BMWED Monitoring FRA COVID-19 Regulatory Relief -- Here's What You Need to Know

Published: Mar 31 2020 3:10PM

The BMWED and all of Rail Labor is closely monitoring the federal government’s daily response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the actions of the Federal Railway Administration.

The FRA has eased some regulatory policy in light of the pandemic with affect to all crafts. It is important to note, however, that this regulatory relief is largely contingent on reduction of manpower due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have not yet seen significant reductions of manpower due to the pandemic on the nation’s railroads.

If a carrier seeks to utilize the FRA waiver relief they must document the following weekly:
a. Railroad
b. Territory/Subdivision/Yard
c. List of each individual waiver utilized in this location, including the following information:
i. Date of occurrence
ii. Anticipated duration, and
iii. List of manpower shortages or other conditions necessitating the use of the waiver.

Railroad track inspection frequencies are part of the FRA’s COVID-19 relief, but are contingent on manpower reductions due to the pandemic. Otherwise, frequencies will remain unchanged.

If a roadmaster or any other railroad manager instructs you to change your inspection frequency, you should ask if it is part of the FRA’s COVID-19 temporary relief waiver and document that response. We also ask that you report it to BMWED Director of Safety Roy Morrison at or 202-515-6296.

To read the entire FRA memo on the COVID-19 regulatory relief, please see the link below: