49 CFR § 236.1029 - PTC system use and failures.

§ 236.1029 PTC system use and failures.

(a) When any safety-critical PTC system component fails to perform its intended function, the cause must be determined and the faulty component adjusted, repaired, or replaced without undue delay. Until repair of such essential components is completed, a railroad shall take appropriate action as specified in its PTCSP.

(b) En route failures. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (g) of this section, where a controlling locomotive that is operating in, or is to be operated within, a PTC-equipped track segment experiences PTC system failure or the PTC system is otherwise cut out while en route (i.e., after the train has departed its initial terminal), the train may only continue in accordance with all of the following:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(5) of this section, where no block signal system is in use, the train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 40 miles per hour; however, if the involved train is transporting one or more cars containing PIH materials, excluding those cars containing only a residue of PIH materials, the train may only proceed at a speed not to exceed 30 miles per hour.

(2) Where a block signal system is in place:

(i) A passenger train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 59 miles per hour;

(ii) A freight train transporting one or more cars containing PIH materials, excluding those cars containing only a residue of PIH materials, may proceed at a speed not to exceed 40 miles per hour; and

(iii) Any other freight train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 49 miles per hour.

(3) Where a cab signal system with an automatic train control system is in use, the train may proceed at a speed not to exceed 79 miles per hour.

(4) A report of the failure or cut-out must be made to a designated railroad officer of the host railroad as soon as safe and practicable.

(5) Where the PTC system is the exclusive method of delivering mandatory directives, an absolute block must be established in advance of the train as soon as safe and practicable, and the train shall not exceed restricted speed until the absolute block in advance of the train is established.

(6) Where the failure or cut-out is a result of a defective onboard PTC apparatus, the train may continue no farther than the next forward designated location for the repair or exchange of onboard PTC apparatuses.

(c) Exception for alternative system failure procedure. A railroad may submit for approval a PTCSP, an RFA, or an Order of Particular Applicability with an alternative system failure procedure other than that required by paragraph (b) of this section. FRA may, in its discretion, approve such an alternative system failure procedure if it provides similar requirements of, and an equivalent or greater level of safety as, the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) Each railroad shall comply with all provisions in the applicable PTCDP and PTCSP for each PTC system it uses and shall operate within the scope of initial operational assumptions and predefined changes identified.

(e) The normal functioning of any safety-critical PTC system must not be interfered with in testing or otherwise without first taking measures to provide for the safe movement of trains, locomotives, roadway workers, and on-track equipment that depend on the normal functioning of the system.

(f) [Reserved]

(g) Temporary exceptions. From October 21, 2014 through the 24 months following the date of required PTC system implementation established by section 20157 of title 49 of the United States Code -

(1) A railroad's PTCSP or Order of Particular Applicability may provide for compliance with the en route failure requirements of § 236.567 instead of paragraph (b) of this section where a controlling locomotive that is operating in, or is to be operated within, a PTC-equipped track segment experiences PTC system failure or the PTC system is otherwise cut out while en route;

(2) A train may proceed as prescribed under either paragraph (b) of this section or § 236.567 where the PTC system fails to initialize for any reason prior to the train's departure from its initial terminal; and

(3) A railroad's PTCSP may provide for the temporary disabling of PTC system service where necessary to perform PTC system repair or maintenance. In this paragraph (g)(3), “PTC system service” does not refer to the failure of the onboard PTC apparatus for a single locomotive, locomotive consist, or train.

(i) The PTCSP shall specify appropriate operating rules to apply when the PTC system is temporarily disabled in accordance with this paragraph (g)(3).

(ii) The railroad shall make reasonable efforts to schedule the temporary disabling of PTC system service for times posing the least risk to railroad safety.

(iii) The railroad shall provide notice to the FRA regional office having jurisdiction over that territory at least 7 days in advance of planned temporary disabling of PTC system service and contemporaneous notice for unplanned temporary disabling of PTC system service.

(iv) The PTC system that is temporarily disabled in accordance with this paragraph (g)(3) shall be placed back into service without undue delay.

(h) Biannual Report of PTC System Performance.

(1) Each host railroad subject to 49 U.S.C. 20157 or this subpart shall electronically submit a Biannual Report of PTC System Performance on Form FRA F 6180.152, containing the following information for the applicable reporting period, separated by the host railroad, each applicable tenant railroad, and each PTC-governed track segment (e.g., territory, subdivision, district, main line, branch, or corridor), consistent with the railroad's PTC Implementation Plan:

(i) The total number of PTC system initialization failures, and subtotals identifying the number of initialization failures where the source or cause was the onboard subsystem, wayside subsystem, communications subsystem, back office subsystem, or a non-PTC component;

(ii) The total number of PTC system cut outs, and subtotals identifying the number of cut outs where the source or cause was the onboard subsystem, wayside subsystem, communications subsystem, back office subsystem, or a non-PTC component;

(iii) The total number of PTC system malfunctions, and subtotals identifying the number of malfunctions where the source or cause was the onboard subsystem, wayside subsystem, communications subsystem, back office subsystem, or a non-PTC component;

(iv) The total number of enforcements by the PTC system;

(v) The number of enforcements by the PTC system in which an accident or incident was prevented;

(vi) The number of scheduled attempts at initialization of the PTC system; and

(vii) The number of train miles governed by the PTC system.

(2) A host railroad's Biannual Report of PTC System Performance (Form FRA F 6180.152) shall also include a summary of any actions the host railroad and its tenant railroads are taking to reduce the frequency and rate of initialization failures, cut outs, and malfunctions, such as any actions to correct or eliminate systemic issues and specific problems.

(3) Each host railroad shall electronically submit a Biannual Report of PTC System Performance (Form FRA F 6180.152) to FRA by the following due dates: July 31 (covering the period from January 1 to June 30), and January 31 (covering the period from July 1 to December 31 of the prior calendar year).

(4) Each tenant railroad that operates on a host railroad's PTC-governed main line(s), unless the tenant railroad is currently subject to an exception under § 236.1006(b)(4) or (5), shall submit the information required under paragraphs (h)(1) and (2) of this section to each applicable host railroad on a continuous basis.

(5) Any railroad operating a PTC system classified under FRA Type Approval Nos. FRA-TA-2010-001 or FRA-TA-2013-003 must begin submitting the metric required under paragraph (h)(1)(iv) of this section not later than January 31, 2023.

[75 FR 2699, Jan. 15, 2010, as amended at 79 FR 49717, Aug. 22, 2014; 86 FR 40181, July 27, 2021]

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