49 CFR § 270.103 - System safety program plan.

(a) General.

(1) Each railroad subject to this part shall adopt and fully implement a system safety program through a written SSP plan that, at a minimum, contains the elements in this section and in subpart E of this part. This SSP plan shall be approved by FRA under the process specified in § 270.201.

(2) Each passenger rail operation subject to this part shall communicate with each railroad that hosts passenger train service for that passenger rail operation and coordinate the portions of the SSP plan applicable to the railroad hosting the passenger train service.

(b) System safety program policy statement. Each SSP plan shall contain a policy statement that endorses the passenger rail operation's system safety program. This policy statement shall:

(1) Define the passenger rail operation's authority for the establishment and implementation of the system safety program;

(2) Describe the safety philosophy and safety culture of the passenger rail operation; and

(3) Be signed by the chief official of the passenger rail operation.

(c) System safety program goals. Each SSP plan shall contain a statement defining the goals for the passenger rail operation's system safety program. This statement shall describe clear strategies on how the goals will be achieved and what management's responsibilities are to achieve them. At a minimum, the goals shall be:

(1) Long-term;

(2) Meaningful;

(3) Measurable; and

(4) Focused on the identification of hazards and the mitigation or elimination of the resulting risks.

(d) Rail system description.

(1) Each SSP plan shall include a statement describing the rail system. The description shall include: The rail operations, including any host operations; the physical characteristics of the rail system; the scope of rail service; the rail system's maintenance activities; and any other pertinent aspects of the rail system.

(2) Each SSP plan shall identify the persons that enter into a contractual relationship with the passenger rail operation to either perform significant safety-related services on the passenger rail operation's behalf or to utilize significant safety-related services provided by the passenger rail operation for purposes related to railroad operations.

(3) Each SSP plan shall describe the relationships and responsibilities between the passenger rail operation and: Host railroads, contractor operators, shared track/corridor operators, and persons providing or utilizing significant safety-related services as identified pursuant to paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(e) Management and organizational structure. Each SSP plan shall contain a statement that describes the management and organizational structure of the passenger rail operation. This statement shall include the following:

(1) A chart or other visual representation of the organizational structure of the passenger rail operation;

(2) A description of the passenger rail operation's management responsibilities within the system safety program;

(3) A description of how safety responsibilities are distributed within the rail organization;

(4) Clear identification of the lines of authority used by the passenger rail operation to manage safety issues;

(5) A description of the roles and responsibilities in the passenger rail operation's system safety program for each host railroad, contractor operator, shared track/corridor operator, and any persons utilizing or providing significant safety-related services as identified pursuant to (d)(2) of this section. As part of this description, the SSP plan shall describe how each host railroad, contractor operator, shared track/corridor operator, and any persons utilizing or providing significant safety-related services as identified pursuant to paragraph (d)(2) of this section supports and participates in the passenger rail operation's system safety program, as appropriate; and

(6) If a passenger rail operation subject to this part designates a person as responsible for compliance with this part under § 270.7(c)(2), the following information must be included in the passenger rail operation's SSP plan and any notice of designation submitted under § 270.7(c)(2):

(i) The name and contact information of the designator;

(ii) The name and contact information of the designated entity and a statement signed by an authorized representative of the designated entity acknowledging responsibility for compliance with this part;

(iii) A statement affirming that a copy of the designation has been provided to the primary point of contact for each non-profit employee labor organization representing directly affected employees for consultation purposes under § 270.107(a)(2); and

(iv) A description of how directly affected employees not represented by a non-profit employee labor organization were notified of the designation for consultation purposes under § 270.107(a).

(f) System safety program implementation process.

(1) Each SSP plan shall contain a statement that describes the process the passenger rail operation will use to implement its system safety program. As part of the implementation process, the SSP plan shall describe:

(i) Roles and responsibilities of each position that has significant responsibility for implementing the system safety program, including those held by employees and other persons utilizing or providing significant safety-related services as identified pursuant to (d)(2) of this section; and

(ii) Milestones necessary to be reached to fully implement the program.

(2) A system safety program shall be fully implemented within 36 months of FRA's approval of the SSP plan pursuant to subpart C of this part.

(g) Maintenance, repair, and inspection program.

(1) Each SSP plan shall identify and describe the processes and procedures used for maintenance and repair of infrastructure and equipment directly affecting railroad safety. Examples of infrastructure and equipment that directly affect railroad safety include: Fixed facilities and equipment, rolling stock, signal and train control systems, track and right-of-way, passenger train/station platform interface (gaps), and traction power distribution systems.

(2) Each description of the processes and procedures used for maintenance and repair of infrastructure and equipment directly affecting safety shall include the processes and procedures used to conduct testing and inspections of the infrastructure and equipment.

(3) If a manual or manuals comply with all applicable Federal regulations and describe the processes and procedures that satisfy this section, the SSP plan may reference those manuals. FRA approval of an SSP plan that contains or references such manuals is not approval of the manuals themselves; each manual must independently comply with applicable regulations and is subject to a civil penalty if not in compliance with applicable regulations.

(4) The identification and description required by this section of the processes and procedures used for maintenance, repair, and inspection of infrastructure and equipment directly affecting railroad safety is not intended to address and should not include procedures to address employee working conditions that arise in the course of conducting such maintenance, repair, and inspection of infrastructure and equipment directly affecting railroad safety as set forth in the plan. FRA does not intend to approve any specific portion of an SSP plan that relates exclusively to employee working conditions.

(h) Rules compliance and procedures review. Each SSP plan shall contain a statement describing the processes and procedures used by the passenger rail operation to develop, maintain, and comply with applicable rules and procedures directly affecting railroad safety and to comply with the applicable railroad safety laws and regulations found in this chapter. The statement shall identify:

(1) The operating and safety rules and maintenance procedures that are subject to review under this chapter;

(2) Techniques used to assess the compliance of the passenger rail operation's employees with applicable operating and safety rules and maintenance procedures, and applicable railroad safety laws and regulations; and

(3) Techniques used to assess the effectiveness of the passenger rail operation's supervision relating to the compliance with the applicable operating and safety rules and maintenance procedures, and applicable railroad safety laws and regulations.

(i) System safety program employee/contractor training.

(1) Each employee who is responsible for implementing and supporting the system safety program, and any persons utilizing or providing significant safety-related services will be trained on the passenger rail operation's system safety program.

(2) Each passenger rail operation shall establish and describe in its SSP plan a system safety program training plan. A system safety program training plan shall set forth the procedures by which employees that are responsible for implementing and supporting the system safety program, and any persons utilizing or providing significant safety-related services, will be trained on the system safety program. A system safety program training plan shall help ensure that all personnel who are responsible for implementing and supporting the system safety program understand the goals of the program, are familiar with the elements of the program, and have the requisite knowledge and skills to fulfill their responsibilities under the program.

(3) For each position identified pursuant to paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section, the training plan shall describe the frequency and content of the system safety program training that the position receives.

(4) If a position is not identified under paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section as having significant responsibility to implement the system safety program but the position is safety-related or has a significant impact on safety, personnel in those positions shall receive training in basic system safety concepts and the system safety implications of their position.

(5) Training under this subpart may include, but is not limited to, classroom, computer-based, or correspondence training.

(6) The passenger rail operation shall keep a record of all training conducted under this part and update that record as necessary. The system safety program training plan shall set forth the process used to maintain and update the necessary training records required by this part.

(7) The system safety program training plan shall set forth the process used by the passenger rail operation to ensure that it is complying with the training requirements set forth in the training plan.

(j) Emergency management. Each SSP plan shall contain a statement that describes the processes used to manage emergencies that may arise within the passenger rail operation's system including, but not limited to, the processes to comply with applicable emergency equipment standards in part 238 of this chapter and the passenger train emergency preparedness requirements in part 239 of this chapter.

(k) Workplace safety. Each SSP plan shall contain a statement that describes the programs established to protect the safety of the passenger rail operation's employees and contractors. The statement shall include a description of:

(1) The processes that help ensure the safety of employees and contractors while working on or in close proximity to railroad property as described in paragraph (d) of this section;

(2) The processes that help ensure that employees and contractors understand the requirements established by the passenger rail operation pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section;

(3) Any fitness-for-duty programs or any medical monitoring programs; and

(4) The standards for the control of alcohol and drug use in part 219 of this chapter.

(l) Public safety outreach program. Each passenger rail operation shall establish and set forth a statement in its SSP plan that describes its public safety outreach program to provide safety information to railroad passengers and the general public. Each passenger rail operation's safety outreach program shall provide a means for railroad passengers and the general public to report any observed hazards.

(m) Accident/incident reporting and investigation. Each SSP plan shall include a statement that describes the processes that the passenger rail operation uses to receive notification of accidents/incidents, investigate and report those accidents/incidents, and develop, implement, and track any corrective actions found necessary to address an investigation's finding(s).

(n) Safety data acquisition. Each passenger rail operation shall establish and set forth a statement in its SSP plan that describes the processes it uses to collect, maintain, analyze, and distribute safety data in support of the system safety program.

(o) Contract procurement requirements. Each SSP plan shall set forth a statement that describes the process(es) used to help ensure that safety concerns and hazards are adequately addressed during the safety-related contract procurement process.

(p) Risk-based hazard management program. Each passenger rail operation shall establish a risk-based hazard management program as part of the system safety program. The risk-based hazard management program shall be fully described in the SSP plan.

(1) The risk-based hazard management program shall establish:

(i) The processes or procedures used in the risk-based hazard analysis to identify hazards on the rail system;

(ii) The processes or procedures used in the risk-based hazard analysis to analyze identified hazards and support the risk-based hazard management program;

(iii) The methods used in the risk-based hazard analysis to determine the severity and frequency of hazards and to determine the corresponding risk;

(iv) The methods used in the risk-based hazard analysis to identify actions that mitigate or eliminate hazards and corresponding risks;

(v) The process for setting goals for the risk-based hazard management program and how performance against the goals will be reported;

(vi) The process to make decisions that affect the safety of the rail system relative to the risk-based hazard management program;

(vii) The methods used in the risk-based hazard management program to support continuous safety improvement throughout the life of the rail system; and

(viii) The methods used to maintain records of identified hazards and risks and the mitigation or elimination of the identified hazards and risks throughout the life of the rail system.

(2) The SSP plan's description of the risk-based hazard management program shall include:

(i) The position title of the individual(s) responsible for administering the risk-based hazard management program;

(ii) The identities of stakeholders who will participate in the risk-based hazard management program; and

(iii) The position title of the participants and structure of any hazard management teams or safety committees that may be established to support the risk-based hazard management program.

(q) Risk-based hazard analysis.

(1) Once FRA approves a passenger rail operation's SSP plan pursuant to § 270.201(b), the risk-based hazard analysis methodology identified in paragraphs (p)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section shall be applied to identify and analyze hazards on the rail system and to determine the resulting risks. At a minimum, the aspects of the rail system that shall be analyzed include: Operating rules and practices, infrastructure, equipment, employee levels and schedules, management structure, employee training, and other aspects that have an impact on railroad safety not covered by railroad safety regulations or other Federal regulations.

(2) A risk-based hazard analysis shall identify specific actions that shall be implemented using the methods described in paragraph (p)(1)(iv) of this section that will mitigate or eliminate the hazards and resulting risks identified by paragraph (q)(1) of this section.

(3) A passenger rail operation shall also conduct a risk-based hazard analysis pursuant to paragraphs (q)(1) and (2) of this section when there are significant operational changes, system extensions, system modifications, or other circumstances that have a direct impact on railroad safety.

(r) Technology analysis and implementation plan.

(1) A passenger rail operation shall develop, and periodically update as necessary, a technology analysis and implementation plan as described by this paragraph. The passenger rail operation shall include this technology analysis and implementation plan in its SSP plan.

(2) A passenger rail operation's technology analysis and implementation plan shall describe the process used to:

(i) Identify and analyze current, new, or novel technologies that will mitigate or eliminate the hazards and resulting risks identified by the risk-based hazard analysis pursuant to paragraph (q)(1) of this section; and

(ii) Analyze the safety impact, feasibility, and costs and benefits of implementing the technologies identified by the processes under paragraph (r)(2)(i) of this section that will mitigate or eliminate hazards and the resulting risks.

(3) Once FRA approves a passenger rail operation's SSP plan pursuant to § 270.201(b), including the technology analysis and implementation plan, the passenger rail operation shall apply:

(i) The processes described in paragraph (r)(2)(i) of this section to identify and analyze technologies that will mitigate or eliminate the hazards and resulting risks identified by the risk-based hazard analysis pursuant to paragraph (q)(1) of this section. At a minimum, the technologies a passenger rail operation shall consider as part of its technology analysis are: Processor-based technologies, positive train control systems, electronically-controlled pneumatic brakes, rail integrity inspection systems, rail integrity warning systems, switch position monitors and indicators, trespasser prevention technology, and highway-rail grade crossing warning and protection technology; and

(ii) The processes described in paragraph (r)(2)(ii) of this section to the technologies identified by the analysis under paragraph (r)(3)(i) of this section.

(4) If a passenger rail operation decides to implement any of the technologies identified in paragraph (r)(3) of this section, in the technology analysis and implementation plan in the SSP plan, the passenger rail operation shall:

(i) Describe how it will develop, adopt, implement, maintain, and use the identified technologies; and

(ii) Set forth a prioritized implementation schedule for the development, adoption, implementation and maintenance of those technologies over a 10-year period.

(5) Except as required by subpart I of part 236 of this chapter, if a passenger rail operation decides to implement a positive train control system as part of its technology analysis and implementation plan, the technology implementation plan shall set forth and comply with a schedule for implementation of the positive train control system consistent with the deadlines in the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015, Public Law 114–73, 129 Stat. 576–82 (Oct. 29, 2015), and 49 CFR 236.1005(b)(7).

(6) The passenger rail operation shall not include in its SSP plan the analysis conducted pursuant to paragraph (r)(3) of this section. A passenger rail operation shall make the results of any analysis conducted pursuant to paragraph (r)(3) of this section available upon request to representatives of FRA and States participating under part 212 of this chapter.

(s) Safety Assurance—(1) Change management. Each passenger rail operation shall establish and set forth a statement in its SSP plan describing the processes and procedures used to manage significant operational changes, system extensions, system modifications, or other significant changes that will have a direct impact on railroad safety.

(2) Configuration management. Each passenger rail operation shall establish a configuration management program and describe the program in its SSP plan. The configuration management program shall:

(i) Identify who has authority to make configuration changes;

(ii) Establish processes to make configuration changes to the rail system; and

(iii) Establish processes to ensure that all departments of the system affected by the configuration changes are formally notified and approve of the change.

(3) Safety certification. Each passenger rail operation shall establish and set forth a statement in its SSP plan that describes the certification process used to help ensure that safety concerns and hazards are adequately addressed before the initiation of operations or major projects to extend, rehabilitate, or modify an existing system or replace vehicles and equipment.

(t) Safety culture. Each SSP plan shall contain a statement that describes how the passenger rail operation measures the success of its safety culture identified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

[85 FR 12844, Mar. 4, 2020, as amended at 87 FR 35671, June 13, 2022]