Canadian National Railway Company (CN) has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR 232.305, Single car air brake tests. Specifically, CN requests relief from part 232.305(b)(2), regarding the requirement to conduct a single car air brake test on a car when it is placed on a repair track for any reason, and the car has not had a single car air brake test in the previous 12 months.
The Brotherhood Railway Carman (BRC) has filed comments opposing CN’s petition for waiver because the requested relief will not ensure the same level of safety as provided by the current Federal regulations. Among other things, BRC maintained that single car air brake tests increase the performance of the cars and prevent unintended emergency application of the brakes. In addition, BRC also argued that single car airbrake tests should be performed in the repair shop or on the repair track as this provides the best conditions for carmen inspectors to perform the tests. “Conducting single car air brake tests at least once every 12 months on shop or repair tracks is an integral part of the safe operation of trains,” says BRC General President Richard Johnson. “When done in accordance with the current federal regulations, these tests help safeguard both carmen inspectors on the job and the general public who work and live near the affected lines.”
Click here to read the BRC comments.