News & Publications

Rail Law Alert No. 14

NTSB Issues Passenger Rail Inspection Safety Recommendations to FRA

On May 19, 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued safety recommendations to improve the thoroughness of passenger track inspections, addressing track safety inspection manner and frequency.  The safety recommendations relate to the NTSB’s investigation of a May 17, 2013, derailment and collision involving two Metro-North trains.  The NTSB recommends that FRA remove a provision in its safety regulations exempting high-density commuter railroads from inspecting, by vehicle or on foot, each main track at least once every two weeks and each siding at least monthly.  The NTSB also recommended that Metro-North promptly revise its track inspection program to include the same procedures as were recommended to FRA. The NTSB requested that FRA and Metro-North each respond to its recommendations within 90 days.