Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 42
42 Shared Use of Railroad Infrastructure with Noncompliant Public Transit Rail Vehicles: A Practitioner's Guide pedestrians, traffic signals, line-of-sight operation and other situations. This may be more challenging for a vehicle operator than an exclusive commuter rail operation, and must be addressed in training and the rulebook. A table of contents for a typical rulebook is shown in Appendix 5 "Sample Operating Rulebook Table of Contents." Technology: Rail Vehicles for Shared-Track Applications Introduction This section describes vehicles and characteristics that can support progress towards the goal of commingled operations. New vehicle designs exhibit improvements in safety and crashworthiness. Energy absorbing design is quickly becoming a standard feature on new light-weight passenger rail vehicles, especially those designed for higher speed operation. While these rail cars do not meet all of the structural and other requirements of 49 CFR Part 238 (commonly referred to as FRA compliance), they can effectively dissipate much of the collision energy that would be gener- ated if the vehicle were to impact a similar vehicle or a car, truck or other object fouling the ROW. Full structural compliance with 49 CFR Part 238 would significantly increase the weight and restrict potential applications of these vehicles. Added weight also affects operating costs, thereby influencing the economic viability of such equipment. Background Freight operations have seen many changes since the 1960s. Freight locomotives and freight cars have grown in size and weight. Freight trains have increased in length. Passenger cars that do not meet federal crashworthiness standards are no longer operated in mixed traffic with today's freight trains unless specifically grandfathered or otherwise exempted. Before the 1990s, FRA had very few regulations applicable to passenger equipment. The only requirements for pas- senger vehicles were for self-propelled equipment (termed MU locomotives), which required a buff strength of 800,000 lbs for trains over 600,000 lbs in weight, plus various anti-override requirements. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) promulgated equivalent standards for unpowered passenger cars. In the early 1990s, federal concerns about rail passenger safety increased, and passenger safety standards for conventional rail service were upgraded. Interest in and questions concerning the application of European high speed trains in the United States, a more activist attitude to safety regulation, the development of new structural safety technologies (especially crushable, energy absorbing structures), and Amtrak's push to acquire high speed trains for the Northeast Corri- dor contributed to the change in regulation. After much research and industry discussion, the initial version of Passenger Car Safety Standards (49 CFR Part 238) was finalized and published in 1999. There have been and continue to be periodic revisions to them. New standards required 800,000 lbs buff strength, with no exceptions. Shared-track advocates played no part in the development of the standards; the focus was primarily on intercity and commuter rail equipment. At the time, temporary waivers were granted. Several robust rolling stock designs at the margin of compliance, such as the Budd RDC, were grandfathered. Just as Part 238 was being finalized, shared-track proposals were being developed, notably for the NJ Transit River LINE. Thus the FRA was put in the position of either granting significant excep- tions to its new standards, or rigidly applying the standards and outlawing preexisting, concur- rent shared-track operations in San Diego. One result of these converging events was the 1999 FRA/FTA joint policy statement (now codified in 49 CFR Parts 209 and 211). That policy estab-