Public Law 110-432/Division A/Title I

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TITLE I—RAILROAD SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS[edit]

SEC. 101. FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION OFFICERS AND DUTIES.[edit]

Section 103 is amended by striking subsections (b) through (e) and inserting the following:

`(c) Safety as Highest Priority- In carrying out its duties, the Administration shall consider the assignment and maintenance of safety as the highest priority, recognizing the clear intent, encouragement, and dedication of Congress to the furtherance of the highest degree of safety in railroad transportation.
`(d) Administrator- The head of the Administration shall be the Administrator who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall be an individual with professional experience in railroad safety, hazardous materials safety, or other transportation safety. The Administrator shall report directly to the Secretary of Transportation.
`(e) Deputy Administrator- The Administration shall have a Deputy Administrator who shall be appointed by the Secretary. The Deputy Administrator shall carry out duties and powers prescribed by the Administrator.
`(f) Chief Safety Officer- The Administration shall have an Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety appointed in the career service by the Secretary. The Associate Administrator shall be the Chief Safety Officer of the Administration. The Associate Administrator shall carry out the duties and powers prescribed by the Administrator.
`(g) Duties and Powers of the Administrator- The Administrator shall carry out--
`(1) duties and powers related to railroad safety vested in the Secretary by section 20134(c) and chapters 203 through 211 of this title, and by chapter 213 of this title for carrying out chapters 203 through 211;
`(2) the duties and powers related to railroad policy and development under subsection (j); and
`(3) other duties and powers prescribed by the Secretary.
`(h) Limitation- A duty or power specified in subsection (g)(1) may be transferred to another part of the Department of Transportation or another Federal Government entity only when specifically provided by law. A decision of the Administrator in carrying out the duties or powers of the Administration and involving notice and hearing required by law is administratively final.
`(i) Authorities- Subject to the provisions of subtitle I of title 40 and title III of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 251 et seq.), the Secretary of Transportation may make, enter into, and perform such contracts, grants, leases, cooperative agreements, and other similar transactions with Federal or other public agencies (including State and local governments) and private organizations and persons, and make such payments, by way of advance or reimbursement, as the Secretary may determine to be necessary or appropriate to carry out functions at the Administration. The authority of the Secretary granted by this subsection shall be carried out by the Administrator. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no authority to enter into contracts or to make payments under this subsection shall be effective, except as provided for in appropriations Acts.'.

SEC. 102. RAILROAD SAFETY STRATEGY.[edit]

(a) Safety Goals- In conjunction with existing federally-required and voluntary strategic planning efforts ongoing at the Department and the Federal Railroad Administration as of the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall develop a long-term strategy for improving railroad safety to cover a period of not less than 5 years. The strategy shall include an annual plan and schedule for achieving, at a minimum, the following goals:
(1) Reducing the number and rates of accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities involving railroads including train collisions, derailments, and human factors.
(2) Improving the consistency and effectiveness of enforcement and compliance programs.
(3) Improving the identification of high-risk highway-rail grade crossings and strengthening enforcement and other methods to increase grade crossing safety.
(4) Improving research efforts to enhance and promote railroad safety and performance.
(5) Preventing railroad trespasser accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities.
(6) Improving the safety of railroad bridges, tunnels, and related infrastructure to prevent accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by catastrophic failures and other bridge and tunnel failures.
(b) Resource Needs- The strategy and annual plan shall include estimates of the funds and staff resources needed to accomplish the goals established by subsection (a). Such estimates shall also include the staff skills and training required for timely and effective accomplishment of each such goal.
(c) Submission With the President's Budget- The Secretary shall submit the strategy and annual plan to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure at the same time as the President's budget submission.
(d) Achievement of Goals-
(1) PROGRESS ASSESSMENT- No less frequently than annually, the Secretary shall assess the progress of the Department toward achieving the strategic goals described in subsection (a). The Secretary shall identify any deficiencies in achieving the goals within the strategy and develop and institute measures to remediate such deficiencies. The Secretary and the Administrator shall convey their assessment to the employees of the Federal Railroad Administration and shall identify any deficiencies that should be remediated before the next progress assessment.
(2) REPORT TO CONGRESS- Beginning in 2009, not later than November 1 of each year, the Secretary shall transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on the performance of the Federal Railroad Administration containing the progress assessment required by paragraph (1) toward achieving the goals of the railroad safety strategy and annual plans under subsection (a).

SEC. 103. RAILROAD SAFETY RISK REDUCTION PROGRAM.[edit]

(a) In General- Subchapter II of chapter 201 is amended by adding at end thereof the following:
`Sec. 20156. Railroad safety risk reduction program
`(a) In General-
`(1) PROGRAM REQUIREMENT- Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the Secretary of Transportation, by regulation, shall require each railroad carrier that is a Class I railroad, a railroad carrier that has inadequate safety performance (as determined by the Secretary), or a railroad carrier that provides intercity rail passenger or commuter rail passenger transportation--
`(A) to develop a railroad safety risk reduction program under subsection (d) that systematically evaluates railroad safety risks on its system and manages those risks in order to reduce the numbers and rates of railroad accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities;
`(B) to submit its program, including any required plans, to the Secretary for review and approval; and
`(C) to implement the program and plans approved by the Secretary.
`(2) RELIANCE ON PILOT PROGRAM- The Secretary may conduct behavior-based safety and other research, including pilot programs, before promulgating regulations under this subsection and thereafter. The Secretary shall use any information and experience gathered through such research and pilot programs under this subsection in developing regulations under this section.
`(3) REVIEW AND APPROVAL- The Secretary shall review and approve or disapprove railroad safety risk reduction program plans within a reasonable period of time. If the proposed plan is not approved, the Secretary shall notify the affected railroad carrier as to the specific areas in which the proposed plan is deficient, and the railroad carrier shall correct all deficiencies within a reasonable period of time following receipt of written notice from the Secretary. The Secretary shall annually conduct a review to ensure that the railroad carriers are complying with their plans.
`(4) VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE- A railroad carrier that is not required to submit a railroad safety risk reduction program under this section may voluntarily submit a program that meets the requirements of this section to the Secretary. The Secretary shall approve or disapprove any program submitted under this paragraph.
`(b) Certification- The chief official responsible for safety of each railroad carrier required to submit a railroad safety risk reduction program under subsection (a) shall certify that the contents of the program are accurate and that the railroad carrier will implement the contents of the program as approved by the Secretary.
`(c) Risk Analysis- In developing its railroad safety risk reduction program each railroad carrier required to submit such a program pursuant to subsection (a) shall identify and analyze the aspects of its railroad, including operating rules and practices, infrastructure, equipment, employee levels and schedules, safety culture, management structure, employee training, and other matters, including those not covered by railroad safety regulations or other Federal regulations, that impact railroad safety.
`(d) Program Elements-
`(1) IN GENERAL- Each railroad carrier required to submit a railroad safety risk reduction program under subsection (a) shall develop a comprehensive safety risk reduction program to improve safety by reducing the number and rates of accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities that is based on the risk analysis required by subsection (c) through--
`(A) the mitigation of aspects that increase risks to railroad safety; and
`(B) the enhancement of aspects that decrease risks to railroad safety.
`(2) REQUIRED COMPONENTS- Each railroad carrier's safety risk reduction program shall include a risk mitigation plan in accordance with this section, a technology implementation plan that meets the requirements of subsection (e), and a fatigue management plan that meets the requirements of subsection (f).
`(e) Technology Implementation Plan-
`(1) IN GENERAL- As part of its railroad safety risk reduction program, a railroad carrier required to submit a railroad safety risk reduction program under subsection (a) shall develop, and periodically update as necessary, a 10-year technology implementation plan that describes the railroad carrier's plan for development, adoption, implementation, maintenance, and use of current, new, or novel technologies on its system over a 10-year period to reduce safety risks identified under the railroad safety risk reduction program. Any updates to the plan are subject to review and approval by the Secretary.
`(2) TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS- A railroad carrier's technology implementation plan shall include an analysis of the safety impact, feasibility, and cost and benefits of implementing technologies, including processor-based technologies, positive train control systems (as defined in section 20157(i)), electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, rail integrity inspection systems, rail integrity warning systems, switch position monitors and indicators, trespasser prevention technology, highway-rail grade crossing technology, and other new or novel railroad safety technology, as appropriate, that may mitigate risks to railroad safety identified in the risk analysis required by subsection (c).
`(3) IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE- A railroad carrier's technology implementation plan shall contain a prioritized implementation schedule for the development, adoption, implementation, and use of current, new, or novel technologies on its system to reduce safety risks identified under the railroad safety risk reduction program.
`(4) POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL- Except as required by section 20157 (relating to the requirements for implementation of positive train control systems), the Secretary shall ensure that--
`(A) each railroad carrier's technology implementation plan required under paragraph (1) that includes a schedule for implementation of a positive train control system complies with that schedule; and
`(B) each railroad carrier required to submit such a plan implements a positive train control system pursuant to such plan by December 31, 2018.
`(f) Fatigue Management Plan-
`(1) IN GENERAL- As part of its railroad safety risk reduction program, a railroad carrier required to submit a railroad safety risk reduction program under subsection (a) shall develop and update at least once every 2 years a fatigue management plan that is designed to reduce the fatigue experienced by safety-related railroad employees and to reduce the likelihood of accidents, incidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by fatigue. Any such update shall be subject to review and approval by the Secretary.
`(2) TARGETED FATIGUE COUNTERMEASURES- A railroad carrier's fatigue management plan shall take into account the varying circumstances of operations by the railroad on different parts of its system, and shall prescribe appropriate fatigue countermeasures to address those varying circumstances.
`(3) ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS- A railroad shall consider the need to include in its fatigue management plan elements addressing each of the following items, as applicable:
`(A) Employee education and training on the physiological and human factors that affect fatigue, as well as strategies to reduce or mitigate the effects of fatigue, based on the most current scientific and medical research and literature.
`(B) Opportunities for identification, diagnosis, and treatment of any medical condition that may affect alertness or fatigue, including sleep disorders.
`(C) Effects on employee fatigue of an employee's short-term or sustained response to emergency situations, such as derailments and natural disasters, or engagement in other intensive working conditions.
`(D) Scheduling practices for employees, including innovative scheduling practices, on-duty call practices, work and rest cycles, increased consecutive days off for employees, changes in shift patterns, appropriate scheduling practices for varying types of work, and other aspects of employee scheduling that would reduce employee fatigue and cumulative sleep loss.
`(E) Methods to minimize accidents and incidents that occur as a result of working at times when scientific and medical research have shown increased fatigue disrupts employees' circadian rhythm.
`(F) Alertness strategies, such as policies on napping, to address acute drowsiness and fatigue while an employee is on duty.
`(G) Opportunities to obtain restful sleep at lodging facilities, including employee sleeping quarters provided by the railroad carrier.
`(H) The increase of the number of consecutive hours of off-duty rest, during which an employee receives no communication from the employing railroad carrier or its managers, supervisors, officers, or agents.
`(I) Avoidance of abrupt changes in rest cycles for employees.
`(J) Additional elements that the Secretary considers appropriate.
`(g) Consensus-
`(1) IN GENERAL- Each railroad carrier required to submit a railroad safety risk reduction program under subsection (a) shall consult with, employ good faith and use its best efforts to reach agreement with, all of its directly affected employees, including any non-profit employee labor organization representing a class or craft of directly affected employees of the railroad carrier, on the contents of the safety risk reduction program.
`(2) STATEMENT- If the railroad carrier and its directly affected employees, including any nonprofit employee labor organization representing a class or craft of directly affected employees of the railroad carrier, cannot reach consensus on the proposed contents of the plan, then directly affected employees and such organization may file a statement with the Secretary explaining their views on the plan on which consensus was not reached. The Secretary shall consider such views during review and approval of the program.
`(h) Enforcement- The Secretary shall have the authority to assess civil penalties pursuant to chapter 213 for a violation of this section, including the failure to submit, certify, or comply with a safety risk reduction program, risk mitigation plan, technology implementation plan, or fatigue management plan.'.
(b) Conforming Amendment- The chapter analysis for chapter 201 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 20155 the following:
`20156. Railroad safety risk reduction program.'.

SEC. 104. IMPLEMENTATION OF POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL.[edit]

(a) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter II of chapter 201, as amended by section 103 of this division, is further amended by adding at the end thereof the following:
‘‘§ 20157. Implementation of positive train control systems
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—
‘‘(1) PLAN REQUIRED.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, each Class I railroad carrier and each entity providing regularly scheduled intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation shall develop and submit to the Secretary of Transportation a plan for implementing a positive train control system by December 31, 2015, governing operations on—
‘‘(A) its main line over which intercity rail passenger transportation or commuter rail passenger transportation, as defined in section 24102, is regularly provided;
‘‘(B) its main line over which poison- or toxic-by-inhalation hazardous materials, as defined in parts 171.8, 173.115, and 173.132 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, are transported; and
‘‘(C) such other tracks as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation or order.
‘‘(2) IMPLEMENTATION.—The plan shall describe how it will provide for interoperability of the system with movements of trains of other railroad carriers over its lines and shall, to the extent practical, implement the system in a manner that addresses areas of greater risk before areas of lesser risk. The railroad carrier shall implement a positive train control system in accordance with the plan.
‘‘(b) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.—The Secretary may provide technical assistance and guidance to railroad carriers in developing the plans required under subsection (a).
‘‘(c) REVIEW AND APPROVAL.—Not later than 90 days after the Secretary receives a plan, the Secretary shall review and approve or disapprove it. If the proposed plan is not approved, the Secretary shall notify the affected railroad carrier or other entity as to the specific areas in which the proposed plan is deficient, and the railroad carrier or other entity shall correct all deficiencies within 30 days following receipt of written notice from the Secretary. The Secretary shall annually conduct a review to ensure that the railroad carriers are complying with their plans.
‘‘(d) REPORT.—Not later than December 31, 2012, the Secretary shall transmit a report to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate on the progress of the railroad carriers in implementing such positive train control systems.
‘‘(e) ENFORCEMENT.—The Secretary is authorized to assess civil penalties pursuant to chapter 213 for a violation of this section, including the failure to submit or comply with a plan for implementing positive train control under subsection (a).
‘‘(f) OTHER RAILROAD CARRIERS.—Nothing in this section restricts the discretion of the Secretary to require railroad carriers other than those specified in subsection (a) to implement a positive train control system pursuant to this section or section 20156, or to specify the period by which implementation shall occur that does not exceed the time limits established in this section or section 20156. In exercising such discretion, the Secretary shall, at a minimum, consider the risk to railroad employees and the public associated with the operations of the railroad carrier.
‘‘(g) REGULATIONS.—The Secretary shall prescribe regulations or issue orders necessary to implement this section, including regulations specifying in appropriate technical detail the essential functionalities of positive train control systems, and the means by which those systems will be qualified.
‘‘(h) CERTIFICATION.—The Secretary shall not permit the installation of any positive train control system or component in revenue service unless the Secretary has certified that any such system or component has been approved through the approval process set forth in part 236 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, and complies with the requirements of that part.
‘‘(i) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
‘‘(1) INTEROPERABILITY.—The term ‘interoperability’ means the ability to control locomotives of the host railroad and tenant railroad to communicate with and respond to the positive train control system, including uninterrupted movements over property boundaries.
‘‘(2) MAIN LINE.—The term ‘main line’ means a segment or route of railroad tracks over which 5,000,000 or more gross tons of railroad traffic is transported annually, except that—
‘‘(A) the Secretary may, through regulations under subsection (g), designate additional tracks as main line as appropriate for this section; and
‘‘(B) for intercity rail passenger transportation or commuter rail passenger transportation routes or segments over which limited or no freight railroad operations occur, the Secretary shall define the term ‘main line’ by regulation.
‘‘(3) POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEM.—The term ‘positive train control system’ means a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong position.’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—The chapter analysis for chapter 201, as amended by section 103 of this division, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 20156 the following:
‘‘20157. Implementation of positive train control systems.’’.

SEC. 105. RAILROAD SAFETY TECHNOLOGY GRANTS.[edit]

(a) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter II of chapter 201, as amended by section 104 of this division, is further amended by adding at the end thereof the following:
‘‘§ 20158. Railroad safety technology grants
‘‘(a) GRANT PROGRAM.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a grant program for the deployment of train control technologies, train control component technologies, processor-based technologies, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, rail integrity inspection systems, rail integrity warning systems, switch position indicators and monitors, remote control power switch technologies, track integrity circuit technologies, and other new or novel railroad safety technology.
‘‘(b) GRANT CRITERIA.—
‘‘(1) ELIGIBILITY.—Grants shall be made under this section to eligible passenger and freight railroad carriers, railroad suppliers, and State and local governments for projects described in subsection (a) that have a public benefit of improved safety and network efficiency.
‘‘(2) CONSIDERATIONS.—Priority shall be given to projects that—
‘‘(A) focus on making technologies interoperable between railroad systems, such as train control technologies;
‘‘(B) accelerate train control technology deployment on high-risk corridors, such as those that have high volumes of hazardous materials shipments or over which commuter or passenger trains operate; or
‘‘(C) benefit both passenger and freight safety and efficiency.
‘‘(3) IMPLEMENTATION PLANS.—Grants may not be awarded under this section to entities that fail to develop and submit to the Secretary the plans required by sections 20156(e)(2) and 20157.
‘‘(4) MATCHING REQUIREMENTS.—Federal funds for any eligible project under this section shall not exceed 80 percent of the total cost of such project.
‘‘(c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to carry out this section. Amounts appropriated pursuant to this section shall remain available until expended.’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—The chapter analysis for chapter 201, as amended by section 104 of this division, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 20157 the following:
‘‘20158. Railroad safety technology grants.’’.

SEC. 106. REPORTS ON STATUTORY MANDATES AND RECOMMENDATIONS.[edit]

Not later than December 31, 2008, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall transmit a report to the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the specific actions taken to implement unmet statutory mandates regarding railroad safety and each open railroad safety recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board or the Department’s Inspector General.

SEC. 107. RULEMAKING PROCESS.[edit]

(a) AMENDMENT.—Subchapter I of chapter 201 is amended by inserting after section 20115 the following new section:
‘‘§ 20116. Rulemaking process
‘‘No rule or order issued by the Secretary under this part shall be effective if it incorporates by reference a code, rule, standard, requirement, or practice issued by an association or other entity that is not an agency of the Federal Government, unless the date on which the code, rule, standard, requirement, or practice was adopted is specifically cited in the rule or order, or the code, rule, standard, requirement, or practice has been subject to notice and comment under a rule or order issued under this part.’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—The chapter analysis for chapter 201 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 20115 the following:
‘‘20116. Rulemaking process.’’.

SEC. 108. HOURS-OF-SERVICE REFORM.[edit]

(a) CHANGE IN DEFINITION OF SIGNAL EMPLOYEE.—Section 21101(4) is amended by striking ‘‘employed by a railroad carrier’’.
(b) LIMITATION ON DUTY HOURS OF TRAIN EMPLOYEES.—Section 21103 is amended—
(1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a railroad carrier and its officers and agents may not require or allow a train employee to—
‘‘(1) remain on duty, go on duty, wait for deadhead transportation, be in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release, or be in any other mandatory service for the carrier in any calendar month where the employee has spent a total of 276 hours—
‘‘(A) on duty;
‘‘(B) waiting for deadhead transportation, or in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release; or
‘‘(C) in any other mandatory service for the carrier;
‘‘(2) remain or go on duty for a period in excess of 12 consecutive hours;
‘‘(3) remain or go on duty unless that employee has had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty during the prior 24 hours; or
‘‘(4) remain or go on duty after that employee has initiated an on-duty period each day for—
‘‘(A) 6 consecutive days, unless that employee has had at least 48 consecutive hours off duty at the employee’s home terminal during which time the employee is unavailable for any service for any railroad carrier except that—
‘‘(i) an employee may work a seventh consecutive day if that employee completed his or her final period of on-duty time on his or her sixth consecutive day at a terminal other than his or her home terminal; and
‘‘(ii) any employee who works a seventh consecutive day pursuant to subparagraph (i) shall have at least 72 consecutive hours off duty at the employee’s home terminal during which time the employee is unavailable for any service for any railroad carrier; or
‘‘(B) except as provided in subparagraph (A), 7 consecutive days, unless that employee has had at least 72 consecutive hours off duty at the employee’s home terminal during which time the employee is unavailable for any service for any railroad carrier, if—
‘‘(i) for a period of 18 months following the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, an existing collective bargaining agreement expressly provides for such a schedule or, following the expiration of 18 months after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, collective bargaining agreements entered into during such period expressly provide for such a schedule;
‘‘(ii) such a schedule is provided for by a pilot program authorized by a collective bargaining agreement; or
‘‘(iii) such a schedule is provided for by a pilot program under section 21108 of this chapter related to employees’ work and rest cycles.
The Secretary may waive paragraph (4), consistent with the procedural requirements of section 20103, if a collective bargaining agreement provides a different arrangement and such an arrangement is in the public interest and consistent with railroad safety.’’;
(2) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d) and inserting after subsection (b) the following:
‘‘(c) LIMBO TIME LIMITATION AND ADDITIONAL REST REQUIREMENT.—
‘‘(1) A railroad carrier may not require or allow an employee—
‘‘(A) to exceed a total of 40 hours per calendar month spent—
‘‘(i) waiting for deadhead transportation; or
‘‘(ii) in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release, following a period of 12 consecutive hours on duty that is neither time on duty nor time off duty, not including interim rest periods, during the period from the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 to one year after such date of enactment; and
‘‘(B) to exceed a total of 30 hours per calendar month spent—
‘‘(i) waiting for deadhead transportation; or
‘‘(ii) in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release, following a period of 12 consecutive hours on duty that is neither time on duty nor time off duty, not including interim rest periods, during the period beginning one year after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 except that the Secretary may further limit the monthly limitation pursuant to regulations prescribed under section 21109.
‘‘(2) The limitations in paragraph (1) shall apply unless the train carrying the employee is directly delayed by—
‘‘(A) a casualty;
‘‘(B) an accident;
‘‘(C) an act of God;
‘‘(D) a derailment;
‘‘(E) a major equipment failure that prevents the train from advancing; or
‘‘(F) a delay resulting from a cause unknown and unforeseeable to a railroad carrier or its officer or agent in charge of the employee when the employee left a terminal.
‘‘(3) Each railroad carrier shall report to the Secretary, in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary, each instance where an employee subject to this section spends time waiting for deadhead transportation or in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release in excess of the requirements of paragraph (1).
‘‘(4) If—
‘‘(A) the time spent waiting for deadhead transportation or in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release that is not time on duty, plus
‘‘(B) the time on duty, exceeds 12 consecutive hours, the railroad carrier and its officers and agents shall provide the employee with additional time off duty equal to the number of hours by which such sum exceeds 12 hours.’’; and
(3) by adding at the end thereof the following:
‘‘(e) COMMUNICATION DURING TIME OFF DUTY.—During a train employee’s minimum off-duty period of 10 consecutive hours, as provided under subsection (a) or during an interim period of at least 4 consecutive hours available for rest under subsection (b)(7) or during additional off-duty hours under subsection (c)(4), a railroad carrier, and its officers and agents, shall not communicate with the train employee by telephone, by pager, or in any other manner that could reasonably be expected to disrupt the employee’s rest. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit communication necessary to notify an employee of an emergency situation, as defined by the Secretary. The Secretary may waive the requirements of this paragraph for commuter or intercity passenger railroads if the Secretary determines that such a waiver will not reduce safety and is necessary to maintain such railroads’ efficient operations and on-time performance of its trains.’’.
(c) LIMITATION ON DUTY HOURS OF SIGNAL EMPLOYEES.—Section 21104 is amended—
(1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a railroad carrier and its officers and agents may not require or allow its signal employees to remain or go on duty and a contractor or subcontractor to a railroad carrier and its officers and agents may not require or allow its signal employees to remain or go on duty —
‘‘(1) for a period in excess of 12 consecutive hours; or
‘‘(2) unless that employee has had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty during the prior 24 hours.’’;
(2) by striking ‘‘duty, except that up to one hour of that time spent returning from the final trouble call of a period of continuous or broken service is time off duty.’’ in subsection (b)(3) and inserting ‘‘duty.’’;
(3) by inserting ‘‘A signal employee may not be allowed to remain or go on duty under the emergency authority provided under this subsection to conduct routine repairs, routine maintenance, or routine inspection of signal systems.’’ after ‘‘service.’’ in subsection (c); and
(4) by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(d) COMMUNICATION DURING TIME OFF DUTY.—During a signal employee’s minimum off-duty period of 10 consecutive hours, as provided under subsection (a), a railroad carrier or a contractor or subcontractor to a railroad carrier, and its officers and agents, shall not communicate with the signal employee by telephone, by pager, or in any other manner that could reasonably be expected to disrupt the employee’s rest. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit communication necessary to notify an employee of an emergency situation, as defined by the Secretary.
‘‘(e) EXCLUSIVITY.—The hours of service, duty hours, and rest periods of signal employees shall be governed exclusively by this chapter. Signal employees operating motor vehicles shall not be subject to any hours of service rules, duty hours or rest period rules promulgated by any Federal authority, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, other than the Federal Railroad Administration.’’.
(d) ALTERNATE HOURS OF SERVICE REGIME.—
(1) APPLICATION OF HOURS OF SERVICE REGIME.—Section 21102 is amended—
(A) by striking the section caption and inserting the following:
‘‘§ 21102. Nonapplication, exemption, and alternate hours of service regime’’; and
(B) by adding at the end thereof the following:
‘‘(c) APPLICATION OF HOURS OF SERVICE REGIME TO COMMUTER AND INTERCITY PASSENGER RAILROAD TRAIN EMPLOYEES.—
‘‘(1) When providing commuter rail passenger transportation or intercity rail passenger transportation, the limitations on duty hours for train employees of railroad carriers, including public authorities operating passenger service, shall be solely governed by old section 21103 until the earlier of—
‘‘(A) the effective date of regulations prescribed by the Secretary under section 21109(b) of this chapter; or
‘‘(B) the date that is 3 years following the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
‘‘(2) After the date on which old section 21103 ceases to apply, pursuant to paragraph (1), to the limitations on duty hours for train employees of railroad carriers with respect to the provision of commuter rail passenger transportation or intercity rail passenger transportation, the limitations on duty hours for train employees of such railroad carriers shall be governed by new section 21103, except as provided in paragraph (3).
‘‘(3) After the effective date of the regulations prescribed by the Secretary under section 21109(b) of this title, such carriers shall—
‘‘(A) comply with the limitations on duty hours for train employees with respect to the provision of commuter rail passenger transportation or intercity rail passenger transportation as prescribed by such regulations; and
‘‘(B) be exempt from complying with the provisions of old section 21103 and new section 21103 for such employees.
‘‘(4) In this subsection:
‘‘(A) The terms ‘commuter rail passenger transportation’ and ‘intercity rail passenger transportation’ have the meaning given those terms in section 24102 of this title.
‘‘(C) The term ‘new section 21103’ means section 21103 of this chapter as amended by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
‘‘(D) The term ‘old section 21103’ means section 21103 of this chapter as it was in effect on the day before the enactment of that Act.’’.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—The chapter analysis for chapter 211 is amended by striking the item relating to section 21102 and inserting the following:
‘‘21102. Nonapplication, exemption, and alternate hours of service regime.’’.
(e) REGULATORY AUTHORITY.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Chapter 211 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:
‘‘§ 21109. Regulatory authority
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—In order to improve safety and reduce employee fatigue, the Secretary may prescribe regulations—
‘‘(1) to reduce the maximum hours an employee may be required or allowed to go or remain on duty to a level less than the level established under this chapter;
‘‘(2) to increase the minimum hours an employee may be required or allowed to rest to a level greater than the level established under this chapter;
‘‘(3) to limit or eliminate the amount of time an employee spends waiting for deadhead transportation or in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release that is considered neither on duty nor off duty under this chapter;
‘‘(4) for signal employees—
‘‘(A) to limit or eliminate the amount of time that is considered to be neither on duty nor off duty under this chapter that an employee spends returning from an outlying worksite after scheduled duty hours or returning from a trouble call to the employee’s headquarters or directly to the employee’s residence; and
‘‘(B) to increase the amount of time that constitutes a release period, that does not break the continuity of service and is considered time off duty; and
‘‘(5) to require other changes to railroad operating and scheduling practices, including unscheduled duty calls, that could affect employee fatigue and railroad safety.
‘‘(b) REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE HOURS OF SERVICE OF TRAIN EMPLOYEES OF COMMUTER AND INTERCITY PASSENGER RAILROAD CARRIERS.—Within 3 years after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations and issue orders to establish hours of service requirements for train employees engaged in commuter rail passenger transportation and intercity rail passenger transportation (as defined in section 24102 of this title) that may differ from the requirements of this chapter. Such regulations and orders may address railroad operating and scheduling practices, including unscheduled duty calls, communications during time off duty, and time spent waiting for deadhead transportation or in deadhead transportation from a duty assignment to the place of final release, that could affect employee fatigue and railroad safety.
‘‘(c) CONSIDERATIONS.—In issuing regulations under subsection (a) the Secretary shall consider scientific and medical research related to fatigue and fatigue abatement, railroad scheduling and operating practices that improve safety or reduce employee fatigue, a railroad’s use of new or novel technology intended to reduce or eliminate human error, the variations in freight and passenger railroad scheduling practices and operating conditions, the variations in duties and operating conditions for employees subject to this chapter, a railroad’s required or voluntary use of fatigue management plans covering employees subject to this chapter, and any other relevant factors.
‘‘(d) TIME LIMITS.—
‘‘(1) If the Secretary determines that regulations are necessary under subsection (a), the Secretary shall first request that the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee develop proposed regulations and, if the Committee accepts the task, provide the Committee with a reasonable time period in which to complete the task.
‘‘(2) If the Secretary requests that the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee accept the task of developing regulations under subsection (b) and the Committee accepts the task, the Committee shall reach consensus on the rulemaking within 18 months after accepting the task. If the Committee does not reach consensus within 18 months after the Secretary makes the request, the Secretary shall prescribe appropriate regulations within 18 months.
‘‘(3) If the Secretary does not request that the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee accept the task of developing regulations under subsection (b), the Secretary shall prescribe regulations within 3 years after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
‘‘(e) PILOT PROJECTS.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the Secretary shall conduct at least 2 pilot projects of sufficient size and scope to analyze specific practices which may be used to reduce fatigue for train and engine and other railroad employees as follows:
‘‘(A) A pilot project at a railroad or railroad facility to evaluate the efficacy of communicating to employees notice of their assigned shift time 10 hours prior to the beginning of their assigned shift as a method for reducing employee fatigue.
‘‘(B) A pilot project at a railroad or railroad facility to evaluate the efficacy of requiring railroads who use employee scheduling practices that subject employees to periods of unscheduled duty calls to assign employees to defined or specific unscheduled call shifts that are followed by shifts not subject to call, as a method for reducing employee fatigue.
‘‘(2) WAIVER.—The Secretary may temporarily waive the requirements of this section, if necessary, to complete a pilot project under this subsection.
‘‘(f) DUTY CALL DEFINED.—In this section the term ‘duty call’ means a telephone call that a railroad places to an employee to notify the employee of his or her assigned shift time.’’.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—
(A) The chapter analysis for chapter 211 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:
‘‘21109. Regulatory authority.’’.
(B) The first sentence of section 21303(a)(1) is amended by inserting ‘‘including section 21103 (as such section was in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008),’’ after ‘‘this title,’’ the second place it appears.
(f) RECORD KEEPING AND REPORTING.—
(1) REGULATIONS.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe a regulation revising the requirements for recordkeeping and reporting for Hours of Service of Railroad Employees contained in part 228 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations—
(A) to adjust record keeping and reporting requirements to support compliance with chapter 211 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by this Act;
(B) to authorize electronic record keeping, and reporting of excess service, consistent with appropriate considerations for user interface; and
(C) to require training of affected employees and supervisors, including training of employees in the entry of hours of service data.
(2) PROCEDURE.—In lieu of issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking as contemplated by section 553 of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary may utilize the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee to assist in development of the regulation. The Secretary may propose and adopt amendments to the revised regulations thereafter as may be necessary in light of experience under the revised requirements.
(g) DELAY IN IMPLEMENTATION OF DUTY HOURS LIMITATION CHANGES.—The amendments made by subsections (a), (b), and (c) shall take effect 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 109. PROTECTION OF RAILROAD SAFETY RISK ANALYSES INFORMATION.[edit]

(a) AMENDMENT.—Subchapter I of chapter 201 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:
‘‘§ 20118. Prohibition on public disclosure of railroad safety analysis records
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as necessary for the Secretary of Transportation or another Federal agency to enforce or carry out any provision of Federal law, any part of any record (including, but not limited to, a railroad carrier’s analysis of its safety risks and its statement of the mitigation measures it has identified with which to address those risks) that the Secretary has obtained pursuant to a provision of, or regulation or order under, this chapter related to the establishment, implementation, or modification of a railroad safety risk reduction program or pilot program is exempt from the requirements of section 552 of title 5 if the record is—
‘‘(1) supplied to the Secretary pursuant to that safety risk reduction program or pilot program; or
‘‘(2) made available for inspection and copying by an officer, employee, or agent of the Secretary pursuant to that safety risk reduction program or pilot program.
‘‘(b) EXCEPTION.—Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Secretary may disclose any part of any record comprised of facts otherwise available to the public if, in the Secretary’s sole discretion, the Secretary determines that disclosure would be consistent with the confidentiality needed for that safety risk reduction program or pilot program.
‘‘(c) DISCRETIONARY PROHIBITION OF DISCLOSURE.—The Secretary may prohibit the public disclosure of risk analyses or risk mitigation analyses that the Secretary has obtained under other provisions of, or regulations or orders under, this chapter if the Secretary determines that the prohibition of public disclosure is necessary to promote railroad safety.
‘‘§ 20119. Study on use of certain reports and surveys
‘‘(a) STUDY.—The Federal Railroad Administration shall complete a study to evaluate whether it is in the public interest, including public safety and the legal rights of persons injured in railroad accidents, to withhold from discovery or admission into evidence in a Federal or State court proceeding for damages involving personal injury or wrongful death against a carrier any report, survey, schedule, list, or data compiled or collected for the purpose of evaluating, planning, or implementing a railroad safety risk reduction program required under this chapter, including a railroad carrier’s analysis of its safety risks and its statement of the mitigation measures with which it will address those risks. In conducting this study, the Secretary shall solicit input from the railroads, railroad non-profit employee labor organizations, railroad accident victims and their families, and the general public.
‘‘(b) AUTHORITY.—Following completion of the study required under subsection (a), the Secretary, if in the public interest, including public safety and the legal rights of persons injured in railroad accidents, may prescribe a rule subject to notice and comment to address the results of the study. Any such rule prescribed pursuant to this subsection shall not become effective until 1 year after its adoption.’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—The chapter analysis for chapter 201 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 20117 the following:
‘‘20118. Prohibition on public disclosure of railroad safety analysis records.
‘‘20119. Study on use of certain reports and surveys.’’.

SEC. 110. PILOT PROJECTS.[edit]

Section 21108 is amended to read as follows:

‘‘§ 21108. Pilot projects
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—As of the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, a railroad carrier or railroad carriers and all nonprofit employee labor organizations representing any class or craft of directly affected covered service employees of the railroad carrier or railroad carriers, may jointly petition the Secretary of Transportation for approval of—
‘‘(1) a waiver of compliance with this chapter as in effect on the date of enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008; or
‘‘(2) a waiver of compliance with this chapter as it will be effective 9 months after the enactment of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, to enable the establishment of one or more pilot projects to demonstrate the possible benefits of implementing alternatives to the strict application of the requirements of this chapter, including requirements concerning maximum on-duty and minimum off-duty periods.
‘‘(b) GRANTING OF WAIVERS.—The Secretary may, after notice and opportunity for comment, approve such waivers described in subsection (a) for a period not to exceed two years, if the Secretary determines that such a waiver of compliance is in the public interest and is consistent with railroad safety.
‘‘(c) EXTENSIONS.—Any such waiver, based on a new petition, may be extended for additional periods of up to two years, after notice and opportunity for comment. An explanation of any waiver granted under this section shall be published in the Federal Register.
‘‘(d) REPORT.—The Secretary of Transportation shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, no later than December 31, 2012, or, if no projects are completed prior to December 31, 2012, no later than 6 months after the completion of a pilot project, a report that—
‘‘(1) explains and analyzes the effectiveness of any pilot project established pursuant to a waiver granted under subsection (a);
‘‘(2) describes the status of all other waivers granted under subsection (a) and their related pilot projects, if any; and
‘‘(3) recommends any appropriate legislative changes to this chapter.
‘‘(e) DEFINITION.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘directly affected covered service employees’ means covered service employees to whose hours of service the terms of the waiver petitioned for specifically apply.’’.