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New Hire

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U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad AdministrationJanuary 5, 2023

Dear Mses. Farmer and Robinson, and Messrs. Jefferies, Creel, Hinrich, Ottensmeyer, Shaw, and Fritz: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to initiate audits of the training, qualification, and certification programs of locomotive engineers and conductors, as required by 49 CFR Parts 240 and 242. These audits will include a focus on determining whether such programs provide locomotive engineers and conductors the knowledge, skill, and ability to discharge their responsibilities safely—a cornerstone for the safety of rail operations. Over the last year and a half, FRA has reviewed several programs submitted by railroads. FRA has taken a collaborative approach to these program reviews, providing specific, detailed comments regarding compliance with the regulation. Some programs have been reviewed by

FRA several times, and in some cases, the revisions to a program barely made incremental progress toward correcting the deficiencies that FRA took great care detailing in successive letters to the railroad. To encourage full compliance, please be advised that FRA is committed to pursuing enforcement action if a railroad’s resubmitted certification program continues to fail to address the deficiencies identified by FRA. Accordingly, whenever FRA conducts its audit of your railroad, FRA will take into account those opportunities FRA has already provided your railroad to correct or address previously identified deficiencies. I want to remind industry that the quality and adequacy of these certification programs are fundamental to ensuring that your operating crews are properly trained to safely perform their assigned duties. This starts with certification programs that clearly meet the minimum training and qualification standards. Should you have any questions, please contact Mr. Christian B. Holt, Staff Director, Operating Practices Division, at or 202-366-0978. In addition, a copy of this letter is being sent to the president of each labor organization representing your affected employees. Sincerely, Amit Bose Administrator cc: Mr. Jeremy Ferguson, President, SMART-Transportation Division Mr. Eddie Hall, National President, BLET 



All things about new hires. Still in your training period an...


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