49 CFR § 236.1019 - Main line track exceptions.

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§ 236.1019 Main line track exceptions.

(a) Scope and procedure. This section pertains exclusively to exceptions from the rule that trackage over which scheduled intercity and commuter passenger service is provided is considered main line track requiring installation of a PTC system. One or more intercity or commuter passenger railroads, or freight railroads conducting joint passenger and freight operation over the same segment of track may file a main line track exclusion addendum (“MTEA”) to its PTCIP requesting to designate track as not main line subject to the conditions set forth in paragraphs (b) or (c) of this section. No track shall be designated as yard or terminal unless it is identified in an MTEA that is part of an FRA approved PTCIP.

(b) Passenger terminal exception. FRA will consider an exception in the case of trackage used exclusively as yard or terminal tracks by or in support of regularly scheduled intercity or commuter passenger service where the MTEA describes in detail the physical boundaries of the trackage in question, its use and characteristics (including track and signal charts) and all of the following apply:

(1) The maximum authorized speed for all movements is not greater than 20 miles per hour, and that maximum is enforced by any available onboard PTC equipment within the confines of the yard or terminal;

(2) Interlocking rules are in effect prohibiting reverse movements other than on signal indications without dispatcher permission; and

(3) Either of the following conditions exists:

(i) No freight operations are permitted; or

(ii) Freight operations are permitted but no passengers will be aboard passenger trains within the defined limits.

(c) Limited operations exception. FRA will consider an exception in the case of a track segment used for limited operations (operating in accordance with § 236.0 of this part) under one of the following sets of conditions:

(1) The trackage is used for limited operations by at least one passenger railroad subject to at least one of the following conditions:

(i) All trains are limited to restricted speed;

(ii) Temporal separation of passenger and other trains is maintained as provided in paragraph (e) of this section; or

(iii) Passenger service is operated under a risk mitigation plan submitted by all railroads involved in the joint operation and approved by FRA. The risk mitigation plan must be supported by a risk assessment establishing that the proposed mitigations will achieve a level of safety not less than the level of safety that would obtain if the operations were conducted under paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section.

(2) Passenger service is operated on a segment of track of a freight railroad that is not a Class I railroad on which less than 15 million gross tons of freight traffic is transported annually and on which one of the following conditions applies:

(i) If the segment is unsignaled and no more than four regularly scheduled passenger trains are operated during a calendar day, or

(ii) If the segment is signaled (e.g., equipped with a traffic control system, automatic block signal system, or cab signal system) and no more than 12 regularly scheduled passenger trains are operated during a calendar day.

(3) Not more than four passenger trains per day are operated on a segment of track of a Class I freight railroad on which less than 15 million gross tons of freight traffic is transported annually.

(d) A limited operations exception under paragraph (c) is subject to FRA review and approval. FRA may require a collision hazard analysis to identify hazards and may require that specific mitigations be undertaken. Operations under any such exception shall be conducted subject to the terms and conditions of the approval. Any main line track exclusion is subject to periodic review.

(e) Temporal separation. As used in this section, temporal separation means that limited passenger and freight operations do not operate on any segment of shared track during the same period and also refers to the processes or physical arrangements, or both, in place to ensure that temporal separation is established and maintained at all times. The use of exclusive authorities under mandatory directives is not, by itself, sufficient to establish that temporal separation is achieved. Procedures to ensure temporal separation shall include verification checks between passenger and freight operations and effective physical means to positively ensure segregation of passenger and freight operations in accordance with this paragraph.

(f) PTCSP requirement. No PTCSP - filed after the approval of a PTCIP with an MTEA - shall be approved by FRA unless it attests that no changes, except for those included in an FRA approved RFA, have been made to the information in the PTCIP and MTEA required by paragraph (b) or (c) of this section.

(g) Designation modifications. If subsequent to approval of its PTCIP or PTCSP the railroad seeks to modify which track or tracks should be designated as main line or not main line, it shall request modification of its PTCIP or PTCSP, as applicable, in accordance with § 236.1021.

[75 FR 2699, Jan. 15, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 59117, Sept. 27, 2010]