49 CFR § 236.905 - Railroad Safety Program Plan (RSPP).

§ 236.905 Railroad Safety Program Plan (RSPP).

(a) What is the purpose of an RSPP? A railroad subject to this subpart shall develop an RSPP, subject to FRA approval, that serves as its principal safety document for all safety-critical products. The RSPP must establish the minimum PSP requirements that will govern the development and implementation of all products subject to this subpart, consistent with the provisions contained in § 236.907.

(b) What subject areas must the RSPP address? The railroad's RSPP must address, at a minimum, the following subject areas:

(1) Requirements and concepts. The RSPP must require a description of the preliminary safety analysis, including:

(i) A complete description of methods used to evaluate a system's behavioral characteristics;

(ii) A complete description of risk assessment procedures;

(iii) The system safety precedence followed; and

(iv) The identification of the safety assessment process.

(2) Design for verification and validation. The RSPP must require the identification of verification and validation methods for the preliminary safety analysis, initial development process, and future incremental changes, including standards to be used in the verification and validation process, consistent with appendix C to this part. The RSPP must require that references to any non-published standards be included in the PSP.

(3) Design for human factors. The RSPP must require a description of the process used during product development to identify human factors issues and develop design requirements which address those issues.

(4) Configuration management control plan. The RSPP must specify requirements for configuration management for all products to which this subpart applies.

(c) How are RSPP's approved? (1) Each railroad shall submit a petition for approval of an RSPP to the Associate Administrator for Safety, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590. The petition must contain a copy of the proposed RSPP, and the name, title, address, and telephone number of the railroad's primary contact person for review of the petition.

(2) Normally within 180 days of receipt of a petition for approval of an RSPP, FRA:

(i) Grants the petition, if FRA finds that the petition complies with applicable requirements of this subpart, attaching any special conditions to the approval of the petition as necessary to carry out the requirements of this subpart;

(ii) Denies the petition, setting forth reasons for denial; or

(iii) Requests additional information.

(3) If no action is taken on the petition within 180 days, the petition remains pending for decision. The petitioner is encouraged to contact FRA for information concerning its status.

(4) FRA may reopen consideration of any previously-approved petition for cause, providing reasons for such action.

(d) How are RSPP's modified? (1) Railroads shall obtain FRA approval for any modification to their RSPP which affects a safety-critical requirement of a PSP. Other modifications do not require FRA approval.

(2) Petitions for FRA approval of RSPP modifications are subject to the same procedures as petitions for initial RSPP approval, as specified in paragraph (c) of this section. In addition, such petitions must identify the proposed modification(s) to be made, the reason for the modification(s), and the effect of the modification(s) on safety.

[70 FR 11095, Mar. 7, 2005, as amended at 74 FR 25174, May 27, 2009]