FRA Orders Reflective Material On Freight Cars and Locomotives

FRA Orders Reflective Material On Freight Cars and Locomotives

1-7-05 – Under date of January 3, 2005, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a final order which will require reflective material on all freight cars and locomotives. This is an issue that TCU has supported and worked for since the 1980’s. Finally the FRA has acted in the best interests of the public.

In its ruling, which becomes effective on March 4, 2005, the FRA stated that it “is issuing this final rule to mandate the reflectorization of freight rolling stock. . .to enhance the visibility of trains in order to reduce the number and severity of accidents at highway-rail grade crossings in which train visibility is a contributing factor.” This is exactly the issue that TCU through the Carmen Division and the Legislative Department has stressed in prior discussions on what has become this final rule.

With this rule, the nation’s railroads must install yellow or white reflective materials on locomotives by 2010 and on freight rail cars by 2015. The rule is effective immediately for new locomotives and freight cars, as well as those that are taken in for maintenance or repair. Passenger cars, which are lighter in appearance due to interior lights, are not subject to the rule.

According to a spokesman for the Association of American Railroads this could cost the industry more than $90 million dollars. He continued by saying that currently approximately 20% of freight rail cars have reflectors.

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