Rail News

US FRA Propose Safety Standard Updates for High-Speed Trains

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have proposed updates for the passenger train safety standards used in the United States as the country looks to add high-speed trains that can travel up to 220 miles per hour and replace its aging passenger fleet. The proposed updates represent nearly a decade of work by FRA’s passenger rail division.

High Speed Train
The aging Acela Express High-Speed Train © Amtrak

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, said: 

“As several regions of the United States build faster passenger rail service, the trains on those tracks must keep passengers safe.”

“To do that, we want to allow manufacturers to innovate and achieve all-new levels of safety. These proposed changes put us on track to do just that.”

The proposed updates would establish a new category of passenger equipment, Tier III, for trains traveling up to 220 mph. The updates would offer an alternative method for evaluating how well passengers and crews are protected in an accident, often called crashworthiness. The public, railroad industry, railroad labor, manufacturers and other stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide feedback and comment on the proposed rule during the next 60 days.

In addition to measuring a train’s crashworthiness based on whether it meets current prescriptive strength standards, the proposed changes would allow a train’s crashworthiness to be evaluated based on it meeting an equivalent level of safety achieved through crash energy management technology or other innovative engineering methods.

FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg, added:

“We look forward to hearing from everyone on how this proposal can help our country build a stronger passenger rail network – one that is not only faster but allows for new technologies to make passenger trains even safer.”

Although Tier III trains will be required to have exclusive track to operate at speeds above 125 mph, the new standards will allow Tier III trains to safely share track with current Tier I and Tier II commuter, intercity, and Acela trains. Compatibility between equipment types is a key strategy to allow trains to share existing corridors to reach downtown stations.

The proposed updates can be found here.

News categories

04 Apr 2017
Union Pacific is Safest U.S. Railroad for Second C ...
23 Mar 2017
U.S. Rail Industry Sets New Safety Record ...
10 Mar 2017
Additional Euroduplex Océane Trains for Paris-Bor ...
02 Mar 2017
New Generation High-Speed Trains for China ...
20 Jan 2017
Search Underway for Company to Build HS2 Trains ...
05 Jan 2017
A Vision for the Future of the Northeast Corridor ...
29 Nov 2016
Renfe Selects Talgo for High-Speed Trains Contract ...
19 Aug 2016
FRA Announces $25m in Grants for US PTC Implementa ...
Subscribe to Railway-News
Get the latest contract alerts and Railway News emailed directly to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously.