the general system railroad and the lease provides for (and actual practice entails) the exclusive use of that track by the plant railroad and the general system railroad for purposes of moving only cars shipped to or from the plant. A plant or installation that operates a locomotive to switch or move cars for other entities, even if solely within the confines of the plant or installation, rather than for its own purposes or industrial processes, will not be considered a plant railroad because the performance of such activity makes the operation part of the general railroad system of transportation. Similarly, this exclusion does not apply to track over which a general system railroad operates, even if that track is located within a plant railroad;

(2) Used exclusively for tourist, scenic, historic, or excursion operations that are not part of the general railroad system of transportation. As used in this part, tourist, scenic, historic, or excursion operations that are not part of the general railroad system of transportation means a tourist, scenic, historic, or excursion operation conducted only on track used exclusively for that purpose (i.e., there is no freight, intercity passenger, or commuter passenger railroad operation on the track); or

(3) Used exclusively for rapid transit operations in an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation.

[63 FR 34029, June 22, 1998, as amended at 79 FR 4256, Jan. 24, 2014]

§213.4   Excepted track.

A track owner may designate a segment of track as excepted track provided that—

(a) The segment is identified in the timetable, special instructions, general order, or other appropriate records which are available for inspection during regular business hours;

(b) The identified segment is not located within 30 feet of an adjacent track which can be subjected to simultaneous use at speeds in excess of 10 miles per hour;

(c) The identified segment is inspected in accordance with 213.233(c) and 213.235 at the frequency specified for Class 1 track;

(d) The identified segment of track is not located on a bridge including the track approaching the bridge for 100 feet on either side, or located on a public street or highway, if railroad cars containing commodities required to be placarded by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172), are moved over the track; and

(e) The railroad conducts operations on the identified segment under the following conditions:

(1) No train shall be operated at speeds in excess of 10 miles per hour;

(2) No occupied passenger train shall be operated;

(3) No freight train shall be operated that contains more than five cars required to be placarded by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172); and

(4) The gage on excepted track shall not be more than 4 feet 1014 inches. This paragraph (e)(4) is applicable September 21, 1999.

(f) A track owner shall advise the appropriate FRA Regional Office at least 10 days prior to removal of a segment of track from excepted status.

[63 FR 34029, June 22, 1998]

§213.5   Responsibility for compliance.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, any owner of track to which this part applies who knows or has notice that the track does not comply with the requirements of this part, shall—

(1) Bring the track into compliance;

(2) Halt operations over that track; or

(3) Operate under authority of a person designated under §213.7(a), who has at least one year of supervisory experience in railroad track maintenance, subject to conditions set forth in this part.

(b) If an owner of track to which this part applies designates a segment of track as “excepted track” under the provisions of §213.4, operations may continue over that track without complying with the provisions of subparts B, C, D, and E of this part, unless otherwise expressly stated.

(c) If an owner of track to which this part applies assigns responsibility for the track to another person (by lease or otherwise), written notification of the assignment shall be provided to the appropriate FRA Regional Office at least 30 days in advance of the assignment. The notification may be made by any party to that assignment, but shall be in writing and include the following—

(1) The name and address of the track owner;

(2) The name and address of the person to whom responsibility is assigned (assignee);

(3) A statement of the exact relationship between the track owner and the assignee;

(4) A precise identification of the track;

(5) A statement as to the competence and ability of the assignee to carry out the duties of the track owner under this part; and

(6) A statement signed by the assignee acknowledging the assignment to him of responsibility for purposes of compliance with this part.

(d) The Administrator may hold the track owner or the assignee or both responsible for compliance with this part and subject to penalties under §213.15.

(e) A common carrier by railroad which is directed by the Surface Transportation Board to provide service over the track of another railroad under 49 U.S.C. 11123 is considered the owner of that track for the purposes of the application of this part during the period the directed service order remains in effect.

(f) When any person, including a contractor for a railroad or track owner, performs any function required by this part, that person is required to perform that function in accordance with this part.

§213.7   Designation of qualified persons to supervise certain renewals and inspect track.

(a) Each track owner to which this part applies shall designate qualified persons to supervise restorations and renewals of track under traffic conditions. Each person designated shall have—

(1) At least—

(i) 1 year of supervisory experience in railroad track maintenance; or

(ii) A combination of supervisory experience in track maintenance and training from a course in track maintenance or from a college level educational program related to track maintenance;

(2) Demonstrated to the owner that he or she—

(i) Knows and understands the requirements of this part that apply to the restoration and renewal of the track for which he or she is responsible;

(ii) Can detect deviations from those requirements; and

(iii) Can prescribe appropriate remedial action to correct or safely compensate for those deviations; and

(3) Written authorization from the track owner to prescribe remedial actions to correct or safely compensate for deviations from the requirements in this part.

(b) Each track owner to which this part applies shall designate qualified persons to inspect track for defects. Each person designated shall have—

(1) At least—

(i) 1 year of experience in railroad track inspection; or

(ii) A combination of experience in track inspection and training from a course in track inspection or from a college level educational program related to track inspection;

(2) Demonstrated to the owner that he or she—

(i) Knows and understands the requirements of this part that apply to the inspection of the track for which he or she is responsible;

(ii) Can detect deviations from those requirements; and

(iii) Can prescribe appropriate remedial action to correct or safely compensate for those deviations; and

(3) Written authorization from the track owner to prescribe remedial actions to correct or safely compensate for deviations from the requirements of this part, pending review by a qualified person designated under paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Individuals designated under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section that inspect continuous welded rail (CWR) track or supervise the installation, adjustment, and maintenance of CWR track in accordance with the written procedures of the track owner shall have:

(1) Current qualifications under either paragraph (a) or (b) of this section;

(2) Successfully completed a comprehensive training course specifically developed for the application of written CWR procedures issued by the track owner;

(3) Demonstrated to the track owner that the individual:

(i) Knows and understands the requirements of those written CWR procedures;

(ii) Can detect deviations from those requirements; and

(iii) Can prescribe appropriate remedial action to correct or safely compensate for those deviations; and

(4) Written authorization from the track owner to prescribe remedial actions to correct or safely compensate for deviations from the requirements in those procedures and successfully completed a recorded examination on those procedures as part of the qualification process.

(d) Persons not fully qualified to supervise certain renewals and inspect track as required in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section, but with at least one year of maintenance-of-way or signal experience, may pass trains over broken rails and pull aparts provided that—

(1) The track owner determines the person to be qualified and, as part of doing so, trains, examines, and re-examines the person periodically within two years after each prior examination on the following topics as they relate to the safe passage of trains over broken rails or pull aparts: rail defect identification, crosstie condition, track surface and alinement, gage restraint, rail end mismatch, joint bars, and maximum distance between rail ends over which trains may be allowed to pass. The sole purpose of the examination is to ascertain the person's ability to effectively apply these requirements and the examination may not be used to disqualify the person from other duties. A minimum of four hours training is required for initial training;

(2) The person deems it safe and train speeds are limited to a maximum of 10 m.p.h. over the broken rail or pull apart;

(3) The person shall watch all movements over the broken rail or pull apart and be prepared to stop the train if necessary; and

(4) Person(s) fully qualified under §213.7 are notified and dispatched to the location promptly for the purpose of authorizing movements and effecting temporary or permanent repairs.

(e) With respect to designations under paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, each track owner shall maintain written records of—

(1) Each designation in effect;

(2) The basis for each designation; and

(3) Track inspections made by each designated qualified person as required by §213.241. These records shall be kept available for inspection or copying by the Federal Railroad Administration during regular business hours.

[63 FR 34029, June 22, 1998, as amended at 74 FR 43002, Aug. 25, 2009; 78 FR 16100, Mar. 13, 2013]

§213.9   Classes of track: operating speed limits.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and §§213.57(b), 213.59(a), 213.113(a), and 213.137(b) and (c), the following maximum allowable operating speeds apply—

[In miles per hour]

Over track that meets all of the requirements prescribed in this part for—The maximum allowable operating speed for freight trains is—The maximum allowable operating speed for passenger trains is—
Excepted track10N/A
Class 1 track1015
Class 2 track2530
Class 3 track4060
Class 4 track6080
Class 5 track8090

(b) If a segment of track does not meet all of the requirements for its intended class, it is reclassified to the next lowest class of track for which it does meet all of the requirements of this part. However, if the segment of track does not at least meet the requirements for Class 1 track, operations may continue at Class 1 speeds for a period of not more than 30 days without bringing the track into compliance, under the authority of a person designated under §213.7(a), who has at least one year of supervisory experience in railroad track maintenance, after that person determines that operations may safely continue and subject to any limiting conditions specified by such person.

§213.11   Restoration or renewal of track under traffic conditions.

If during a period of restoration or renewal, track is under traffic conditions and does not meet all of the requirements prescribed in this part, the work on the track shall be under the continuous supervision of a person designated under §213.7(a) who has at least one year of supervisory experience in railroad track maintenance, and subject to any limiting conditions specified by such person. The term “continuous supervision” as used in this section means the physical presence of that person at a job site. However, since the work may be performed over a large area, it is not necessary that each phase of the work be done under the visual supervision of that person.

§213.13   Measuring track not under load.

When unloaded track is measured to determine compliance with requirements of this part, the amount of rail movement, if any, that occurs while the track is loaded must be added to the measurements of the unloaded track.

§213.14   Application of requirements to curved track.

Unless otherwise provided in this part, requirements specified for curved track apply only to track having a curvature greater than 0.25 degree.

[78 FR 16100, Mar. 13, 2013]

§213.15   Penalties.

(a) Any person who violates any requirement of this part or causes the violation of any such requirement is subject to a civil penalty of at least $892 and not more than $29,192 per violation, except that: Penalties may be assessed against individuals only for willful violations, and, where a grossly negligent violation or a pattern of repeated violations has created an imminent hazard of death or injury to persons, or has caused death or injury, a penalty not to exceed $116,766 per violation may be assessed. “Person” means an entity of any type covered under 1 U.S.C. 1, including but not limited to the following: a railroad; a manager, supervisor, official, or other employee or agent of a railroad; any owner, manufacturer, lessor, or lessee of railroad equipment, track, or facilities; any independent contractor providing goods or services to a railroad; any employee of such owner, manufacturer, lessor, lessee, or independent contractor; and anyone held by the Federal Railroad Administrator to be responsible under §213.5(d) or §213.303(c). Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. See FRA's website at www.fra.dot.gov for a statement of agency civil penalty policy.

(b) Any person who knowingly and willfully falsifies a record or report required by this part may be subject to criminal penalties under 49 U.S.C. 21311.

[63 FR 34029, June 22, 1998, as amended at 69 FR 30593, May 28, 2004; 72 FR 51196, Sept. 6, 2007; 73 FR 79701, Dec. 30, 2008; 77 FR 24419, Apr. 24, 2012; 81 FR 43109, July 1, 2016; 82 FR 16132, Apr. 3, 2017; 83 FR 60746, Nov. 27, 2018; 84 FR 23734, May 23, 2019; 84 FR 37072, July 31, 2019]

§213.17   Waivers.

(a) Any owner of track to which this part applies, or other person subject to this part, may petition the Federal Railroad Administrator for a waiver from any or all requirements prescribed in this part. The filing of such a petition does not affect that person's responsibility for compliance with that requirement while the petition is being considered.

(b) Each petition for a waiver under this section shall be filed in the manner and contain the information required by part 211 of this chapter.

(c) If the Administrator finds that a waiver is in the public interest and is consistent with railroad safety, the Administrator may grant the exemption subject to any conditions the Administrator deems necessary. Where a waiver is granted, the Administrator publishes a notice containing the reasons for granting the waiver.

§213.19   Information collection.

(a) The information collection requirements of this part were reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and are assigned OMB control number 2130-0010.

(b) The information collection requirements are found in the following sections: §§213.4, 213.5, 213.7, 213.17, 213.57, 213.119, 213.122, 213.233, 213.237, 213.241, 213.303, 213.305, 213.317, 213.329, 213.333, 213.339, 213.341, 213.343, 213.345, 213.353, 213.361, 213.369.

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