49 CFR 239.105 - Debriefing and critique.

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§ 239.105 Debriefing and critique.

(a)General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each railroad operating passenger train service shall conduct a debriefing and critique session after each passenger train emergency situation or full-scale simulation to determine the effectiveness of its emergency preparedness plan, and shall improve or amend its plan, or both, as appropriate, in accordance with the information developed. The debriefing and critique session shall be conducted within 60 days of the date of the passenger train emergency situation or full-scale simulation. To the extent practicable, all on-board personnel, control center personnel, and any other employees involved in the emergency situation or full-scale simulation shall participate in the session either:

(1) In person;

(2) Offsite via teleconference; or

(3) In writing, by a statement responding to questions provided prior to the session, and by responding to any follow-up questions.


(1) No debriefing and critique session shall be required in the case of an emergency situation involving only a collision between passenger railroad rolling stock and: a pedestrian; a trespasser; or a motor vehicle or other highway conveyance at a highway-rail grade crossing, provided that the collision does not result in: a passenger or employee fatality, or an injury to one or more crewmembers or passengers requiring admission to a hospital; or the evacuation of a passenger train. (2) For purposes of this section, highway-rail grade crossing means a location where a public highway, road, street, or private roadway, including associated sidewalks and pathways, crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade, and trespasser means a person who is on that part of railroad property used in railroad operation and whose presence is prohibited, forbidden, or unlawful.

(c)Purpose of debriefing and critique. The debriefing and critique session shall be designed to determine, at a minimum:

(1) Whether the on-board communications equipment functioned properly;

(2) How much time elapsed between the occurrence of the emergency situation or full-scale simulation and notification to the emergency responders involved;

(3) Whether the control center or the emergency response communications center promptly initiated the required notifications, as applicable under the plan;

(4) How quickly and effectively the emergency responders responded after notification; and

(5) How efficiently the passengers exited from the car through the emergency exits, including any passengers with a disability or injury (when the railroad has knowledge of any such passengers).


(1) Each railroad shall maintain records of its debriefing and critique sessions at its system headquarters and applicable division headquarters for two calendar years after the end of the calendar year to which they relate, including the following information:

(i) Date and location of the passenger train emergency situation or full-scale simulation;

(ii) Date and location of the debriefing and critique session; and

(iii) Names of all participants in the debriefing and critique session.

(2) These records shall be made available to representatives of FRA and States participating under part 212 of this chapter for inspection and copying during normal business hours.

[ 63 FR 24676, May 4, 1998, as amended at 78 FR 71816, Nov. 29, 2013; 79 FR 18148, Mar. 31, 2014]
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