May 27, 2020: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

BNSF Railway has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration for a waiver of compliance from 49 CFR 215.13, Pre-departure Inspection. This regulation requires an inspection when combining two separate consists including one or more cars and one or more locomotives that have been properly inspected and tested in compliance with all applicable regulations, meaning that both consists have had a Class I brake test, Class IA brake test, or have been designated as extended haul trains and are compliant with all requirements of § 232.213.
BNSF feels the additional inspection is redundant and states the combined trains will both be operating head-end locomotives and are equipped with LOCOTROL or Radio Controlled Distributed Power Technology (DP).
BNSF feels the relief provided by the waiver will reduce exposure to potential hazards faced by train crews or mechanical inspectors when walking both sides of a pre-tested train being combined. The petition also states that BNSF believes this relief will also encourage greater utilization of trains under DP configuration across its network, which may improve engineers’ ability to control in train forces and improves overall braking  characteristics by having multiple locations within a train with cut-in brake valves.
Interested parties may submit comments on the petition until June 26, 2020. All comments must include the docket number.

Docket Number FRA–2020–0033