East Palestine

USA: The Federal Railroad Administration has announced a national initiative to undertake focused inspections on lines which carry high-hazard flammable trains and large volumes of hazardous materials.

FRA is to immediately begin work with the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to identify such routes and prioritise them for inspection, starting in East Palestine, Ohio, where a Norfolk Southern train recently derailed with serious consequences.

FRA inspectors will use a combination of human and automated track inspection technology to assess the overall condition of rail infrastructure as well as compliance with FRA regulatory requirements for track.

Information will be shared with railways as well as unions, and periodically published for the public to increase transparency.

Announcing the initiative on March 1, FRA Administrator Amit Bose said it ’will allow us, as well as railroads, labour and state and local governments, to implement better-informed decisions and policies regarding rail safety’.