The FRA is the federal agency in the United States that regulates railway transportation. It was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966, and has been working to make sure railways are safe for over 50 years. The purpose of FRA is to enforce rail safety regulations, administer railroad assistance programs, conduct research and development to improve railroad safety, and promote national rail transportation policy. FRA regulations cover various topics, including railroad signal systems, train braking systems, train crew qualification standards, terminal safety equipment, and more.
FRA also oversees the implementation of new technologies such as Positive Train Control Systems (PTC) which will help improve safety on our nation’s rails. FRA regulations have helped reduce passenger injury and death rates from trains by 66% since 1967.
The office of FRA regulates safety, executing its regulatory and inspection responsibilities through a diverse staff of railroad safety experts. The staff includes nearly 400 Federal safety inspectors who specialize in one of six technical disciplines focusing on compliance and enforcement in:
- Grade Crossings
- Hazardous Materials
- Motive Power and Equipment
- Operating Practices
- Signal and Train Control
See more at: railroads.dot.gov