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51898 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No.

175 / Tuesday, September 11, 2007 / Notices

acknowledging mandatory directives is Systems Performing Automatic FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
established. Although use of digital Generation and Digital Transmission of Gordon A. Davids, P.E., Bridge
transmission has the advantage of Authorities to Trains Without Engineer, Office of Safety Assurance
accuracy (avoidance of Dispatcher’s Involvement and Compliance, FRA, 1120 Vermont
misunderstandings) and efficiency, The definition of this category of Ave., NW., RRS–15, Mail Stop 25,
insecure transmissions and lack of processor-based applications (or Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202–
proper authentication could introduce computer-based systems) coincides with 493–6320); or Sarah Grimmer, Trial
new risks. FRA expects that, as this the definition given in a previous Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, FRA,
technology fully matures, industry section for RWP systems, except that the 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., RCC–12, Mail
standards will address these needs even delivery of authorities is extended to Stop 10, Washington, DC 20590
more suitably than at present within an trains. (telephone 202–493–6390).
interoperable framework. Systems of this category are subject to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FRA
compliance with Subpart H because the published its ‘‘Statement of Agency
If Subpart H is applicable, the railroad Policy on the Safety of Railroad
shall submit an RSPP and PSP required delivery of track occupancy authority to
roadway workers and trains without Bridges’’ (‘‘Policy’’) on August 30, 2000
by 49 CFR 236.905 and 236.907. (65 FR 52667). The Policy Statement,
dispatcher involvement is considered a
Systems Performing Automatic safety-critical function of a train control included in the Federal Track Safety
Generation and Electronic Transmission system. Therefore, railroads shall Standards (Title 49, Code of Federal
of the Authorities to Roadway Workers submit an RSPP and PSP in accordance Regulations, Part 213) as Appendix C,
Without Dispatcher’s Involvement with 49 CFR 236.905 and 236.907 prior includes non-regulatory guidelines
to implementing any such system. based on good practices which were
The processor-based application (or Those interested in implementing prevalent in the railroad industry at the
computer-based system) belongs to this systems that automatically generate time the Policy was issued.
category if: mandatory directives, roadway work FRA has examined reports from
authorities, or other instructions or January 1, 1982 through December 31,
1. It serves as an autonomous office
commands (executed by persons or 2006 of 52 train accidents caused by the
(dispatching) system, in the absence of
equipment) bearing directly on the catastrophic structural failure of railroad
a CAD system, or as an auxiliary system
safety of train operations, are bridges, an average of two per year.
interfaced or integrated with an existing During that twenty-five year period, two
CAD system, and is used exclusively for respectfully referred to Appendix C of
49 CFR Part 236, which outlines safety people were injured and no fatalities
issuing authorities to roadway workers were attributed to structural bridge
to occupy controlled tracks; assurance criteria and processes that are
relevant to such an undertaking. failure. In addition, since the
2. It allows the employee in charge to FRA seeks comments on this notice examination of those reports in April of
request, obtain, and release the from interested parties. Please refer to 2006, FRA has learned of four instances
authority to occupy a controlled track the Addresses section for additional where lack of adherence to the
through wireless digital communication information regarding the submission of guidelines in the Bridge Safety Policy
without the dispatcher’s concurrence; comments. resulted in trains operating over
structural deficiencies in steel bridges
3. Upon receipt of an electronically Issued in Washington, DC on September 4, that could very easily have resulted in
transmitted request from a roadway 2007.
serious train accidents. It should be
worker to occupy track, the authority is Jo Strang, noted that FRA uses the term
generated automatically by the CAD Associate Administrator for Safety. ‘‘catastrophic failure’’ to describe an
system (or application system) and is [FR Doc. E7–17800 Filed 9–10–07; 8:45 am] incident in which a bridge collapses or
electronically transmitted by the BILLING CODE 4910–06–P directly causes a train accident. A
application system without the simple ‘‘bridge failure’’ is a situation in
dispatcher’s concurrence; and which a bridge is no longer capable of
4. The system server retains electronic DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION safely performing its intended function.
records of roadway workers’ requests for During the past sixteen months, three
Federal Railroad Administration train accidents occurred due to
authority and all granted authorities,
including those issued to trains. Safety Advisory 2007–03 catastrophic structural failures of
bridges, all of which were timber
Such systems are subject to
AGENCY: Federal Railroad trestles. The most recent bridge-related
compliance with Subpart H. The train accident occurred on the M&B
Administration (FRA), Department of
delivery of track occupancy authority to Transportation (DOT). Railroad near Myrtlewood, Alabama,
roadway workers without the where a train of solid-fuel rocket motors
ACTION: Notice of Safety Advisory;
dispatcher’s involvement is considered derailed when a timber trestle railroad
a safety-critical function in the same Railroad Bridge Safety—Explanation
and Amplification of FRA’s ‘‘Statement bridge collapsed under the train. Several
way that control of train movements is cars, including one car carrying a rocket
of Agency Policy on the Safety of
safety-critical. This constitutes a basis motor, rolled onto their sides and six
Railroad Bridges.’’
for these systems to comply with persons were injured. FRA has also
Subpart H requirements. Railroads shall SUMMARY: FRA is issuing Safety recently evaluated the bridge
submit an RSPP and PSP in accordance Advisory 2007–03 recommending that management practices of several small
with 49 CFR 236.905 and 236.907 prior owners of track carried on one or more railroads, and found that some had no
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to implementing any such system. Relief railroad bridges adopt safety practices to bridge management or inspection
is also required from the requirements prevent the deterioration of railroad programs whatsoever.
of Part 214, Subpart C, related to bridges and reduce the risk of casualties FRA therefore issues this non-
dispatcher involvement in the issuance from train derailments caused by regulatory Safety Advisory to
of roadway work authorities. structural failures of such bridges. supplement and re-emphasize the

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 175 / Tuesday, September 11, 2007 / Notices 51899

provisions of the Policy on the Safety of Responsibility for the Safety of with the original dimensions of the
Railroad Bridges. FRA recognizes the Railroad Bridges bridge and its components, including
potential impact of regulations related FRA has specified that the owner of inspection records that indicate the
to structural integrity of railroad the track carried by a bridge is actual condition of the components, and
bridges. However, should these serious responsible for the safety of trains that the bridge can be given a rating in terms
incidents and failures continue and FRA operate over that track, and therefore the of a common standard series of train
determines that the responsible track track owner must know that the track is loads. Absent the design documents for
owners are not conforming to accepted a bridge, an engineer should make a
being adequately supported by the
engineering principles and procedures, detailed inspection of every member of
bridge. Even though the Guidelines are
including those outlined herein and in the bridge to record its actual
published as an appendix in the Federal
the Bridge Safety Policy, FRA might dimensions, material, and condition.
Track Safety Standards for convenience, Every train moving over a bridge
have to change course and develop a that does not imply that the track owner
regulatory approach. causes forces to be developed in the
need only assure compliance with the components of the bridge. The
FRA Bridge Safety Evaluations minimum requirements of the Track magnitude of those forces in each
Standards. Track conditions that are component are determined by the
FRA has been evaluating bridge well within the limits of the Track weight carried on each wheel, the
management practices on a Standards might also be valid spacing of the wheels within the train,
representative sampling of the Nation’s indications of imminent bridge failure. and associated effects, such as impact,
railroads, including class I, II and III The owner of the track supported by rocking, and lateral forces. The effect of
freight railroads, and passenger carriers. a bridge is fully responsible for the the actual load on a bridge can be
The evaluations generally compare a safety of trains that operate over that associated with the effect of the rated
railroad’s program with the guidelines bridge, regardless of any agreements, or load, and an engineer can determine if
in the FRA Bridge Safety Policy, and division of ownership or maintenance the proposed or actual loads are within
include observations of individual expense, to the contrary. The track the limits of the rated load, given any
bridges to determine their general owner must be able to control, and operating conditions placed on an
condition, as well as the accuracy of the restrict if necessary, the movement of actual load.
railroad’s inspection reports. trains on any segment of its track, Several critical points are associated
Most large railroads generally including the track on a bridge. with making a proper determination of
conform to the FRA guidelines, but FRA Capacity of Railroad Bridges, and bridge capacities and loads. At a
has discovered instances where Bridge Loads minimum, each track owner should take
management had not adequately the following actions:
evaluated or addressed critical items The capacity of a bridge, and the 1. Ensure that a professional engineer
delineated in railroad bridge inspection actual loads that it carries, are so competent in the field of railroad bridge
reports before they developed into interrelated that they must be engineering, or someone under his or
critical failures or near-failures. Many of considered together. her supervision, determines bridge
the smaller railroads evaluated also The load a bridge carries directly capacity;
conformed generally to the guidelines, affects its serviceable life and safety. 2. Maintain a record of the safe
but a considerable number either fell These loads, and various external capacity of every bridge which carries
short by a large degree, or showed influences, impose forces on the various its track;
absolutely no evidence of bridge components of the bridge. These 3. Enforce a procedure that will
inspection, management or components, in turn, are each capable of ensure that its bridges are not loaded
maintenance. carrying a certain level of forces without beyond their capacities; and
failing or rapidly deteriorating. 4. Ensure that regular comprehensive
This Safety Advisory Every properly designed railroad inspections are conducted.
bridge is configured and proportioned Bridge ratings will change with time,
As serious gaps exist between the so that it will safely handle the forces and will seldom improve. Regular
FRA Bridge Safety Guidelines and the developed by a certain train load, comprehensive inspections are vital to
actual practices on many railroads, and together with effects associated with maintaining valid bridge ratings and to
because FRA has discovered some that load. That load, termed the ‘‘design performing timely bridge maintenance
extremely serious hazards as a result, load,’’ is the general basis for and repairs.
FRA is issuing this Safety Advisory. Its determining the safe capacity of a The rating of timber trestles is a less
purpose is to explain and amplify the bridge. The design load is, most exact process than the rating of steel and
provisions of the Bridge Safety typically, a series of wheel loads of concrete bridges. Timber bridge
Guidelines, and to discuss and make defined weight, with spacings between components can vary widely in their
recommendations concerning some every pair of wheels of a defined composition, quality and condition. The
points in addition to the guidelines that distance. The bridge must also be inherent redundancy in timber trestles
FRA has determined are critical to capable of carrying its own weight, the will partly compensate for a single sub-
bridge safety. weight of other objects permanently standard component, but the good parts
Conformance with the FRA Bridge attached to the bridge, such as signals which pick up more than their share of
Safety Guidelines and pipes, and other external forces, load from the weak member will
such as wind and stream flow. degrade at a more rapid rate. It is
Certain provisions of the FRA Bridge An engineer determining the capacity essential that a weak timber member be
Safety Guidelines are critical from the of a bridge, a process termed ‘‘rating,’’ repaired or replaced in a reasonable
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standpoint of immediate safety to the is fortunate if the original design time; however, while it is still in place
development and implementation of a documents of the bridge are available, in the bridge, it and its surrounding
railroad’s bridge management program. together with documentation of repairs, members should be given extra attention
These points are reiterated and modifications and inspections. In that with more frequent, detailed
expanded below. case, the design load can be compared inspections.

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51900 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 175 / Tuesday, September 11, 2007 / Notices

Bridge Inspection several instances where a person who (b) Maintain a record of the safe
Railroad bridges are subjected to train was not fully qualified to determine the capacity of every bridge which carries
loads and associated effects, as noted safety of a bridge was dispatched to its track; and
resolve a report of trouble, and that (c) Enforce a procedure that will
above. In addition, they are subjected to
person approved the bridge for ensure that its bridges are not loaded
both natural and non-natural effects.
continued service based on the criteria beyond their capacities.
Natural effects include decay, corrosion, (4) Railroad Bridge Inspection
deterioration of concrete and masonry, in the Federal Track Safety Standards,
rather than a structural evaluation of the Procedures and Recordkeeping.
thermal expansion and contraction, (a) Inspection frequency. Every bridge
freezing and thawing of water, floods, bridge. In a typical case, a track owner
would have a railroad track inspector which carries railroad traffic should be
and growth of vegetation. Non-natural inspected at least once per year. The
effects include impacts from vehicles investigate a report from a train crew of
rough track on a bridge. It is possible level of detail and the inspection
and vessels, train derailments, procedure should be appropriate to the
vandalism and fires. All of these effects that during such an investigation, even
a diligent track inspector would fail to configuration of the bridge, conditions
can severely and rapidly degrade the found during previous inspections, and
capacity of a bridge to safely carry its find a deviation from the requirements
of the Track Safety Standards for the the nature of the railroad traffic moved
railroad traffic. over the bridge (car weights, train
Railroad bridges also support much class of track on the bridge, or, in the
alternative, would find that the track frequency and length, levels of
heavier loads in relation to their own passenger and hazardous materials
weight (ratio of live load to dead load) could be brought into compliance with
a temporary speed restriction. In this traffic, and vulnerability of the bridge to
than do highway bridges. All of these damage).
factors have led to a standard practice situation, it is likely that, after possibly
(b) Inspection records. Every bridge
in the railroad industry to inspect each placing a speed restriction, he would
inspection should be recorded, and the
bridge carrying railroad tracks at a have returned the bridge to service
record of the inspection be available to
frequency of not less than once per year. while the structural condition that
the engineer who is responsible for the
Bridge inspection, unlike the caused the track anomaly still existed.
integrity of the bridge. The inspection
inspection of track, equipment and Without further attention, the anomaly
record should show the date on which
other railroad property, is a multi-level would continue to deteriorate, until the the inspection was actually performed,
process. The inspector is a technician bridge actually failed under load. the precise identification of the bridge
who should be able to reach all parts of Recommended Action: FRA makes the inspected, the items inspected and the
the bridge to be inspected, detect following specific recommendations to condition of those items. Any
indications of deterioration or other owners of railroad track carried on one inspection item that is found by the
problems on the bridge, and accurately or more bridges, in order to prevent the inspector to be a potential problem
record and report them. Most railroad deterioration of railroad bridges and should be described in a narrative.
bridge inspection programs employ reduce the risk of human casualties, Many different systems are used to
inspectors with these qualifications, but environmental damage and disruption ascribe condition values to bridges and
those inspectors are not expected to be to the Nation’s transportation system their components, but care should be
able to perform the engineering that would result from a catastrophic taken that the inspection reports do not
calculations necessary to determine the bridge failure. simply generate a number but, instead,
safe capacity of a bridge. That function (1) Inventory of Railroad Bridges. an accurate description of the condition
is performed by a competent engineer, Every owner of track carried on one or of the bridge components. It is
working from basic design and more bridges should maintain an appropriate to use a valuation system
historical records of the bridge and the accurate inventory of those bridges. The that serves to identify individual
reports of the inspector-technicians. inventory, or ‘‘bridge list,’’ should inspection reports that should be
While the engineer needs complete identify the location of the bridge, its reviewed by the engineer or other
and accurate information on the configuration, type of construction, engineering managers.
condition of the bridge from the number of spans, span lengths, and all (c) Prescribing inspection procedures.
inspector, the inspector can provide a other information necessary to provide The engineer responsible for the safety
much more comprehensive inspection if for management of the bridges. of a group of railroad bridges should
the engineer provides information back (2) Regular Comprehensive prescribe the inspection procedures for
regarding any critical points or Inspections. Every owner of track those bridges. Bridges of a common
components on the bridge that might carried on a bridge should ensure that configuration and no exceptional
call for more intensive investigation or regular comprehensive inspections are conditions may be considered as a
specialized inspection techniques. conducted, as these are vital to group for a common procedure, but
These items might be discovered in the maintaining valid bridge ratings and to uncommon bridges, those with critical
bridge design documents, especially the performing timely bridge maintenance components and bridges which indicate
so-called ‘‘stress sheets,’’ or by review of and repairs. possible deterioration that could affect
certain types of connections that have (3) Determination of Railroad Bridge their continued safety should be noted
been prone to trouble on other bridges. Capacities and Loads. Several critical to the inspector. The inspector should
This type of two-way communication points are associated with making a be advised of any particular items of
can prove invaluable. proper determination of bridge concern on the bridge, and any specific
capacities and loads. At a minimum, inspection procedure (frequency, detail
Protection of Train Operations each track owner should take the and method) that is necessary to
FRA did not address the issue of following actions: maintain the safety of the bridge.
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protection of train operations from (a) Ensure that a professional engineer (d) Review of inspection reports by a
potentially hazardous bridge conditions competent in the field of railroad bridge competent engineer. Bridge inspection
in the guidelines because FRA did not engineering, or someone under his or reports should be reviewed by an
find it to be a problem at the time. Since her supervision, determines bridge engineer who is competent in the field
then, however, FRA has discovered capacity; of railroad bridge engineering. The

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 175 / Tuesday, September 11, 2007 / Notices 51901

engineer should determine whether the action, or taking other appropriate • Hand Delivery: DOT Docket
bridges are being inspected according to action necessary to ensure the highest Management System; 1200 New Jersey
the applicable procedure and frequency, level of safety on the Nation’s railroads. Avenue, SE., West Building Ground
and will review any items noted by the Issued in Washington, DC, on September 4, Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC
inspector as exceptions. Often, the 2007. between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday
individual exceptions would not Jo Strang, through Friday, except Federal holidays.
indicate a serious problem with a Instructions: Identify the docket
Associate Administrator for Safety.
bridge, but when considered together by number, PHMSA–1998–4957, at the
[FR Doc. E7–17811 Filed 9–10–07; 8:45 am]
an engineer, they would show a more beginning of your comments. If you mail
serious problem developing on the your comments, send two copies. To
bridge. receive confirmation that PHMSA
(5) Protection of Train Operations. A received your comments, include a self-
bridge owner should designate qualified DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
addressed stamped postcard. Through
bridge inspectors or maintenance Pipeline and Hazardous Materials September 27, 2007, internet users may
personnel to authorize the operation of Safety Administration access all comments received by DOT at
trains on bridges following repairs, by performing a
damage or indications of potential [Docket: PHMSA–1998–4957] simple search for the docket number.
structural problems. Only a qualified Beginning September 30, 2007, internet
person should be permitted to authorize Request for Public Comments and users may access all comments received
train operation after such an occurrence. Office of Management and Budget by DOT at
Approval of an Existing Information (Please note that comments may not be
Implementation of the FRA Bridge Collection (2137–0618)
Safety Program accessible on either Web site on
AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous September 28–29, 2007, during system
FRA has been conducting evaluations migration). All comments are posted
Materials Safety Administration
of railroad bridge management programs electronically without changes or edits,
(PHMSA), U.S. Department of
since the 1980’s, before the Bridge including any personal information
Transportation (DOT).
Safety Policy was first issued. The provided.
Policy indicates that its guidelines will ACTION: Notice and request for
comments. Privacy Act—Anyone can search the
be the basis for FRA’s evaluation of electronic form of all comments
bridge management. This Safety SUMMARY: In compliance with the received in response to any of our
Advisory essentially amplifies and Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 dockets by the name of the individual
clarifies the criteria included in the submitting the comment (or signing the
(PRA), this notice requests public
Policy guidelines. The comment, if submitted on behalf of an
participation in the Office of
recommendations included in this association, business, labor union, etc.).
Management and Budget (OMB)
Safety Advisory will be reviewed by DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement
approval process for the renewal and
FRA personnel when conducting was published in the Federal Register
extension of an information collection:
evaluations of railroad bridge on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), and is
‘‘Pipeline Safety: Periodic Underwater
management. The same criteria, together on the Web at
Inspections.’’ PHMSA invites the public
with other risk factors, will be
to submit comments over the next 60 privacy.html.
considered by FRA when selecting
days on whether the existing FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
small railroads for further evaluation.
information collection is necessary for Roger Little at (202) 366–4569, or by e-
FRA will maintain on-going evaluations
the proper performance of the functions mail at
on the larger railroads and passenger
FRA has been able to adhere to its DATES: Submit comments on or before notice concerns Periodic Underwater
policy of not issuing specific regulations November 13, 2007. Inspections, an existing information
governing bridge management, bridge ADDRESSES: Reference Docket PHMSA– collection in 49 CFR 192.612 and
conditions and bridge capacities. If the 1998–4957 and submit comments in the 195.413 of the pipeline safety
continuing evaluations show that the following ways: regulations. PHMSA requires each
railroad industry is essentially adhering • Electronic Submissions: Through operator of a natural gas or hazardous
to the principles of good engineering September 27, 2007, comments may be liquid pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico
and the provisions of this Safety submitted electronically on the e-Gov and its inlets to periodically inspect its
Advisory, and also provided that no Web site at pipelines in waters less than 15 feet (4.6
significant train accidents are caused by or on the DOT electronic docket site, meters) deep as measured from mean
the structural failure of a railroad To submit low water that are at risk of being an
bridge, FRA intends to continue with comments on the DOT electronic exposed underwater pipeline or a
this non-regulatory policy. docket, click ‘‘Comment/Submissions,’’ hazard to navigation. If an operator
Owners of track carried on one or click ‘‘Continue,’’ fill in the requested discovers that its pipeline is an exposed
more railroad bridges are encouraged to information, click ‘‘Continue,’’ enter underwater pipeline or poses a hazard
voluntarily take action in accordance your comment, then click ‘‘Submit.’’ to navigation, the operator must
with these recommendations. If Beginning on September 27, 2007, promptly report the location and, if
circumstances so warrant, FRA reserves electronic comment submissions may available, the geographic coordinates of
the authority to take other corrective only be made on the E-Gov Web site at that pipeline to the National Response
action, including: issuing an emergency Center.
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order to restrict operations over a • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. PHMSA is now requesting that OMB
railroad bridge if necessary to protect • Mail: Docket Management System: grant a three-year term of approval for
public safety, modifying this Safety U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 renewal of this information collection.
Advisory 2007–03, issuing additional New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12– Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A) of
safety advisories, taking regulatory 140, Washington, DC 20590. the PRA, PHMSA invites comments on

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