[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 1 (Tuesday, January 3, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 153-180]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-33103]



[[Page 153]]

Vol. 77

Tuesday,

No. 1

January 3, 2012

Part II





Department of Transportation





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Federal Railroad Administration





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49 CFR Parts 238 and 239





Passenger Train Emergency Systems II; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 1 / Tuesday, January 3, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Parts 238 and 239

[Docket No. FRA-2009-0119, Notice No. 1]
RIN 2130-AC22


Passenger Train Emergency Systems II

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is intended to 
further the safety of passenger train occupants through both 
enhancements and additions to FRA's existing requirements for emergency 
systems on passenger trains. In this NPRM, FRA is proposing to add 
requirements for interior vestibule doors and enhance emergency egress 
and rescue access signage requirements. FRA is also proposing to 
establish requirements for low-location emergency exit path markings to 
assist occupants in reaching and operating primary emergency exits, 
particularly under conditions of darkness or smoke. Further, FRA is 
proposing to add minimum emergency lighting standards for all existing 
passenger cars so that emergency lighting systems are provided in all 
passenger cars, and FRA is proposing to enhance requirements for the 
survivability of emergency lighting systems in new passenger cars. 
Finally, FRA is clarifying existing requirements for participation in 
debriefing and critique sessions following emergency situations and 
full-scale simulations.

DATES: (1) Written comments must be received by March 5, 2012. Comments 
received after that date will be considered to the extent possible 
without incurring additional expense or delay.
    (2) FRA anticipates being able to resolve this rulemaking without a 
public, oral hearing. However, if FRA receives a specific request for a 
public, oral hearing prior to February 2, 2012, one will be scheduled 
and FRA will publish a supplemental notice in the Federal Register to 
inform interested parties of the date, time, and location of any such 
hearing.

ADDRESSES: Comments: Comments related to Docket No. FRA-2006-25273 may 
be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Docket Management Facility, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    Instructions: Note that all comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at anytime, or to 
the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. Follow the online instructions for accessing 
the dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brenda J. Moscoso, Office of Railroad 
Safety, Director, Safety Analysis, Mail Stop 25, Federal Railroad 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 
(telephone (202) 493-6282); or Michael Masci, Trial Attorney, Office of 
Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC (telephone (202) 493-6037).

Table of Contents for Supplementary Information

I. Executive Summary
II. Statutory and Regulatory Background
III. Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) Overview
IV. History
V. Proceedings to Date
VI. Technical Background and Overview of Issues Addressed in this 
Proposal
    A. Doors
    B. Identification of Emergency Systems
    C. Emergency Lighting
    D. Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Marking and Instructions
    E. Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking
    F. Photoluminescent Material
    G. Emergency Communication System Marking
    H. Debriefing and Critique Session Following Emergency 
Situations and Full-Scale Simulations
VII. Section-by-Section Analysis
    A. Proposed Amendments to Part 238, Subparts B, C, and E
    B. Proposed Amendments to Part 239, Subpart B
VIII. Regulatory Impact and Notices
    A. Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272
    C. Paperwork Reduction Act
    D. Federalism Implications
    E. Environmental Impact
    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    G. Privacy Act

I. Executive Summary

    On May 20, 2003, FRA presented, and the Railroad Safety Advisory 
Committee (RSAC) accepted, the task of reviewing existing passenger 
equipment safety needs and programs and recommending consideration of 
specific actions that could be useful in advancing the safety of rail 
passenger service. The RSAC established the Passenger Safety Working 
Group (Working Group) to handle this task and develop recommendations 
for the full RSAC to consider. The Working Group met 14 times between 
September 9, 2003 and September 16, 2010. The Working Group 
successfully reached consensus on the following issues related to 
passenger train emergency systems: doors, emergency lighting, markings 
and instructions for selected emergency systems, photoluminescent 
materials, and participation of personnel at debriefing and critique 
sessions after emergencies. It also recommended consolidation of all 
requirements related to doors that are currently contained in parts 238 
and 239. The full RSAC voted to recommend the consensus issues to FRA 
on September 20, 2008. This NPRM is based on the RSAC recommendations.
    This NPRM proposes requirements related to the following subject 
areas: doors, emergency lighting, emergency markings and instruction 
for emergency egress and rescue access, emergency communication, low-
location emergency exit path markings, and debriefing and critique of 
emergency situations and simulations. The following is a brief overview 
of the proposal organized by the subject area:

Doors

     The proposal related to vestibule doors (and certain other 
interior doors), would require such doors in new passenger cars to be 
fitted with a removable panel or window for use in accessing and 
exiting the passenger compartment from the vestibule in the event that 
the vestibule door is inoperable. Additionally, FRA is proposing 
distinct requirements for bi-

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parting doors, including provisions for a manual override and retention 
mechanisms. For security reasons, an exception is included to allow 
railroads discretion when deciding whether or not to include an 
emergency panel in doors leading to a cab compartment. The proposal 
also sets forth requirements for the inspection, testing, reporting, 
and repairing of vestibule door safety mechanisms.

Emergency Lighting

     The proposed rule would require: minimum illumination 
levels within passenger cars; standards for the number and placement of 
power sources that power the emergency lighting system; and, establish 
requirements for testing lighting fixtures and power sources that are 
related to the emergency lighting system.
     Currently, emergency lighting power sources include 
batteries located under the passenger car, which are not reliable 
following a collision or derailment due to their location. The proposal 
is intended to ensure that these essential backup power sources are 
able to function as intended by requiring that they be located in the 
passenger compartment where they are better protected.

Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Markings & Instructions

     Emergency communication systems: this proposal contains 
more specific requirements for the luminescent material used to mark 
intercoms. Currently, the location of each intercom is required to be 
clearly marked with luminescent material, and legible and 
understandable operating instructions for operating the intercom must 
be posted at or near each such intercom to facilitate passenger use. 
Public address and intercom systems would be required to have back-up 
power to remain operational for at least 90 minutes when the primary 
power source fails.
     Emergency Roof Access: this proposal contains more 
specific requirements for providing markings of, and instructions for, 
emergency roof access locations. Currently, each emergency roof access 
location is required to be conspicuously marked with retroreflective 
material of contrasting color, and legible and understandable 
instructions must be provided near the emergency roof access.
     Emergency Signage: this proposal would enhance current 
signage requirements by specifying requirements for signage 
recognition, design requirements, location, size, color and contrast, 
and materials. This additional detail would help ensure that emergency 
egress points can be easily identified and operated by passengers and 
train crew members needing to evacuate a passenger car during an 
emergency.

Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking (LLEEPM)

     This proposal would establish minimum requirements for 
photoluminescent and electrically-powered LLEEPM to provide visual 
guidance for passengers and train crewmembers when the emergency 
lighting system has failed or when smoke conditions obscure overhead 
emergency lighting. The rule would also require railroads to conduct 
periodic inspections and tests to verify that all LLEPM system 
components, including power sources, function as intended.

Photoluminescent Materials

     The proposal related to signage standards, including the 
use of high-performance photoluminescent (HPPL) material and policies 
and procedures for ensuring proper placement and testing of 
photoluminescent materials to ensure maximum illumination in an 
emergency situation will ensure train occupants can identify emergency 
exits and the path to the nearest exit in the dark. Existing signage 
inside some passenger compartment areas within a passenger car has been 
ineffective due to their inability to absorb sufficient levels of 
ambient or electrical light. The requirements in this proposal would 
improve illumination of signage and marking in the passenger 
compartment, and thus increase the discernability of the exit signs and 
markings in the dark.

Debriefing and Critique

    FRA is proposing a modification to the existing debrief and 
critique requirement to clarify that passenger train personnel who have 
first-hand knowledge of an emergency are intended to participate in 
debriefing and critique sessions after the emergency occurs.
    FRA has assessed the cost to railroads that are expected to result 
from the implementation of this rule as proposed. For the 20-year 
period analyzed, the estimated quantified cost that would be imposed on 
industry totals $21.8 million with a present value (PV, 7 percent) of 
$13.4 million. The proposed rulemaking is expected to improve railroad 
safety by promoting the safe evacuation of passengers and crewmembers 
in the event of an emergency.

                     20-Year Cost for Proposed Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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Door/Removable Panels or Windows, and Bi-Parting              $4,399,223
 Doors...............................................
Emergency Lighting...................................          2,450,213
Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Marking and                 4,730,631
 Instructions........................................
Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Markings............          1,377,615
Debriefing and Critique..............................                N/A
Inspection, Testing, and Recordkeeping...............            405,296
                                                      ------------------
    Total............................................         13,362,979
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Dollars are discounted at a present value rate of 7 percent.

    The primary benefits include a heightened safety environment in 
egress from a passenger train after an accident. The requirements will 
enable passenger car occupants to more readily identify, reach, and 
operate emergency exits and emergency responders to more readily 
identify and operate rescue access points. This corresponds to a 
reduction of casualties and fatalities in the aftermath of collisions, 
derailments, and other emergency situations. FRA believes the value of 
the anticipated safety benefits would justify the cost of implementing 
the rule as proposed.

II. Statutory and Regulatory Background

    In September of 1994, the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) 
convened a meeting of representatives from all sectors of the rail 
industry with the goal of enhancing rail safety. As one of the 
initiatives arising from this Rail Safety Summit, the Secretary 
announced that

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DOT would begin developing safety standards for rail passenger 
equipment over a five-year period. In November of 1994, Congress 
adopted the Secretary's schedule for implementing rail passenger 
equipment safety regulations and included it in the Federal Railroad 
Safety Authorization Act of 1994 (the Act), Pub. L. 103-440, 108 Stat. 
4619, 4623-4624 (November 2, 1994). Congress also authorized the 
Secretary to consult with various organizations involved in passenger 
train operations for purposes of prescribing and amending these 
regulations, as well as issuing orders pursuant to them. Section 215 of 
the Act (codified at 49 U.S.C. 20133).

III. Railroad Safety Advisory Committee Overview

    In March 1996, FRA established the RSAC, which provides a forum for 
developing consensus recommendations on rulemakings and other safety 
program issues. The Committee includes representation from all of the 
agency's major stakeholders, including railroads, labor organizations, 
suppliers and manufacturers, and other interested parties. A list of 
member groups follows:

American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners (AARPCO);
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 
(AASHTO);
American Chemistry Council;
American Petroleum Institute;
American Public Transportation Association (APTA);
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA);
American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA);
Association of American Railroads (AAR);
Association of Railway Museums (ARM);
Association of State Rail Safety Managers (ASRSM);
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET);
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED);
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS);
Chlorine Institute;
Federal Transit Administration (FTA); *
Fertilizer Institute;
High Speed Ground Transportation Association (HSGTA);
Institute of Makers of Explosives;
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW);
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA); *
League of Railway Industry Women; *
National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP);
National Association of Railway Business Women; *
National Conference of Firemen & Oilers;
National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association;
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak);
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); *
Railway Supply Institute (RSI);
Safe Travel America (STA);
Secretaria de Communicaciones y Transporte; *
Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA);
Tourist Railway Association Inc.;
Transport Canada; *
Transport Workers Union of America (TWU);
Transportation Communications International Union/BRC (TCIU/BRC);
Transportation Security Administration; * and
United Transportation Union (UTU).
* Indicates associate membership.

    When appropriate, FRA assigns a task to the RSAC, and after 
consideration and debate, the RSAC may accept or reject the task. If 
accepted, the RSAC establishes a working group that possesses the 
appropriate expertise and representation of interests to develop 
recommendations to FRA for action on the task. These recommendations 
are developed by consensus. A working group may establish one or more 
task forces to develop facts and options on a particular aspect of a 
given task. The task force then provides that information to the 
working group for consideration. If a working group comes to unanimous 
consensus on recommendations for action, the package is presented to 
the RSAC for a vote. If the proposal is accepted by a simple majority 
of the RSAC, the proposal is formally recommended to FRA. FRA then 
determines what action to take on the recommendation. Because FRA staff 
has played an active role at the working group level in discussing the 
issues and options and in drafting the language of the consensus 
proposal, FRA is often favorably inclined toward the RSAC 
recommendation. However, FRA is in no way bound to follow the 
recommendation and the agency exercises its independent judgment on 
whether the recommended rule achieves the agency's regulatory goal, is 
soundly supported, and is in accordance with policy and legal 
requirements. Often, FRA varies in some respects from the RSAC 
recommendation in developing the actual regulatory proposal or final 
rule. Any such variations would be noted and explained in the 
rulemaking document issued by FRA. However, to the maximum extent 
practicable, FRA utilizes RSAC to provide consensus recommendations 
with respect to both proposed and final agency action. If RSAC is 
unable to reach consensus on a recommendation for action, the task is 
withdrawn and FRA determines the best course of action.

IV. History

    On May 4, 1998, pursuant to Sec.  215 of the Act, FRA issued a 
Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness (PTEP) final rule. See 63 FR 
24629. The rule contains minimum Federal safety standards for the 
preparation, adoption, and implementation of emergency preparedness 
plans by railroads connected with the operation of passenger trains, 
including freight railroads hosting the operations of passenger rail 
service. Elements of the required emergency preparedness plan include: 
communication; employee training and qualification; joint operations; 
tunnel safety; liaison with emergency responders; on-board emergency 
equipment; and passenger safety information. This rule also established 
specific requirements for passenger train emergency systems. The 
requirements include: conspicuous marking of all emergency window exits 
with luminescent material on the interior and all windows intended for 
rescue access by emergency responders be marked on the exterior with 
retroreflective material and that instructions be provided for their 
use; all door exits intended for egress be lighted or marked; and all 
door exits intended for rescue access by emergency responders be marked 
and that instructions be provided for their use. In addition, the rule 
contains specific requirements for debriefing and critique sessions 
following emergency situations and full-scale simulations.
    On May 12, 1999, FRA issued the Passenger Equipment Safety 
Standards (PESS) final rule. See 64 FR 25540. This rule established 
comprehensive safety standards for railroad passenger equipment. The 
standards included requirements for the size, and operation of exterior 
side doors used for emergency egress or access for all passenger cars 
and for emergency lighting for new passenger cars. After publication of 
the PESS final rule, interested parties filed petitions seeking FRA's 
reconsideration of certain requirements contained in the rule. These 
petitions generally related to the following subject areas: structural 
design; location of emergency exit

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windows; fire safety; training; inspection, testing, and maintenance; 
and movement of defective equipment. To address the petitions, FRA 
grouped issues together and published three sets of amendments to the 
final rule in 2000 and 2002 in the Federal Register. See 65 FR 41284; 
67 FR 19970; and 67 FR 42892.
    On February 1, 2008, FRA published a final rule on Passenger Train 
Emergency Systems (PTES) addressing: emergency communication, emergency 
egress, and rescue access. This rule expanded the applicability of 
requirements for public address systems to all passenger cars, for 
intercom systems, and for emergency responder roof access to all new 
passenger cars. It also enhanced existing requirements for emergency 
window exits and established requirements for rescue access windows 
used by emergency responders. See 73 FR 6370.
    During the development of the PESS rule and the PTES rule, FRA 
identified the following issues for possible future rulemaking: doors; 
emergency lighting; emergency signage and markings for egress, access, 
and emergency communication; and low-location emergency exit path 
markings. FRA determined that these issues would benefit from 
additional research, the gathering of additional operating experience, 
or the development of industry standards, or all three. FRA believes 
that these issues have sufficiently developed and is addressing these 
issues in this proposal.
    On May 20, 2003, FRA presented, and the RSAC accepted, the task of 
reviewing existing passenger equipment safety needs and programs and 
recommending consideration of specific actions that could be useful in 
advancing the safety of rail passenger service. The RSAC established 
the Working Group to handle this task and develop recommendations for 
the full RSAC to consider. Members of the Working Group, in addition to 
FRA, include the following:

AAR, including members from BNSF Railway Company, CSX Transportation, 
Inc., and Union Pacific Railroad Company;
AAPRCO;
AASHTO;
Amtrak;
APTA, including members from: Bombardier, Inc., Herzog Transit 
Services, Inc., Interfleet Technology Inc., Long Island Rail Road 
(LIRR), Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company (Metro-North), Northeast 
Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (Metra), Southern 
California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), and Southeastern 
Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA);
BLET;
BRS;
FTA;
HSGTA;
IBEW;
NARP;
NTSB;
RSI;
SMWIA;
STA;
TCIU/BRC;
TWU; and
UTU.

    Staff from DOT's John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems 
Center (Volpe Center) attended all of the meetings and contributed to 
the technical discussions. The Working Group has held meetings on the 
following dates and locations:

September 9-10, 2003, in Washington, DC;
November 6, 2003, in Philadelphia, PA;
May 11, 2004, in Schaumburg, IL;
October 26-27, 2004 in Linthicum/Baltimore, MD;
March 9-10, 2005, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL;
September 7, 2005 in Chicago, IL;
March 21-22, 2006 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL;
September 12-13, 2006 in Orlando, FL;
April 17-18, 2007 in Orlando, FL;
December 11, 2007 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL;
June 18, 2008 in Baltimore, MD;
November 13, 2008 in Washington, DC;
June 8, 2009 in Washington, DC; and
September 16, 2010 in Chicago, IL.

    At the meetings in Chicago and Ft. Lauderdale in 2005, FRA met with 
representatives of Metra and the South Florida Regional Transportation 
Authority (Tri-Rail), respectively, and toured their passenger 
equipment. The visits, which included demonstrations of emergency 
system features, were open to all members of the Working Group, and FRA 
believes they have added to the collective understanding of the Group 
in identifying and addressing passenger train emergency system issues.
    Due to the variety of issues involved, at its November 2003 
meeting, the Working Group established four task forces: Emergency 
Preparedness, Vehicle/Track Interaction, Crashworthiness/Glazing, and 
Mechanical. Each task force is a smaller group that develops 
recommendations on specific issues within each group's particular area 
of expertise. Members of the task forces include various 
representatives from the respective organizations that were part of the 
larger Working Group. Members of the Emergency Preparedness Task Force 
(Task Force), in addition to FRA, include (or have included) the 
following:

Amtrak;
APTA, including members from Bombardier, Ellcon National, Go Transit, 
Interfleet Technology, Inc, Jacobs Civil Engineering, Jessup 
Manufacturing Company, Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., LIRR, LTK, Luminator, 
Maryland Transit Administration, Massachusetts Bay Transportation 
Authority (MBTA), Metrolink, Metro-North, Northern Indiana Commuter 
Transit District (NICTD), SEPTA, San Diego Northern Commuter Railroad 
(Coaster), Permalight, Po's Ability USA, Inc., Prolink, Transit Design 
Group (TDG),Transit Safety Management (TSM), Translite, STV Inc., and 
Visual Marking Systems, Inc.;
BLET;
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans);
FTA;
NARP;
RSI, including Globe Transportation Graphics;
TWU; and
UTU.

    While they are not voting members of the Task Force, 
representatives from TSA, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS), attended certain of the meetings and contributed to the 
discussions of the Task Force. In addition, staff from the Volpe Center 
attended all of the meetings and contributed to the technical 
discussions through their comments and presentations and by setting up 
various lighting, marking, and signage demonstrations.
    The task force held 17 meetings on the following dates and 
locations:

February 25-26, 2004, in Los Angeles, CA;
April 14-15, 2004, in Cambridge, MA;
July 7-8, 2004, in Washington, DC;
September 13-14, 2004, in New York, NY;
December 1-2, 2004, in San Diego, CA;
February 16-17, 2005, in Philadelphia, PA;
April 19-20, 2005, in Cambridge, MA;
August 2-3, 2005, in Cambridge, MA;
December 13-14, 2005, in Baltimore, MD;
August 10, 2006, in Grapevine, TX;
October 25-26, 2006, in Philadelphia, PA;
December 6-7, 2006, in Washington, DC;

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March 28-29, 2007, in Los Angeles, CA;
June 13-14, 2007, in San Francisco, CA;
October 17-18, 2007, in Arlington, VA;
May 13-14, 2008, in Arlington, VA; and
March 31, 2009, in Washington, DC.

    At meetings in Los Angeles, Cambridge, Washington, New York, San 
Diego, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, FRA met with representatives of 
Metrolink, MBTA, Amtrak, LIRR, Coaster, SEPTA, and Caltrans, 
respectively, and toured their passenger equipment. The visits were 
open to all members of the various task forces and included 
demonstration of emergency system features. As in the case of the 
Working Group visits, FRA believes they have added to the collective 
understanding of RSAC members in identifying and addressing passenger 
train safety issues for not only this rulemaking, but for other RSAC 
initiatives as well. After reaching consensus on a variety of issues, 
and receiving formal recommendations from the RSAC, FRA issued the PTES 
rule. As noted above, the final rule was published on February 1, 2008, 
and it addressed requirements for emergency window exits, rescue access 
windows, emergency communication, and roof access locations.

V. Proceedings to Date

    Like the first PTES rule, the NPRM in This rulemaking proceeding, 
Passenger Train Emergency Systems II (PTES II), was developed to 
address a number of the concerns raised, and issues discussed, during 
the various Task Force and Working Group meetings. The issues include: 
doors, emergency lighting, emergency marking and instruction for egress 
and access, emergency communication, low-location emergency exit path 
markings, and debriefing and critique of emergency situations and 
simulations. The Working Group reached full consensus on all the 
regulatory provisions contained in the NPRM at its meeting in December 
2007. The Working Group presented its consensus recommendations to the 
full RSAC for concurrence at its meeting on February 20, 2008. All of 
the members of the full RSAC in attendance at its February 2008 meeting 
accepted the regulatory recommendations submitted by the Working Group. 
Thus, the Working Group's recommendations became the full RSAC's 
recommendations to FRA. FRA subsequently met with the Task Force twice 
after that to make some non-substantive technical clarifications and 
review technical research findings related to potential enhancements of 
emergency systems. A Tier II Sub-Task Force also met to discuss the 
proposed requirements affecting Tier II equipment, i.e., passenger 
equipment operating at speeds in excess of 125 mph but not exceeding 
150 mph. It did not recommend any changes to the proposed rule text. 
After reviewing the full RSAC's recommendations, FRA agrees that the 
recommendations provide a sound basis for a proposed rule and hereby 
adopts the recommendations with generally minor changes for purposes of 
clarity and Federal Register formatting.

VI. Technical Background and Overview of Issues Addressed in this 
Proposal

    Experience with passenger train accidents and simulations, and 
technological advances in emergency systems provide the main impetus 
for these proposed enhancements and additions to FRA's existing 
requirements related to passenger train emergency systems, as 
highlighted below.

A. Doors

    In February 1996, as a result of a near head-on collision between a 
Maryland Mass Transit Administration MARC Train Service (MARC) train 
and an Amtrak train in Silver Spring, Maryland, and subsequent fire, 
eight passengers and three crewmembers died in one car. This incident 
raised concerns that at least some of the passengers in the MARC train 
tried unsuccessfully to exit via the exterior side doors in the rear 
vestibule of the lead, passenger-occupied cab car. Following its post-
collision investigation, the NTSB expressed concern regarding 
passengers' ability to exit through interior and exterior passageway 
doors. During the accident, the front end of the cab car that led the 
MARC train suffered extensive structural damage and fire destroyed the 
controls for the left- and right-side rear exterior doors. The left-
side exterior door's interior emergency release handle was also damaged 
by the fire and could not be pulled down to operate the door. The 
right-side door's interior emergency release handle was in a secured 
cabinet in the lavatory and it failed to open the door when later 
tested by the NTSB. The NTSB did note in its investigation report of 
the Silver Spring train collision that ``[e]xcept for those passengers 
who died of blunt trauma injuries, others may have survived the 
accident, albeit with thermal injuries, had proper and immediate egress 
from the car been available.'' NTSB/RAR-97/02 at page 63. The NTSB 
explained in its explicit findings on the collision that ``the 
emergency egress of passengers was impeded because the passenger cars 
lacked readily accessible and identifiable quick-release mechanisms for 
the exterior doors, removable windows or kick panels in the side doors, 
and adequate emergency instruction signage.'' Id. at 73.
    Specifically, the NTSB recommended that FRA ``[r]equire all 
passenger cars to have either removable windows, kick panels, or other 
suitable means for emergency exiting through the interior and exterior 
passageway doors where the door could impede passengers exiting in an 
emergency and take appropriate emergency measures to ensure corrective 
action until these measures are incorporated into minimum passenger car 
safety standards.'' R-97-15. In addition, the Task Force identified 
concerns related to door egress from a car that is not upright. 
Emergency egress simulations organized by the Volpe Center confirmed 
this. Such simulations at the FRA-funded ``roll-over rig,'' located at 
the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's training facility, 
demonstrated that egress from a passenger rail car that is not upright 
can be very challenging. The simulations have demonstrated that 
emergency egress from a car that is on its side could present a 
significant challenge related to the operation of the pocket doors. If 
the pocket for a door is situated on the side of the car that is above 
the door when the car comes to rest on its side, gravity would work 
against opening the door and maintaining it in place for occupants to 
egress. Although passenger rail cars with single-panel vestibule doors 
are usually designed such that on the two ends of a car the pockets are 
on opposite sides of the panel, emergency situations may affect either 
end of the car rendering one or more of the vestibule and end-frame 
doors unavailable for emergency egress. In addition, doors could be 
rendered inoperable due to structural deformation of the doors or their 
frames and surrounding structures following a collision or derailment, 
blocking the egress pathways.
    As with other items identified for future consideration during the 
PESS rulemaking proceedings, the Task Force gave thoughtful 
consideration to the issue of vestibule and end-frame door egress. With 
assistance from the Task Force, FRA explored the feasibility of 
designing removable panels or windows in interior and exterior 
passenger car doors that could be used for emergency egress, and funded 
research to develop and evaluate various designs. Interior door egress 
was examined first. In some passenger cars, exterior side or end-

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frame doors, or both, are located in vestibule areas that are separated 
from the seating area(s) by an interior vestibule door. Structural 
deformation or malfunctioning of vestibule doors would inhibit or 
unduly delay access to the vestibules from the passenger compartments. 
End-frame door egress was examined next. Ultimately, no design was 
identified that would address three overriding concerns related to end-
frame doors: (1) Unintentional removal of the door, which would result 
in a safety hazard for occupants attempting emergency egress from the 
train; (2) crashworthiness of the door containing the panel or window; 
and, (3) prevention of fluids, such as fuel, from entering the car 
during an accident. Therefore, the Task Force developed a 
recommendation that was limited to interior vestibule doors. The Task 
Force generally recommended requiring a removable panel or window in 
each vestibule door, and a retention mechanism for new passenger cars. 
In such cases, occupants could use a removable panel or window in the 
door to gain access from the seating area to the exterior doors in the 
vestibule. Alternatively, this panel or window could also facilitate 
passage in the opposite direction from the vestibule area to the 
seating area. Given the unique circumstances surrounding passenger 
train accidents, the Task Force considered it prudent to recommend that 
access be available from both areas.
    The Task Force specifically evaluated kick-panels and ultimately 
decided that such panels could be partially or fully removed 
unintentionally creating a safety hazard, particularly for small 
children who could get caught in the opening and become injured by the 
door sliding into its pocket. For security reasons, the Task Force also 
recommended an exception to the removable panel or window requirement 
for a vestibule door that leads directly into a cab compartment. The 
Task Force believed that each railroad is best situated to determine 
whether equipping such a vestibule door with a removable panel or 
window would be appropriate for its specific equipment and operation.
    FRA believes that its proposal in this rulemaking to require 
vestibule doors to be equipped with a removable panel or window would, 
in the event that vestibule doors are not operable, provide a means for 
occupants in the passenger seating area to reach the vestibules where 
exterior door are located. Once located near an exterior door, 
emergency responders will be able to reach the occupants. FRA further 
believes that its proposal would satisfy the safety concerns expressed 
in the NTSB's recommendation without raising other safety concerns both 
during normal operations and in accident situations.
    The Task Force considered requiring that existing equipment be 
retrofitted to comply with the proposed vestibule door requirement. 
Because of limitations posed by the design of existing doors, the Task 
Force decided not to recommend that the equipment be retrofitted. 
Vestibule doors are designed with a horizontal structural member, 
located approximately at the vertical center of the door, which 
provides rigidity. The design would significantly limit both the size 
and location of a properly functioning removable panel or window. 
Although there are existing windows in the upper half of certain 
vestibule doors, the windows are not sufficiently large for adults to 
pass through and would be difficult to access in many situations. In 
addition, the existing door pockets would require modification. 
Removable windows would likely be designed similarly to emergency 
windows that are equipped with a handle to facilitate the removal of 
the gasket that holds the emergency window in place. The doors would 
need to be modified to accommodate the protrusions in the door that 
would be created by adding the handle. As noted above, the Task Force 
also examined the emergency egress issue as it relates to exterior end-
frame doors. After much deliberation, the Task Force recommended not to 
proceed with a removable window or panel requirement for end-frame 
doors at this time, due to remaining concerns related to the 
crashworthiness of the exterior end-frame doors. The Task Force did, 
however, extend the proposed removable window or panel requirement to 
``any other interior door used for passage through a passenger car'' to 
further expand options for emergency egress.

B. Identification of Emergency Systems

    Passenger train evacuation can be complicated by various 
circumstances, such as: an overturned rail car(s); rail car(s) being 
located in a narrow bridge or tunnel; and the presence of smoke or 
darkness. Such circumstances necessitate enhanced systems for use in 
emergency evacuations. The PESS rule highlighted a systems approach to 
effective passenger train evacuation that takes into consideration the 
interrelationship between features such as the number of door and 
window exits in a passenger car, lighted signs that indicate and 
facilitate the use of the door and window exits, and floor exit path 
marking (such as that required by the Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA) for passenger aircraft), in addition to the general emergency 
lighting level in a car. 64 FR 25598. In particular, the PESS final 
rule stated that FRA was investigating emergency lighting requirements, 
as part of a systems approach to effective passenger train evacuation. 
FRA also stated that it would examine the APTA standard on emergency 
lighting to determine whether the standard satisfactorily addresses 
matters related to emergency signage, exit path marking, and egress 
capacity. See 64 FR 25598.
    As FRA was issuing comprehensive Federal requirements for passenger 
train safety in the late 1990s, APTA was also developing and 
authorizing complementary passenger rail equipment safety standards 
applicable to equipment operated by its commuter and intercity 
passenger railroad members. APTA developed a three-standard, systems-
based approach to facilitate the safe evacuation of a passenger car in 
an emergency under various circumstances. These three standards, (the 
most recent revised versions were approved by APTA in 2007) which 
address emergency lighting, signage, and low-location exit path 
markings, were designed to work together to provide a means for 
passengers and crew to identify, reach, and operate passenger car 
emergency exits.
    The most recent revised versions of the APTA standards approved by 
APTA and all authorized on October 7, 2007, are listed below and copies 
are included in the docket.
     APTA SS-E-013-99, Rev. 1 Standard for Emergency Lighting 
System Design for Passenger Cars.
     APTA SS-PS-002-98, Rev. 3 Standard for Emergency Signage 
for Egress/Access of Passenger Rail Equipment.
     APTA SS-PS-004-99, Rev. 2 Standard for Low Location Exit 
Path Marking.

The APTA approach recognizes that, in the majority of emergencies, the 
safest place for passengers and crew is on the train. Should evacuation 
from a particular rail car be required, the safest course of action for 
passengers and crew is normally to move into an adjacent car. This 
evacuation strategy avoids or minimizes the hazards inherent with 
evacuating passengers onto the railroad right-of-way. It is only in 
unavoidable or extreme life-threatening situations that it would be 
necessary for passengers

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and crew leaves the train to reach a place of safety.
    The Task Force was charged with reviewing the three APTA standards 
and recommending revisions that would enhance the existing emergency 
lighting requirements contained in Sec.  238.115 and the egress and 
rescue access marking requirements contained in Sec. Sec.  238.113 and 
238.114. In addition, the Task Force was charged with adding a new 
requirement for low location exit path marking. After careful review, 
the Task Force recommended that the three APTA standards be revised to 
address relevant evolving technology, and that the standards be 
incorporated by reference in their entirety into the Federal 
regulations. With assistance from the Task Force, APTA revised the 
three APTA standards to enable FRA to incorporate them by reference and 
take advantage of certain technological advances which allowed for 
certain other desired enhancements. In addition, the Task Force 
recommended applying the requirements of the emergency lighting, 
emergency signage, and low-location exit path marking APTA standards 
(as revised in 2007), which apply to both new and existing equipment. 
Incorporation by reference of these APTA standards into part 238 would 
extend their applicability to all commuter and intercity passenger 
railroads and make them enforceable by FRA.

C. Emergency Lighting

    Section 238.115 contains emergency lighting requirements applicable 
for new passenger cars. As noted in the PESS final rule, experience 
gained from emergency response to several passenger train accidents 
indicated that emergency lighting systems either did not work or failed 
after a short time, greatly hindering rescue operations. See 64 FR 
25596. Emergency lighting system failures, or low levels of 
illumination during these accidents, or both, have been cited as a 
cause for confusion and contributing to the injuries and casualties. 
For example, according to the NTSB accident report, two passengers in a 
coach car of the MARC train involved in the 1996 Silver Spring, 
Maryland, accident stated that emergency lighting was not available 
following the accident, and that, along with one passenger's injuries 
and another's loss of eyeglasses, made it more difficult to move in the 
darkness. See R-97-17. The coach car's tilted position also contributed 
to their disorientation and hindered mobility. Post accident 
investigation by the NTSB revealed that the main car battery powering 
the emergency lighting had been damaged as a result of the derailment.
    The NTSB expressed concern regarding emergency lighting 
survivability because the location of the battery supplying power to 
the emergency lighting system below the car made it susceptible to 
damage from the rail, the car's trucks, and the ground surface in the 
event of a derailment. The NTSB concluded that ``[a] need exists for 
Federal standards requiring passenger cars be equipped with reliable 
emergency lighting fixtures with a self-contained independent power 
source when the main power supply has been disrupted to ensure 
passengers can safely egress.'' The NTSB issued recommendation R-97-17 
to FRA, as follows:

    Require all passenger cars to contain reliable emergency 
lighting fixtures that are each fitted with a self-contained 
independent power source and incorporate the requirements into 
minimum passenger car safety standards.

    In addition, on May 16, 1994, in Selma, NC, an Amtrak train 
derailed after colliding with an intermodal trailer from a freight 
train on an adjacent track. This accident resulted in 1 fatality and 
121 injuries. According to the NTSB accident report, three of the 
injured passengers reported difficulty exiting the passenger cars 
because they could not identify the emergency exit windows in the 
darkness. NTSB/RAR-95/02. When they were finally able to escape through 
the doors leading outside, they said that they were not sure how far 
they were above a surface, which may not have been solid ground, 
because they could not see below the steps of the car. The NTSB found 
that fixed emergency lighting systems were not operating inside several 
passenger cars because the batteries and the wiring connecting the 
batteries to the lights were damaged as a result of the derailment.
    In the 1999 PESS final rule, FRA established performance criteria 
for emergency lighting, including minimum illumination levels for 
certain locations in new passenger car door locations, aisles, and 
passageways, because it would enable the occupants of the passenger 
cars to discern their immediate surroundings (situational awareness) 
and thereby minimize or avoid panic in an emergency. Establishing an 
illumination requirement at floor level adjacent to doors, was intended 
to permit passenger car occupants to see and negotiate thresholds and 
steps that are typically located near doors. The illumination 
requirement 25 inches above the floor for aisles and passageways was 
intended to permit passenger car occupants to see and make their way 
past obstacles as they exit a train in an emergency. FRA also pointed 
out that the existing requirement contained in Sec.  238.115 provides 
greater flexibility to railroads related to the placement of lighting 
fixtures for new equipment. FRA also required that the emergency 
lighting system remain operational on each car for 90 minutes, 
consistent with FAA requirements for passenger aircraft emergency 
lighting.
    With respect to existing equipment, FRA noted that it desired 
achievable emergency lighting enhancements and that it would evaluate 
an APTA emergency lighting standard when completed. The Task Force 
developed a revised APTA emergency lighting standard that would enhance 
the existing FRA emergency lighting requirements in Sec.  238.115 by: 
(1) applying the requirements to existing equipment; and, (2) improving 
the back-up power supply survivability requirement (with application to 
both new and existing cars). The APTA emergency lighting standard 
specifies the same minimum illumination levels and duration that are 
required by Sec.  238.115 for doors, aisleways, and passageways in new 
equipment. In addition, the APTA standard requires that additional 
locations be provided with emergency lighting, such as stairways and 
toilet rooms.
    The Task Force recommended revisions to the APTA emergency lighting 
standard to address older equipment not currently covered by the 
emergency lighting requirements contained in Sec.  238.115. The revised 
APTA standard now specifies minimum emergency lighting performance 
criteria for all passenger cars (new and existing). The levels of 
illumination and duration required for equipment ordered before 
September 8, 2000, and placed in service before September 9, 2002, are 
half the levels that are required for newer equipment. This takes into 
consideration the more limited capabilities of older electrical 
lighting systems. The APTA emergency lighting standard provides that 
these illumination and duration requirements be implemented by January 
1, 2015, or when the equipment is transferred, leased, or conveyed to 
another railroad for more than 6 months of operation, whichever occurs 
first. Some railroads indicated their intention to retire certain 
equipment by 2015. The Task Force agreed it would not be cost-justified 
to retrofit such equipment.
    In addition, the APTA emergency lighting standard requires that

[[Page 161]]

emergency lighting systems installed on each passenger car ordered on 
or after April 7, 2008, or placed in service for the first time on or 
after January 1, 2012, meet minimum illumination levels by means of an 
independent power source(s) that is located in or within one half of a 
car length of each light fixture it powers, and that operates when 
normal power is unavailable. As previously noted, these illumination 
levels are the same as the ones already specified in Sec.  238.115 for 
doors, aisleways, and passageways. The independent power source 
requirement is not currently contained in Sec.  238.115, and is being 
proposed in this rulemaking proceeding. The Task Force evaluated the 
feasibility of equipping each emergency lighting fixture with self-
contained power sources, as a back-up power source, independent of the 
main car battery. After deliberation, the Task Force concluded that 
maintenance would be very costly due to the high number of power 
sources. The Task Force examined other methods for addressing the issue 
of emergency lighting system reliability and assisted APTA in revising 
the APTA emergency lighting standard to better address those situations 
in which an emergency lighting system may be most beneficial. For 
example, in the event of a derailment resulting in a car rollover, the 
importance of situational awareness is heightened. Occupants are likely 
not in the same location as they were before the incident and, in 
conditions of darkness, are likely unaware as to where in the car they 
are located in relation to the nearest exit. APTA added four 
requirements that address NTSB's recommendation to FRA regarding 
emergency lighting survivability for new passenger cars, as described 
below.
    First, the APTA emergency lighting standard was revised to require 
an independent power source within the car body located no more than a 
half-car length away from the fixture it powers. For most passenger car 
designs, this translates into a minimum of two batteries, one in each 
end of the car. In the Silver Spring accident, passenger cars incurred 
collision and derailment damage to underfloor battery boxes, causing 
the wet cell batteries contained in those boxes to leak electrolyte. 
Because of the damage and leakage, the batteries failed to provide 
power to the emergency lighting on board the passenger cars. Placing 
the batteries within the car body will reduce the risk of damage to the 
battery during a collision, and increase the likelihood that the 
batteries will be capable of providing power to the emergency lighting.
    Second, each of these independent power sources is required to have 
an automatic self-diagnostic module to perform a discharge test to 
ensure timely detection and notification of a malfunction. Third, 
emergency lighting systems in new cars are required to be capable of 
operating in all equipment orientations to address accident situations 
resulting in the rollover of a car. During an accident, passenger cars 
may tilt, causing wet cell batteries contained in those cars to leak 
electrolyte and, as a consequence, fail to provide power to the 
emergency lighting on board the passenger cars. Wet cell batteries will 
likely leak when tilted in a rollover, because wet cell batteries are 
designed with a vent on top that allows liquid to escape when tipped 
over. Alternatively, a sealed battery is capable of functioning as 
intended regardless of the battery's orientation. When a sealed battery 
is tilted during an accident, it will not fail to provide power to 
emergency lighting merely as a result of the batteries being tilted. 
Finally, the APTA standards provides that emergency lighting systems 
must be designed so that at least 50 percent of the light fixtures 
operate notwithstanding the failure of any single fixture or power 
source.
    In support of revising the APTA emergency lighting standard, the 
Volpe Center researched various alternative, cost-effective 
technologies for addressing the reliability of emergency lighting 
systems. The Volpe Center found that the development of emergency-
lighting systems that can function reliably for a decade or more with 
minimal maintenance and that can withstand passenger train collision/
derailment forces has been greatly facilitated by two recent 
technologies:
     Solid-State Lighting (SSL)--most commonly known as light 
emitting diodes (LEDs)
     Supercapacitors--devices that store about 100 times as 
much electrical charge per unit volume as previous types of capacitors.
    Solid-state lighting includes conventional LEDs and other emerging 
technologies to produce illumination without the use of incandescent 
filaments or excited gases in glass containers. Compared with older 
lighting technologies, the solid-state lighting devices are much 
smaller, are able to withstand hundreds or thousands of times as much 
shock forces, and have service lives ten to one hundred times greater. 
Their light output per unit of electric power consumed is currently 
equivalent to fluorescent lighting, and continues to improve. 
Prototypes of new LED and other SSL devices use only half as much 
energy to produce a given amount of light as the best fluorescent 
lamps. The light output of current white LEDs ranges from 20 to 60 
lumens per Watt, which means that a large area can be illuminated to a 
required minimum value (one lumen per square foot) with only one Watt 
of power. Furthermore, use of LEDs avoids the disposal costs of 
mercury-containing lamps. For these reasons, railroads have already 
started specifying the use of LED devices for new passenger car 
lighting, and to some extent have already used LEDs for retrofitting 
existing car lighting.
    Capacitors are devices that store energy in an electrical field (as 
opposed to a battery, in which the energy is stored chemically). 
Chemicals that store and release energy in amounts that are useful in 
batteries are inherently corrosive, which limits battery life to about 
a thousand charge-discharge cycles, or about seven years in 
applications where the battery is rarely discharged. By avoiding use of 
corrosive chemicals, capacitors are far more durable; but until 
recently, they could not store enough energy to be useful in emergency 
lighting. New supercapacitors are rated for 500,000 charge-discharge 
cycles, and their service lives are expected to extend to at least ten 
years. Currently, commercial supercapacitors are available that store 
as much as 5 Watt-hours of energy. Combined with very efficient LEDs or 
other SSL devices, they allow the manufacture of emergency lighting 
systems using self-contained power with the ability to withstand 
collision forces of much greater magnitude than emergency lighting 
systems currently in use. As discussed in sections D, E, and F below, 
the brightness of newer photoluminescent materials which can be used 
for emergency egress signs and exit path marking can be a cost-
effective means of addressing concerns regarding the survivability of 
emergency lighting systems, particularly for older equipment in 
operation, until it is retired from service.

D. Marking and Instructions for Emergency Egress and Rescue Access

    To initially address emergency egress and rescue access, as well as 
other issues related to the 1996 Silver Spring accident cited earlier, 
FRA issued Emergency Order No. 20 (EO 20). 61 FR 6876. In addition to 
other requirements, EO 20 required commuter and intercity passenger 
railroads to mark the location, and provide instructions for the use, 
of emergency window exits by no later

[[Page 162]]

than April 20, 1996. In an effort to respond to this requirement as 
effectively as possible in the short timeframe provided, affected 
railroads began to install photo-luminescent emergency exit markings to 
mark doors intended for emergency egress and emergency window exits 
with photoluminescent materials that were available at the time for 
this purpose.
    On May 4, 1998, FRA issued the PTEP final rule that requires door 
exits that are intended for emergency egress to be lighted or 
conspicuously marked with luminescent material, and that instructions 
for their use be provided. The rule also requires that emergency window 
exits be conspicuously marked with luminescent material, and that 
instructions for their use be provided. See 63 FR 24630. Doors and 
windows intended for emergency access by emergency responders for 
extrication of passengers must also be marked with retroreflective 
material, and instructions for their use must be posted. Notably, the 
rule did not specify specific criteria for minimum luminance levels or 
letter size or sign color but stated that the marking of the door and 
window exits must be conspicuous enough so that a reasonable person, 
even while enduring the stress and panic of an emergency evacuation can 
determine where the closest and most accessible route out of the car is 
located. See 63 FR 24669. Many railroads installed signs made of zinc-
sulfide, which were capable of providing luminance only for a period of 
less than 10 minutes in many cases. Subsequently, photoluminescent sign 
technology evolved, and other materials began to be used, such as 
strontium-aluminate, which is capable of providing high levels of 
luminance for much longer periods.
    The original APTA emergency signage standard was revised in 1999 to 
require the installation of emergency exit signs with specific minimum 
``higher performance'' photoluminescent material, in terms of 
brightness and duration, as well as larger minimum letter sizes, color 
contrast, etc., for emergency exit signs. The second revision, 
authorized in 2002, included a reorganization of certain sections, 
citation of ASTM International (ASTM) retroreflectivity standards, as 
well as the revision of annex guidance to evaluate the performance 
characteristics of the emergency exit signs. FRA considered 
incorporating elements of the APTA standard into the PTES final rule in 
2008 so that emergency exit signs and intercom markings in passenger 
cars would be required to be made of photoluminescent material with 
higher levels of brightness for longer duration. However, the Task 
Force recommended that certain requirements in the APTA emergency 
signage standard be revised to address technical issues with the 
performance characteristics of certain types of photoluminescent 
materials already installed in existing passenger rail cars, as well as 
other necessary clarifications addressing sign size, color, and 
contrast, etc., before the standard is incorporated by reference by 
FRA. See 63 FR 6886.
    APTA revised its emergency signage standard to incorporate the Task 
Force recommendations. The recommendations were based on Volpe Center 
research findings and technological advances in photoluminescence (as 
discussed in Section F below). Substantively, the revised APTA standard 
requires that each passenger rail car have interior emergency signage 
to assist passengers and train crewmembers in more readily locating, 
reaching, and operating emergency exits in order to safely evacuate 
from the rail car or train; and exterior signage to assist emergency 
responders in more readily locating, reaching operating emergency 
access points, during an emergency situation that warrants immediate 
passenger rail car or train evacuation. To ensure visibility to 
passengers, signs that are required to mark the location of vestibule 
door markings must meet the brightness and duration performance 
criteria requirements for photoluminescent material, as specified in 
the APTA standard.
    Although the APTA emergency signage standard does not address 
emergency communication system signage, the Task Force also recommended 
applying certain criteria for photoluminescent marking specified in 
that standard to intercom systems, as further described in Section G 
below. The APTA standard also includes specifications for 
retroreflective marking and material, which are consistent with FRA 
requirements for rescue access point marking for doors, windows, and 
roof access locations. The APTA standard is more detailed than the 
relevant existing FRA requirements contained in part. For example, the 
APTA standard requires specific minimum letter sizes for doors and 
emergency window exits and includes specific criteria for color, color 
contrast, etc.
    The revised APTA emergency signage standard requires periodic 
testing of certain system components and contains procedures to ensure 
compliance. APTA designed its emergency signage standard to offer 
flexibility in application, as well as to achieve the desired goal of 
facilitating passenger and crew egress from potentially life-
threatening situations in passenger rail cars. Individual railroads 
have the responsibility to design, install, and maintain an emergency 
signage system that is compatible with their internal safety policies 
for emergency evacuation, while complying with the performance criteria 
specified in this standard.
    The Task Force recommended that FRA adopt the specific 
retroreflective material criteria contained in the 2007 APTA emergency 
signage standard related to rescue access windows and doors intended 
for access by emergency responders, into the new section 238.114 in the 
2008 rule which added a requirement for installation of a minimum 
number and the location of rescue access windows on all passenger cars. 
Thus, in the 2008 rule, FRA added a definition of ``retroreflective 
material'' that incorporates by reference criteria form ASTM's Standard 
D 4956-07 for Type 1 Sheeting, which is consistent with the APTA 
emergency signage standard. Accordingly, FRA requests comment regarding 
the need to keep the definition in the rule given the incorporation of 
the APTA emergency signage standard. FRA also made other revisions 
related to rescue access marking, consistent with the other rescue 
access marking requirements specified in the APTA. See 73 FR 6389.

E. Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking

    A review of past passenger rail accidents involving passenger and 
train crew emergency evacuation has indicated that, in certain cases, 
both passengers and emergency responders lacked sufficient information 
necessary for expedient emergency egress and responder access due to 
the absence of identifiable markings. A lack of adequate markings 
indicating the location of emergency exits, in conjunction with 
lighting system failures, or low levels of illumination, or both, 
during conditions of darkness when these accidents occurred caused 
confusion and contributed to injuries and casualties. In addition, the 
presence of fire or smoke may substantially increase the difficulty of 
evacuating passenger train occupants.
    To avoid the many hazards associated with evacuation onto the 
right-of-way, the preferred means of egress from a passenger car that 
is not located at a station is via the end door(s) to the next car. 
Under conditions of darkness, or when illumination from emergency 
lighting fixtures located at or near the ceiling are obscured by smoke, 
such

[[Page 163]]

markings (including exit signs) remain discernible. Particularly in the 
smoke situation, the most viable escape path is the more visible path, 
which is likely to be at or near the floor where occupants are forced 
to lower themselves towards (where the pathway markings are located) to 
avoid inhaling the smoke.
    The 1999 APTA standard for low-location emergency exit path marking 
(LLEPM) required high performance photoluminesent (HPPL) material to be 
installed on all new passenger rail cars. Such markings are intended to 
maintain a visible pathway for passengers to use to locate and reach 
emergency exits under conditions of darkness even if the emergency 
lighting system fails, and include aisleways, stairways, and 
passageways, which identify the path to the primary exit for a duration 
of 90 minutes for both existing and new cars, using either HPPL or an 
independent power source for a duration of 90 minutes. Certain 
revisions were made to the original LLEPM standard which primarily 
consisted of additional definitions, reorganization of certain sections 
and revision, and the addition of annexes used to evaluate the 
performance of HPPL material used for LLEPM.
    In December of 2006, with participation of the Emergency 
Preparedness Task Force, the Volpe Center conducted a series of 
emergency egress simulations at the Washington Metropolitan Area 
Transportation Authority training facility, which demonstrated that 
egress from a rail passenger car can be very challenging. Initially, a 
single-level passenger with some photoluminescent emergency exit sign 
materials commonly found in passenger rail cars and some HPPL sign and 
LLEPM materials were placed in a car that was darkened to demonstrate 
the difference in performance between the two types. ``High 
performance'' is defined as material that exhibits significantly 
enhanced surface brightness for a much longer time period compared with 
zinc sulfide photoluminescent material. Section F below provides 
further information relating to photoluminescent material performance 
characteristics. Next, the car was filled with theatrical smoke, which 
quickly rose and filled most of the car, making all photoluminescent 
signs indiscernible (including HPPL markings), except for door exit 
location and LLEPM markings located near the floor. Members of the Task 
Force participating in the simulation attempted to exit the car via an 
end door by moving along the aisle in a crouching position and using an 
HPPL LLEPM system as guidance. The LLEPM system was covered in one end 
(half) of the car to demonstrate the noticeable effectiveness of the 
LLEPM system that remained visible in the other end (half) of the car, 
in terms of brightness and duration. Next, the darkened car was tilted 
to a 15 degree angle. This car orientation was used to demonstrate 
firsthand the potential difficulties associated with trying to maintain 
one's balance and walk through the car to a door exit.
    The low-location exit path marking (LLEPM) system complements the 
emergency signage system by identifying all primary door exits with 
HPPL and the emergency lighting system by providing a visible path to 
emergency exits that is not dependent on a power sources outside of the 
passenger compartment, ensuring that all primary emergency exits in a 
passenger car can be identified from every seat in the car. The Task 
Force reviewed the 2002 APTA LLEPM standard and recommended that 
certain revisions be made to address the same type of issues related to 
photoluminescent material, as for the emergency signage standard, as 
well as other technical revisions, for consistency with the emergency 
signage standard, and to enable the FRA to incorporate the standard by 
reference.

F. Photoluminescent Marking Materials

    As mentioned above, as result of the NTSB's investigation of the 
February 1996 Silver Spring accident, the NTSB expressed concern that 
at least some of the passengers in the MARC train were unable to 
locate, reach, or operate doors and emergency window exits due to the 
failure of emergency lighting. Shortly after, FRA issued EO 20 
requiring commuter and intercity passenger railroads to mark emergency 
window exits with luminescent material. See 61 FR 6876. The most 
conspicuous and visible markings related to emergency egress are either 
internally illuminated (illuminated by a self-contained source), or 
made of HPPL materials.
    Since the issuance of EO 20, Volpe Center research has provided 
extensive information to FRA and the Task Force for different types of 
photoluminescent materials and their performance characteristics, when 
installed in passenger rail cars. The luminescence (brightness) levels 
for many of the emergency exit signs and LLEPM marking, using zinc 
sulfide material, originally installed in response to EO 20, are very 
low and the duration is very short originally and thus do not perform 
as well as the newer HPPL materials, using strontium aluminate, which 
are capable of a much higher initial brightness and longer duration 
time. In addition, Volpe Center research shows that placement of the 
photoluminescent sign and marking materials relative to sources of 
illumination is key to proper performance in terms of brightness and 
duration. Other factors that affect the ability of occupants to see 
signs and marking and read signs include: the size of the letters, 
distance from the sign or marking, and the visual acuity of the person 
seeing the sign and marking.
    Separately, and in conjunction with industry representatives, the 
Volpe Center conducted illumination and luminance tests in various in-
service passenger cars of different design and age and demonstrated 
that some of the photoluminescent markings were not as luminescent 
(i.e., bright) as they were intended to be. Signs and LLEPM markings 
certified to be capable of achieving certain luminance levels were 
found not to meet those criteria due to inadequate charging light 
levels. The presence of shadows cast by nearby structures and fixtures, 
the location of light fixtures relative to emergency exit sign and 
LLEPM markings, the condition of light diffusers, and the type of lamps 
used to provide the illumination were all causes for why either the 
zinc sulfide or the HPPL products were unable to charge sufficiently 
and thus achieve expected luminance levels.
    The Task Force considered the use of HPPL material to be an 
important improvement over the previous, less strenuous, requirements 
for duration and luminance of photoluminescence materials and also a 
cost-effective means of addressing concerns regarding the survivability 
of emergency lighting systems, particularly for older equipment in 
service. Adoption of the APTA LLEPM standard by FRA by incorporation by 
reference into part 238 also addresses the NTSB Silver Spring 
recommendation to require that the path to the emergency exits be 
marked in all passenger cars.
    To develop a more effective photoluminescent standard that would 
address the Volpe Center findings, the Task Force developed HPPL 
material specifications with Volpe Center technical assistance that 
APTA included in its 2007 revision of both the emergency signage 
standard and the LLEPM standard. FRA notes that the Task Force proposed 
revisions to the emergency signage and LLEPM standards to: (1) Allow 
flexibility for use of different types of charging light sources, (2) 
require that new HPPL signs meet the same luminance requirements with 
lower charging light levels, (3) allow alternative testing criteria 
using

[[Page 164]]

meters that do not measure off-axis illuminance accurately, (4) 
grandfather signs that are likely to perform as intended for 60 
minutes, and (5) in small areas, to allow lower levels of luminance or 
use of larger signs to compensate for even lower light levels. APTA 
revised the two APTA standards which now establish more stringent 
minimum requirements for the HPPL material performance criteria to 
provide visual guidance for passengers and train crewmembers to locate, 
reach, and operate door exits and emergency window exits, especially 
during conditions of darkness when the emergency lighting system has 
failed, (or when smoke conditions obscure overhead emergency lighting).

G. Emergency Communication System Marking

    The NTSB accident investigation report for the February 9, 1996 
collision near Secaucus, New Jersey, that involved two New Jersey 
Transit Rail Operations (NJTR) trains and resulted in three fatalities 
and numerous injuries, illustrates the importance of emergency 
communication systems to prevent panic and further injuries. According 
to the NTSB report (NTSB/RAR-97/01, at p. 27):

    [a]lthough the train crews said that they went from car to car 
instructing passengers to remain seated, passengers said that they 
were not told about the severity of the situation and were concerned 
about a possible fire or being struck by an oncoming train. They 
therefore left the train and wandered around the tracks waiting for 
guidance, potentially posing a greater hazard because of the leaking 
fuel from train 1107.
    No crewmember used the public address system to communicate with 
passengers. By using the public address system, all passengers would 
have received the same message in less time than it would have taken 
the NJT employees to walk from car to car.

    The NTSB report also stated:

    Information about the possibility of a fire or a collision with 
an oncoming train could have been provided to passengers over the 
public address system to address their concerns and prevent them 
from leaving the train. The Safety Board concludes that the lack of 
public announcements addressing the passengers' concerns caused them 
to act independently, evacuate the train, and wander along the 
tracks, thus potentially contributing to the dangerous conditions at 
the collision site.

    To address the NTSB report, FRA issued the PESS final rule in 1999, 
which established requirements for two-way emergency communication 
systems and markings for Tier II passenger equipment. See 64 FR 25540, 
25641 (May 12, 1999). Public address (PA) systems allow the train crew 
to keep their passengers informed in an emergency situation and provide 
instructions to them in a timely manner. The train crew can provide 
instructions to passengers to not take an action that could place them 
or other passengers in any greater danger, such as instructing them, as 
appropriate, to remain on the train and not endanger themselves by 
unnecessarily evacuating the train on their own. Conversely, passengers 
could use the intercom feature of a two-way communication system to 
report security issues as well as other life-threatening situations. 
When head-end power is lost, having markings that remain conspicuous 
allow passengers to locate and use the intercom to communicate with the 
train crew. During the development of the 2008 PTES final rule, some 
railroad representatives on the Task Force noted that although 
instructions were posted at the intercom locations on their passenger 
cars, luminescent markings to mark the intercom location were not used. 
The Task Force therefore recommended that luminescent markings be 
required for that purpose. It should be noted that FRA proposed to 
adopt such a requirement in the PTES final rule, and invited comment on 
whether the luminescent material should be HPPL material, as discussed 
below. See 71 FR 50293. As noted above, in the discussion concerning 
emergency window exit signage, the APTA emergency signage standard 
contains specific criteria for luminescent markings. The Task Force 
focused on revisions to this APTA standard in order to recommend 
whether to incorporate some or all of its contents into part 238 by 
reference and thereby require that luminescent markings for intercoms 
comply with the standard as it relates to luminescent markings. APTA 
PRESS had also indicated that they intended to revise APTA SS-PS-001-
98, ``Standard for Passenger Railroad Emergency Communications,'' to 
include more specific requirements for marking emergency communication 
systems. However, no comments were received, and the PTES final rule 
required luminescent marking of each intercom location to ensure that 
the intercom can be easily identified for use in the event that both 
normal and emergency lighting are not functioning. The posted operating 
instructions, however, are not required to be luminescent. Some Task 
Force members indicated that the instructions may be easier to read 
when not luminescent.
    As noted previously, the Task Force discussed at length issues 
associated with the development of HPPL material component 
requirements. Due to the APTA revision of the performance criteria for 
HPPL material, the Task Force recommended that the intercom system 
comply with the brightness and duration of HPPL material performance 
criteria in the emergency lighting standard. Accordingly, FRA believes 
that applying the luminescent marking requirements in the revised APTA 
emergency signage standard to intercom systems would further address 
the NTSB report emergency communication concerns.

H. Debriefing and Critique Session Following Emergency Situations and 
Full-Scale Simulations

    As an illustration of the importance of train crew participation in 
a debrief and critique session, FRA notes that on May 25, 2006, a power 
outage disrupted all rail traffic on the Northeast Corridor between 
Washington and New York during the morning rush hour, stranding 
approximately 112 trains with tens of thousands of passengers on board. 
Currently, part 239 requires that train crew members participate in the 
required debriefing and critique session of such incidents. However, 
the managers of the train crew of at least one train participated in 
the debriefing and critique session, rather than the train crew. The 
Task Force recognized the importance of the participation of train crew 
and other employees who actually have first-hand knowledge of the 
emergency in the debriefing and critique sessions. Accordingly, the 
Task Force reviewed the existing debriefing and critique requirements 
in section 239.105 and recommended that clarifications be made to 
ensure that to the extent practicable, all onboard crewmembers, control 
center personnel, and any other employees actually involved in 
emergency situations and full-scale simulations, be included in the 
debriefing and critique sessions. In addition, flexibility was provided 
to railroads by permitting participation in the required debriefing and 
critique sessions of the employees, either in person or by the use of 
alternative methods. As such, FRA proposes to clarify Sec.  239.105 to 
reflect this necessary participation.

VII. Section-by-Section Analysis

    This section-by-section analysis explains the provisions proposed. 
Several of the issues and provisions involving this proposed rule have 
been discussed and addressed in detail in the preamble, above. 
Accordingly, these

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preamble discussions should be considered in conjunction with those 
below and will be referenced as appropriate.

A. Proposed Amendments to Part 238, Subparts B, C, and E

Section 238.5 Definitions
    In this section, FRA is proposing a set of new definitions to be 
introduced into the regulation, as well as the revision of certain 
existing definitions. FRA intends these definitions to clarify the 
meaning of important terms as they are used in the text of the rule, in 
an attempt to minimize the potential for misinterpretation of the rule.
    ``APTA'' would mean The American Public Transportation Association.
    FRA proposes the definition in this section to reflect the present 
name of APTA, ``American Public Transportation Association.'' This 
section's reference to APTA as the ``American Public Transit 
Association,'' has become outdated.
    ``End-frame door'' would mean an end-facing door normally located 
between or adjacent to the collision posts or similar end-frame 
structural elements. This term refers to exterior doors only. This term 
would be added for use in the definition of a vestibule door to make 
clear that an end-frame door is not a vestibule door.
    FRA proposes to revise the definition of ``vestibule'' to clarify 
that a ``vestibule'' is located adjacent to a side door exit. The 
definition would make clear that certain interior doors would be 
considered vestibule doors, and thus, would be subject to the proposed 
requirements for removable panels or windows. In conjunction with 
another defined term in this proposal, ``vestibule door,'' this 
definition is intended to make clear that certain areas in a passenger 
car that are used for passing from a seating area to a side door exit 
are vestibules. Interior areas of a passenger car that normally do not 
contain seating and are used for passing from, but are not adjacent to, 
a side door are not vestibules. Therefore, doors located in such areas 
would not be subject to requirements for vestibule doors unless 
otherwise specified (see Sec.  238.112(f)). Passageways located away 
from side door exits would not be considered vestibules.
    ``Vestibule door'' would mean a door separating a seating area from 
a vestibule. End-frame doors and doors separating sleeping compartments 
or similar private compartments from a passageway would not be 
vestibule doors. This term is referenced in Sec.  238.112(f) as one 
type of door that would be required to have removable panels or windows 
for emergency egress use in new passenger cars. Note that Sec.  238.112 
also applies to other interior doors intended for passage through a 
passenger car, namely, the interior doors that, while not located 
adjacent to a side door, are located near one or both ends of a car 
(sometimes just the ``blind end'' of the car) and provide passage to 
the next car, such as the door(s) at the end(s) of the Metra Gallery 
Cars and Amtrak Amfleet I and II Cars, as well as the door located on 
the upper level of the Amtrak Superliner Cars.
Section 238.112 Doors
    This proposed section would consolidate certain existing door 
requirements that apply to both Tier I and Tier II passenger cars, add 
new requirements related to removable panels or windows in vestibule 
doors, and clarify that an exterior side door is required ``in each 
side'' of a passenger car ordered on or after September 8, 2000, or 
placed in service for the first time on or after September 9, 2002. 
Existing door requirements are currently located in Sec. Sec.  238.235 
for Tier I equipment and 238.439 for Tier II equipment. Section 239.107 
also contains interior and exterior marking and instruction 
requirements, respectively, for all doors intended for emergency egress 
and all doors intended for emergency access by emergency responders. 
All door requirements that apply both to Tier I and Tier II passenger 
cars would be moved to this new Sec.  238.112. The new vestibule door 
requirements would enhance passenger safety by requiring an additional 
means of access to the vestibule area from the passenger seating area, 
and vice versa.
    Proposed paragraphs (a) through (c) would contain the requirements 
currently located in paragraphs Sec.  238.235(a) through (c). A minor 
modification is proposed to paragraph (b) to make clear that of the 
minimum two exterior side doors required in each passenger car ordered 
on or after September 8, 2000, or placed in service for the first time 
on or after September 9, 2002, one must be located in each side of the 
car. Moreover, paragraph (b) makes clear that a set of dual-leafed 
doors is considered a single door for purposes of this paragraph.
    Proposed paragraphs (d) and (e) contain the requirements for 
interior and exterior door exit markings and instructions, 
respectively, which are currently contained in Sec. Sec.  238.235(d) 
and 239.107(a). Both paragraphs would reference the requirements in new 
Sec.  238.125.
    Proposed paragraph (f) requires a removable panel or removable 
window in each vestibule door, as well as in any other interior door 
intended for passage through a passenger car. A vestibule door, or its 
pocket, may become deformed or otherwise inoperable during an 
emergency. The additional means of egress would be used in the event 
that a vestibule door cannot be opened, or it becomes difficult to 
retain the door in an open position, to allow for passage from the 
seating area to the exterior doors in the vestibule. The latter 
circumstance is of particular concern when a passenger car is on its 
side where the pocket for the door would now be located above the door, 
making it difficult to keep the door in the open position. In the case 
of other interior doors intended for passage through a passenger car 
(see discussion above related to the definition of vestibule door in 
the section-by-section analysis of Sec.  238.5), the removable panel or 
window would facilitate passage to the next car. Distinct requirements 
would apply to bi-parting doors. Such doors, because each leaf is too 
narrow, cannot reasonably contain removable panels or windows that 
would allow occupants to pass through. To allow sufficient time for 
railroads and manufacturers of passenger cars to implement these 
requirements without costly modifications to existing car orders, the 
requirements in this paragraph would apply to equipment ordered on or 
after the effective date of the final rule or placed in service for the 
first time on or after a date 4 years later. Railroad representatives 
indicated that a 4-year time period was consistent with the time 
between the placement of an order and delivery of the ordered 
equipment.
    Proposed paragraph (f)(1) makes clear that doors providing access 
to a control compartment would be exempt from this requirement. The 
doors to such compartments are usually locked, particularly in newer 
cars that have door lock override mechanisms, to prevent unauthorized 
access to the control compartment. Railroads may, at their discretion, 
include removable panels or other additional means of egress in these 
doors, but they would not be required to do so. This paragraph also 
requires a manual override device for the vestibule door if the door is 
powered, to ensure occupants can open the door in the even power is 
lost.
    Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(i) requires that each removable panel or 
window be designed to permit rapid and easy removal from both the 
vestibule and passenger seating area without the use of a tool or other 
implement. Access

[[Page 166]]

from both areas is consistent with the preferred means of car 
evacuation, which is to the next car and not onto the right-of-way. The 
designs for removable windows or panels would likely be very similar to 
the removable gasket design and other designs generally used for dual-
function windows, which serve both as emergency window exits and rescue 
access windows and therefore can be opened and removed from inside or 
outside of the car. This requirement is intended to be consistent with 
the ease of operability requirement currently applicable to emergency 
window exits in Sec.  238.113, which dual-function windows must meet. 
For example, the design presented by Kawasaki for a removable panel in 
a vestibule door, described in the February 1, 2008 final rule, would 
satisfy the requirements for ease of operability being proposed. See 73 
FR 6370. Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(ii) requires that removal of the 
panel or window create an unobstructed opening with minimum dimensions 
of 21 inches horizontally by 28 inches vertically. The Task Force 
consulted with passenger car and door manufacturers to ensure that the 
dimensions being proposed could be met without sacrificing the basic 
structural design and integrity properties of vestibule doors, 
including firmness, balance, and stability. Manufacturers agreed that 
the maximum width that could be reasonably achieved is 21 inches. The 
proposed 28-inch vertical dimension allows for the door to have a 
vertically-centered horizontal structural member as well as retain a 
window in the upper half, which is common to many existing door designs 
and a feature that railroads are interested in retaining.
    Proposed paragraph (f)(2)(iii) would require that the removable 
panel or window be located so that the lowest point of the opening is 
no higher than 18 inches from the floor. This requirement is intended 
to provide ease of use for pass through after removal of the panel or 
window. The opening should be located close to the floor so that car 
occupants could crawl through without undue difficulty or undue delay.
    Proposed paragraphs (f)(3) would contain distinct requirements for 
bi-parting doors. Each powered, bi-parting vestibule door would have to 
be equipped with a manual override device and a mechanism to retain 
each door leaf in the open position. Examples of a retention mechanism 
include a ratchet and pawl system that allows movement in one direction 
but locks it in the other, and a sprag. The retention mechanism would 
be used to hold the door panels, which can be relatively heavy, in 
place once they are opened. The override mechanism would provide a 
means to operate the doors in the event that power is lost. It would 
have to be located adjacent to the door leaf it controls and be 
designed and maintained so that a person could readily access and 
operate it from both the vestibule and the seating area, without the 
use of any tool or other implement. Access from both areas is 
consistent with the preferred means of car evacuation, which is to the 
next car, and not onto the right-of-way.
    Proposed paragraph (f)(4) specifically contains requirements 
related to the capabilities of manual override devices. A manual 
override device is intended to allow a passenger to unlock a car door 
during an emergency that has been locked by the railroad for 
operational purposes. Without the manual override device, a key or 
other tool or implement is typically needed to unlock the door. By 
making the door easier to unlock, the manual override device will 
expedite passenger egress during an emergency.
    Proposed paragraph (f)(5) contains requirements for marking and 
operating instructions for removal panels and windows as well as bi-
parting door override devices and retention mechanisms. To ensure that 
each removable panel or removable window can be identified in the dark, 
these would have to be conspicuously and legibly marked with high-
performance photoluminescent material on both the vestibule and the 
passenger seating area sides of the door. Use of such material is 
consistent with requirements for emergency window exit and door exit 
signage. Legible and understandable operating instructions for each 
removable panel or window would also have to be provided on both the 
vestibule and seating area side of the door. The same marking and 
instruction requirements would apply to bi-parting door manual override 
devices and retention mechanisms.
    FRA believes that it is important to inspect, maintain, and repair 
manual door override devices and door retention mechanisms to ensure 
that they function properly in the event of an emergency. FRA believes 
that testing of a representative sample of manual override devices and 
door retention mechanisms no less frequently than once every 184 days 
to verify that they are operating properly would be reasonable and 
appropriate for safety. This frequency is consistent with existing 
requirements contained in Sec.  238.113 for the testing of emergency 
window exits. However, because emergency window exits are subject to 
different service conditions than removable panels and windows located 
on vestibule doors, separate tests would be needed. Following each 
test, FRA also believes that inoperative manual override devices should 
be repaired before the cars they are in reenter service. FRA requests 
comments regarding the proper timing of the testing and repair of 
manual override door devices and retention devices as proposed in 
paragraph (f)(6).
Section 238.113 Emergency Window Exits
    This section would be amended to require markings and instructions 
for emergency window exits to comply with the APTA marking standards 
that FRA is proposing to incorporate by reference in this rulemaking in 
Sec.  238.125. The inspection requirement related to marking of 
emergency window exits currently contained in Sec.  239.107(b) would 
also be added to this section. FRA believes these changes will enhance 
the reliability of markings for locating and instructions for operating 
emergency window exits.
    Existing requirements in parts 223 and 239 for the marking of 
emergency exits, as well as existing requirements in part 238 for the 
marking of emergency communications transmission points, specify the 
use of luminescent materials. (Door exits intended for emergency egress 
may also be lighted, in accordance with Sec.  239.107(a)(1).) Part 238 
defines ``luminescent material'' as material that absorbs light energy 
when ambient levels of light are high and emits this stored energy when 
ambient levels of light are low, making the material appear to glow in 
the dark. See 49 CFR Sec.  238.5. Paragraph (d) would continue to 
require that luminescent material be used to mark emergency window 
exits. However, as further discussed below, FRA is proposing to 
incorporate, by reference, in Sec.  238.125 APTA Standard SS-PS-002-98, 
Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/Access of Passenger 
Rail Equipment.'' The APTA standard would establish specific criteria 
for luminescent material, including how bright the material must be and 
how long it must stay luminescent. The APTA standard also contains 
specific design requirements to facilitate recognition and reliability, 
including letter size and color contrast requirements as well as 
requirements for door locator signs to facilitate identification of 
door locations that may not be easily seen by seated passengers.
    FRA is proposing to move the existing emergency window exit testing 
requirements contained in Sec.  239.107(b)

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to a new paragraph (e) in this section. Generally, emergency window 
exits are intended to supplement door exits, which are normally the 
preferred means of egress in an emergency situation. Emergency windows 
provide an alternative means of emergency egress should doors be 
rendered inoperable or inaccessible. They also provide an additional 
means of egress in life-threatening situations requiring very rapid 
exit, such as a fire on board or submergence of the car in a body of 
water. The requirement to periodically test a representative sample of 
emergency window exits arose from EO No. 20 and is being carried 
forward from Sec.  239.107 into this new proposed paragraph.
Section 238.114 Rescue Access Windows
    This section would be amended to add the APTA marking standards 
that are being proposed for incorporation by reference in this 
rulemaking in Sec.  238.125 to the existing rescue access windows 
requirements. Proposed paragraph (d) continues to require that 
retroreflective material be used to mark rescue access windows. 
However, as further discussed below, FRA is proposing to incorporate by 
reference an APTA standard into Sec.  238.125 that would establish 
specific criteria to maintain optimum retroreflective properties of the 
base material.
    As noted above in the discussion of emergency window exits, Sec.  
238.125 proposes to incorporate by reference APTA Standard SS-PS-002-
98, Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/Access of 
Passenger Rail Equipment.'' The APTA standard contains detailed 
criteria for marking rescue access windows, including the use of 
retroreflective material. FRA invited comment on whether the criteria 
in the APTA standard or in other existing standards for marking rescue 
access windows were appropriate for use in the PTES final rule. See 71 
FR 50292. While no written comments were received on this issue, both 
the Task Force and the Working Group for the first PTES rulemaking 
recommended that FRA add the criteria to the final rule. In order to 
maintain the optimum retroreflective properties of the base material, 
any retroreflective markings that have ink or pigment applied should 
utilize a translucent or semi-translucent ink, as per the 
manufacturer's instructions. A clear coat that protects against ultra-
violet light may be added to prevent fading. Retroreflectivity 
requirements shall be met if protective coatings or other materials for 
the enhancement of sign durability are used.
    FRA believes that adopting the APTA standard will increase the 
quality and reliability of the retroreflective materials used in rescue 
access windows and doors. This section was originally prompted in part 
by the April 23, 2002 collision involving a Metrolink passenger train 
near Placentia, CA, and the ensuing NTSB Safety Recommendation (R-03-
21) to FRA, which illustrated the potential importance of having rescue 
access windows on each level of a passenger car. The general intent of 
the provision is to provide a means for emergency responders to quickly 
identify and effectively operate rescue access windows in order to gain 
access directly into every passenger compartment on every level of a 
passenger car, in the event that a stairway or interior door is 
compromised and exterior doors are blocked. The enhanced quality and 
reliability of the retroreflective material are intended to ensure the 
markings and instructions remain conspicuous and legible taking into 
consideration the environment in which passenger trains operate.
Section 238.115 Emergency Lighting
    To enhance the performance of emergency lighting in passenger cars, 
FRA proposes to expand the application of this section to all passenger 
cars, and modify the emergency lighting requirements by incorporating 
by reference APTA Standard SS-E-013-99, Rev. 1 (October 7, 2007) 
Standard for Emergency Lighting Design for Passenger Cars, or an 
alternative standard providing at least an equivalent level of safety 
if approved by FRA pursuant to Sec.  238.21. This section currently 
contains requirements for emergency lighting in passenger cars ordered 
on or after September 8, 2000, or placed in service for the first time 
on or after September 9, 2002. Incorporating this APTA standard for all 
passenger cars would enhance the existing standards for new passenger 
cars and establish standards for passenger cars both ordered before 
September 8, 2000, and placed in service before September 9, 2002. Part 
238 requires minimum illumination levels at doors, aisles, and 
passageways. In addition to those locations, the APTA emergency 
lighting standard requires minimum levels of emergency illumination for 
stairways, crew areas of multiple-unit (MU) locomotives and cab cars, 
toilets, and other areas.
    The existing requirements in part 238 related to emergency lighting 
require a ``back-up power system'' capable of operating in all 
equipment orientations within 45 degrees of vertical, as well as after 
the initial shock of certain collision or derailment scenarios. The 
car's main car battery is considered an acceptable ``back-up power 
system.'' A main car battery is limited in its ability to provide power 
in equipment orientations greater than 45 degrees of vertical. 
Additionally, because it is common for such batteries to be at least 
partially located below the car body, it would not be unusual for the 
main car battery to be damaged in the event of a derailment and render 
the emergency lighting system inoperable as occurred in the MARC train 
cab car that was involved in the 1996 accident in Silver Spring. For 
equipment ordered on or after April 7, 2008 or first placed in service 
on or after January 1, 2012, the 2007 APTA lighting standard requires 
an independent power source to be located within the car body and 
placed no more than a half-car length away from the fixture it powers 
in the event the main car battery is not able to power the system. This 
system must also be capable of operating in all equipment orientations. 
The APTA emergency lighting standard contains additional design and 
performance criteria for batteries that are used as independent power 
sources. It also contains rigorous requirements for periodic testing of 
batteries used as independent power sources.
    Existing Sec.  238.307 requires railroads to perform periodic 
mechanical inspections of passenger equipment, including passenger 
cars. The periodic mechanical inspection requires the inspection of 
interior and exterior mechanical components not less frequently than 
every 184 days. As part of this inspection the railroad is required to 
verify that all emergency lighting systems are in place and operational 
as specified in Sec.  238.115. The APTA emergency lighting standard 
contains more detailed periodic inspection and maintenance related to 
emergency lighting. The APTA standard requires that periodic tests to 
confirm the minimum illumination levels and duration be conducted no 
less frequently than every eight years. A representative sample of cars 
or areas must be tested. However, if the first two cars or areas exceed 
the minimum illumination levels by a factor of 4 or greater, no further 
testing is required. Importantly, the APTA standard also requires 
railroads to replace each sealed battery that is used as an independent 
power source for an emergency light circuit at two-year intervals, 
unless equipped with controllers that

[[Page 168]]

automatically prevent unnecessary battery discharge or other measures 
are taken to prevent routine discharge (e.g., maintaining equipment on 
wayside power or HEP). If so equipped, the APTA standard requires that 
the battery-replacement interval shall be according to manufacturer's 
specifications, or if not specified, at least every five years. For 
emergency lighting systems that use capacitors as independent power 
sources, a functional test of the devices shall be conducted as part of 
the periodic inspection. Due to their long life, the two-year 
replacement requirement does not apply to capacitor-based energy 
storage devices. However, a functional test of the devices shall be 
conducted as part of the periodic inspection. The APTA standard also 
requires initial verification tests on at least one representative car 
or area of a car for each emergency lighting system layout to ensure 
compliance with the minimum duration and illumination levels. The Task 
Force, APTA, and its member railroads, have invested considerable time 
and effort in developing industry standards that address emergency 
lighting in passenger cars. FRA has reviewed the industry standards it 
proposes to incorporate by reference in this rule and has determined 
that the standards contain the proper specifications for emergency 
lighting in passenger cars. FRA believes that compliance with the APTA 
standard requirements identified in this section will help ensure 
effective operation of emergency lighting in new passenger cars. 
Establishment of requirements for older existing equipment will help 
ensure emergency lighting systems are capable of providing sufficient 
illumination for passengers to retain situational awareness in the 
event normal lighting is not available, particularly in the event of an 
emergency situation. FRA expects that almost all affected railroads are 
already in compliance with the APTA standard requirements. Some 
railroads, including railroads that are not members of APTA, are not 
currently in compliance with the APTA standard requirements. To allow 
railroads that are not currently in compliance with the APTA standard 
requirements enough time to comply with the requirements, FRA will 
delay implementation of the requirements for one year from the 
effective date of the final rule in this proceeding.
Section 238.121 Emergency Communications
    To clarify existing paragraph (a)(2), FRA proposes to insert the 
word ``after'' directly before the date ``April 1, 2010.'' The previous 
omission of the word ``after'' in the existing paragraph was a 
typographical error. The existing language is intended to identify cars 
ordered on or after April 1, 2010, and not only cars ordered on April 
1, 2010. As such, the clarification would not result in substantive 
change to the existing requirements contained in this section.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2) applies the requirements for luminescent 
materials proposed to be incorporated in Sec.  238.125 for emergency 
signage markings, to the existing requirements for luminescent material 
at intercom locations in existing paragraph (b)(2). Existing paragraph 
(b)(2) requires that the location of each intercom intended for 
passenger use be clearly marked with luminescent material and that 
legible and understandable operating instructions be posted at or near 
each such intercom to facilitate passenger use. The Task Force 
recommended an effective date of April 1, 2010, for this requirement. 
However, to allow for sufficient implementation time, FRA is not using 
this date. This proposed paragraph would become effective on the date 
the rule becomes effective. This proposed paragraph also makes clear 
that photoluminescent markings that were installed in accordance with 
the February 1, 2008 PTES rule are, and would remain, in compliance for 
the first 2 years following the effective date of the rule, as 
recommended by the Task Force.
    Proposed paragraph (c) continues to require that PA and intercom 
systems on all new Tier I passenger cars and all Tier II passenger 
trains have back-up power for a minimum period of 90 minutes. An 
example of a back-up power source is the main battery in a passenger 
car. The only change FRA is proposing is to clarify the applicability 
of this paragraph, which was originally added by the February 1, 2008 
PTES final rule without any express applicability dates. FRA intended 
that the back-up power requirements have the same applicability dates 
as those for intercom systems in the February 1, 2008 final rule. That 
is, paragraph (c) applies to each Tier I passenger car ordered on or 
after April 1, 2008, or placed in service for the first time on or 
after April 1, 2010, and to all Tier II passenger cars. While FRA 
believes that the application of paragraph (c) is understood from a 
reading of this section as a whole, adding these dates will remove any 
confusion that may arise.
Section 238.123 Emergency Roof Access
    This proposal would amend paragraph (e) to include the APTA 
standard for marking emergency roof access and providing 
retroreflective material and instructions that is being proposed for 
inclusion in this rulemaking in Sec.  238.125. Existing paragraph (e) 
contains requirements for marking, and providing instructions for, 
emergency roof access locations. Currently, each emergency roof access 
location is required to be conspicuously marked with retroreflective 
material of contrasting color, and legible and understandable 
instructions must be provided near the emergency roof access location. 
The retroreflective material is intended to enable emergency responders 
to quickly identify the access locations by shining a light on the 
roof, and the instructions are intended to facilitate the proper use of 
the emergency roof access by emergency responders. To maximize the 
potential use of the required retroreflective material and instruction 
for emergency roof access, this rulemaking would apply the proposed 
requirements of Sec.  238.125, which incorporates APTA's standard for 
retroreflective material by reference. APTA and its member railroads 
have invested considerable time and effort in developing industry 
standards that address retroreflective material in passenger cars. FRA 
has reviewed the industry standards it proposes to incorporate in this 
rule and has determined that the standards contain the proper 
specifications for retroreflective material in passenger cars. FRA 
believes that compliance with the APTA standard identified in this 
section will ensure that the retroreflective material markings for 
emergency roof access are conspicuous and instructions are legible and 
thus facilitate emergency responder access to passenger cars.
Section 238.125 Marking and Instructions for Emergency Egress and 
Rescue Access
    To enhance the performance of emergency signage and markings for 
egress and access in passenger cars, FRA proposes to modify the 
emergency signage and markings for egress and access requirements by 
incorporating by reference APTA Standard SS-PS-002-98, Rev. 3 
(authorized on October 7, 2007), Standard for Emergency Signage for 
Egress/Access of Passenger Rail Equipment. This proposal would also 
permit use of an alternative standard providing at least an equivalent 
level of

[[Page 169]]

safety if approved by FRA pursuant to Sec.  238.21.
    Generally, the APTA signage standard requires that each passenger 
rail car have interior emergency signage to assist passengers and train 
crewmembers in locating and operating emergency exits in order to 
safely evacuate from the rail car or train, and exterior signage to 
assist emergency responders in locating and operating emergency access 
points, during an emergency situation that warrants passenger rail car 
or train evacuation. Passenger railroads recognize that, in the 
majority of emergency situations, the safest place for passengers and 
crew is on the train. Should evacuation from a particular car be 
required, the safest course of action for passengers and crew is 
normally to move into an adjacent car. This avoids or minimizes the 
hazards inherent with evacuating passengers onto the railroad right-of-
way. The standard was designed to offer flexibility in application, as 
well as to achieve the desired goal of facilitating passenger and crew 
egress from potentially life threatening situations in passenger rail 
cars. Individual railroads have the responsibility to design, install 
and maintain an emergency signage system that is compatible with their 
internal safety policies for emergency evacuation, while complying with 
the performance criteria specified in this APTA standard. The APTA 
signage standard requirements would improve upon the existing standards 
by increasing the overall efficacy of the signage providing evacuation 
guidance for passengers and train crew members and rescue access 
guidance for emergency responders. The existing Federal requirements 
related to signage require that the signage be legible and conspicuous. 
The APTA standard specifies requirements related to signage including: 
recognition, design requirements, location, size, color and contrast, 
materials, and others. Incorporation of more detailed APTA signage 
standard requirements would help ensure that emergency egress points 
are easily identified and operated by passengers and train crew members 
to evacuate a passenger car during an emergency.
    Existing Sec.  238.307 requires railroads to perform periodic 
mechanical inspections of passenger equipment, including passenger 
cars. The periodic mechanical inspection requires the inspection of 
interior and exterior mechanical components not less frequently than 
every 184 days. As part of this inspection the railroad is required to 
verify that all safety-related signage is in place and legible. See 
Sec. Sec.  238.305(c)(7) and 238.307(c)(12) . The APTA standard 
specifies more detailed periodic inspection and maintenance related to 
signage. Notably, as with the LLEPM standard, the signage standard 
requires railroads to verify that all emergency signage system 
components function as intended. Section 10.2.1.2 of the APTA Signage 
Standard addresses photoluminescent (including HPPL) systems, and 
requires railroads to:
     Conduct tests and inspections in conformance with the 
requirements of APTA SS--I & M--005-98, Rev. 2, Standard for Passenger 
Compartment Periodic Inspection and Maintenance;
     Conduct periodic tests and inspections to verify that all 
emergency signage system components, including power sources, function 
as intended;
     Test a representative sample of passenger rail cars/areas, 
in accordance with Sections 10.2.1.1 and 10.2.1.2 (of the APTA Signage 
Standard) using procedures in Annex F of the Standard or another 
statistically valid documented sampling method; and
     Conduct periodic illuminance tests to confirm that 
photoluminescent components receive adequate charging light no less 
frequently than once every 8 years, with the first test conducted no 
later than 8 years after the car was placed in service for the first 
time:
     HPPL signs/markings placed in areas designed or maintained 
with normal light levels of less than 5 fc.; and
     Grandfathered PL materials, where the sign/marking in 
placed in an area designed or maintained with normal light levels of 
less than 10 fc. If all of the illuminance levels in the first two 
randomly selected representative sample cars/areas exceed the minimum 
required to charge the photoluminescent components required by this 
Standard by at least a factor of 2, no further testing is required for 
the cars/areas represented by the sample car/area tested for the 
periodic inspection cycle.
    The Task Force, APTA, and its member railroads have invested 
considerable time and effort in developing industry standards that 
address emergency signage and markings for egress and access in 
passenger cars. FRA has reviewed the industry standard it proposes to 
incorporate by reference and has determined that the standard contains 
the proper specifications for emergency signage and markings for egress 
and access that will allow passenger car occupants to identify and 
operate emergency exits and emergency responders to identify and 
operate rescue access points. FRA believes that compliance with the 
APTA standard identified in this section will ensure effective use of 
emergency signage and markings for egress and access in passenger cars. 
FRA expects that almost all affected railroads are already in 
compliance with the APTA standard requirements. Some railroads, 
including railroads that are not members of APTA, are not currently in 
compliance with the APTA standard requirements. To allow railroads that 
are not currently in compliance with the APTA standard requirements 
enough time to comply with the requirements, FRA will delay 
implementation of the requirements for one year from the effective date 
of the final rule in this proceeding.
Section 238.127 Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking
    To facilitate passenger car evacuation, particularly under 
conditions of darkness and smoke, FRA proposes to incorporate by 
reference APTA's low-location emergency exit path marking standard: 
APTA SS-PS-004-99, Rev. 2 (authorized on October 7, 2007), Standard for 
Low-Location Exit Path Marking. This proposal would also permit use of 
an alternative standard providing at least an equivalent level of 
safety if approved by FRA pursuant to Sec.  238.21.
    Generally, the APTA standard was developed to establish minimum 
requirements for low-location exit path marking (LLEPM) in both 
existing and new passenger cars to provide visual guidance for 
passengers and train crewmembers to identify, reach, and operate 
primary exits during conditions of darkness when the emergency lighting 
system has failed or when smoke conditions obscure overhead emergency 
lighting. This standard requires that each passenger rail car have an 
LLEPM system, visible in the area from the floor to a horizontal plane 
4 feet (1.22 m) above the aisle of the rail car to direct passengers to 
exit the affected car to the adjacent car (or, at the option of the 
railroad, off the train). This LLEPM system, located in or near the 
rail car floor, is intended to assist passengers and train crewmembers 
in identifying the path to exit the rail car in an emergency under 
conditions of darkness and especially smoke.
    The APTA LLEPM standard would complement the existing emergency 
signage requirements by increasing the overall efficacy of such systems 
to enable passengers and train crew members to locate, reach, and 
operate emergency exits under a greater range of emergency situations, 
particularly life-threatening circumstances involving smoke. Existing 
Federal requirements require that the signage be legible and

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conspicuous. Much like the APTA signage standard, the APTA LLEPM 
standard specifies requirements related to the selection of the 
physical characteristics, informational content, and placement of LLEPM 
systems for installation within passenger railcars to provide 
consistent identification of both primary and secondary exits, under 
certain conditions, and the path(s) to follow to reach such exits.
    Existing Sec.  238.307 requires railroads to perform periodic 
mechanical inspections of passenger equipment, including passenger 
cars. The periodic mechanical inspection requires the inspection of 
interior and exterior mechanical components not less frequently than 
every 184 days. As part of this inspection the railroad is required to 
verify that all vestibule steps are illuminated. See Sec.  
238.305(c)(9). The APTA LLEPM standard specifies additional periodic 
inspection and maintenance related to LLEPM signage and markings. 
Notably, the periodic inspection requirement in the APTA LLEPM standard 
requires railroads to conduct periodic inspections and tests to verify 
that all LLEPM system components, including power sources, function as 
intended. Like the APTA signage standard, it requires railroads to test 
a representative sample of passenger rail cars or areas using a 
statistically-valid, documented sampling method.
    The Task Force, APTA, and its member railroads have invested 
considerable time and effort in developing industry standards that 
address low-location emergency exit path markings in passenger cars. 
FRA has reviewed the industry standard it proposes to incorporate in 
this rule and has determined that the standard contains the proper 
specifications for low-location emergency exit path markings. FRA 
believes that compliance with the APTA standard identified in this 
section will help ensure that passenger car occupants are able to 
identify, reach, and operate primary egress points during an emergency. 
FRA expects that almost all affected railroads are already in 
compliance with the APTA standard requirements. Some railroads, 
including railroads that are not members of APTA, are not currently in 
compliance with the APTA standard requirements. To allow railroads that 
are not currently in compliance with the APTA standard requirements 
enough time to comply with the requirements, FRA will delay 
implementation of the requirements for one year from the effective date 
of the final rule in this proceeding.
Section 238.235 Doors
    FRA proposes to remove Sec.  238.235. The existing door 
requirements in this section would be moved to Sec.  238.112. The 
substantive requirements would remain the same, and would be moved only 
for user convenience. Proposed Sec.  238.112 would consolidate into one 
section, all existing door requirements from Sec. Sec.  238.235, 
238.439, and 239.107 that apply, as specified, to all passenger cars. 
Because all of the requirements in Sec.  238.235 would be moved to 
Sec.  238.112, no requirements would remain in Sec.  238.235.
Section 238.305 Interior Calendar Day Mechanical Inspection of 
Passenger Cars
    FRA proposes clarifying existing paragraph (a), and adding new 
paragraphs (c)(11) and (13) to address the inspection of removable 
panels and windows in vestibule doors and certain other interior doors, 
as well as the inspection of low-location emergency exit path markings. 
Paragraph (c)(11) would contain requirements for ensuring that low-
location emergency exit path markings required by Sec.  238.127 are in 
place and conspicuous.
    Proposed paragraph (a) would correct an erroneous cross-reference. 
The existing paragraph contains an erroneous cross-reference to 
paragraph (d) of this section, which was caused by a previous 
redesignation of the original paragraph (d). See 65 FR 41284, 41308; 
July 3, 2000. Paragraph (a) currently identifies equipment that 
requires an interior calendar day inspection and references paragraph 
(d) as the providing exceptions to the requirement. However, current 
paragraph (d) does not address when the inspection is required, whereas 
current paragraph (e) does. FRA is proposing to correct the cross 
reference by changing the cross-reference within paragraph (a), from 
(d) to (e).
    Paragraph (c)(13) proposes requirements for ensuring that removable 
panels and windows in vestibule doors and other interior doors used for 
passage through a passenger car are properly in place and secured, 
based on a visual inspection performed during the interior calendar day 
mechanical inspection. This paragraph also affords flexibility for 
handling noncompliant equipment, provided that the railroad has 
developed and follows written procedures for mitigating the hazard(s) 
caused by the noncomplying condition and the train crew is given 
written notification of the defect and a record of the time and date 
the defect was discovered is maintained. Thus, a passenger car with an 
inoperative or nonfunctioning removable panel or window is permitted to 
remain in passenger service until no later than the car's fourth 
interior calendar day mechanical inspection or next periodic mechanical 
inspection required under Sec.  238.307, whichever occurs first, or for 
a passenger car used in long-distance intercity train service until the 
eighth interior calendar day mechanical inspection or next periodic 
mechanical inspection required under Sec.  238.307, whichever occurs 
first, after the noncompliant condition is discovered. At that time, 
the removable panel or window would have to be repaired, or the car 
would have to be removed from service.
    This existing section currently contains the requirements related 
to the performance of interior calendar day mechanical inspections of 
passenger cars (e.g., passenger coaches, MU locomotives, and cab cars) 
each calendar day that the equipment is used in service. Paragraph (c) 
identifies the various components that require visual inspection as 
part of the interior calendar day mechanical inspection. Inspection, 
testing, and maintenance of emergency systems will help ensure that 
these systems are either available for use in the event of an 
emergency, or that the train crew is aware that they are not available. 
This will allow for more effective and safe resolution of emergency 
situations. The proposed modification would also allow flexibility for 
operating equipment in passenger service with certain noncompliant 
conditions. The operational flexibility will give railroads sufficient 
time to repair the equipment without undue disruption to normal 
operations.
Section 238.307 Periodic Mechanical Inspection of Passenger Cars and 
Unpowered Vehicles Used in Passenger Trains
    FRA proposes the modification of this section to add requirements 
for inspecting and repairing removable panels, removable windows, 
manual override devices, and door retention mechanisms, in accordance 
with Sec.  238.112, as well as low-location emergency exit path 
markings required by Sec.  238.127. FRA is also proposing to relocate 
the existing requirement for inspecting and repairing emergency window 
exits in Sec.  239.107 to this section. In this regard, FRA would 
continue to require that records of emergency window exit inspection, 
testing, and maintenance be retained for two calendar years after the 
end of the calendar year to which they relate, as currently required by 
Sec.  239.107(c). FRA

[[Page 171]]

is concerned in particular that sufficient records be kept of periodic 
emergency window exit testing, which FRA is proposing to move from 
Sec.  239.107(b) to Sec.  238.113(e). Inspection, testing, and 
maintenance of emergency systems will help ensure that these systems 
are available for use in the event of an emergency. This will allow for 
more effective and safe resolution of emergency situations.
Section 238.311 Single Car Test
    FRA proposes amending this section to reflect the present name of 
APTA, ``American Public Transportation Association''; and its present 
address at 1666 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. This section's 
reference to APTA as the ``American Public Transit Association,'' 
located at 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005, has become 
outdated. No substantive change to the requirement of this section is 
intended. The APTA standard referenced in this section remains the 
same.
Section 238.439 Doors
    This section currently contains the requirements for doors on Tier 
II passenger cars. As noted, FRA is generally proposing to consolidate 
the requirements of this section, along with those in its Tier I 
counterpart (Sec.  238.235), into a single section applicable to both 
Tier I and Tier II equipment: Sec.  238.112, Specifically, FRA is 
proposing to remove current paragraphs (a), (b), (e), and (g), which 
would then be addressed by the requirements of new Sec.  238.112. The 
remaining paragraphs (c), (d), and (f) would then be redesignated as 
paragraphs (a) through (c), and current paragraph (f) would also be 
revised. Current paragraphs (c) and (d) have no counterpart in the Tier 
I equipment requirements and would remain in this section. Paragraph 
(c) currently requires the status of powered, exterior side doors to be 
displayed to the crew in the operating cab and, if door interlocks are 
used, the sensors to detect train motion must nominally be set to 
operate at not more than 3 mph. Paragraph (d) currently requires that 
powered, exterior side doors be connected to an emergency back-up power 
system. Both would remain as redesignated paragraphs (a) and (b).
    Paragraph (f) currently requires passenger compartment end doors to 
be equipped with a kick-out panel, pop-out window, or other means of 
egress in the event the doors will not open, or be so designed as to 
pose a negligible probability of becoming inoperable in the event of 
car body distortion following a collision or derailment. This paragraph 
does not apply to such doors providing access to the exterior of a 
trainset, however, as in the case of an end door in the last car of a 
train. Paragraph (f) would be redesignated as paragraph (c) and revised 
to limit its applicability to Tier II passenger cars both ordered prior 
to the effective date of the final rule in this rulemaking proceeding 
and placed in service within four years after the effective date of the 
same final rule. Accordingly, this proposal would effectively limit the 
current requirement to existing Tier II passenger cars; all new Tier II 
passenger cars would be subject to the more stringent requirement in 
Sec.  238.112 related to equipping cars with a kick-out panel, pop-out 
window, or other similar means of egress. To date, no such arrangement 
has been placed in a Tier II passenger car, on the basis that the doors 
pose a negligible probability of failure following a collision or 
derailment. As proposed, Sec.  238.112 would require that such features 
be installed in new passenger cars without providing for a showing as 
to how the doors perform in the event of a collision or derailment.
Section 238.441 Emergency Roof Access
    This rulemaking proposes to amend existing paragraphs (a) and (c) 
to include the APTA emergency signage standard requirements for 
retroreflective material and instruction, proposed in this rulemaking 
in Sec.  238.125. Existing paragraphs (a) and (c) contain requirements 
for marking, and providing instructions for, emergency roof access 
locations in passenger cars ordered prior to April 1, 2009, and placed 
in service prior to April 1, 2011, and all power cars. Each emergency 
roof access location is required to be conspicuously marked with 
retroreflective material of contrasting color, and legible and 
understandable instructions must be provided near the emergency roof 
access location. The retroreflective material is intended to enable 
emergency responders to quickly identify the access location(s) by 
shining a light on the roof, and the instructions are intended to 
facilitate the proper use of the emergency roof access feature(s) by 
emergency responders. To enhance the potential use of the required 
retroreflective material, markings, and instructions for emergency roof 
access, this rulemaking would apply the requirements of Sec.  238.125, 
which would incorporate by reference the APTA standard for 
retroreflective material. APTA and its member railroads have invested 
considerable time and effort in developing industry standards that 
address retroreflective material for passenger cars. FRA has reviewed 
the industry standards it proposes to incorporate in this rule and has 
determined that the standards specify the proper retroreflective 
material for passenger cars. FRA believes that compliance with the APTA 
standard identified in this section will help ensure that 
retroreflective material and instructions for emergency roof exits will 
enable emergency responders to gain access to occupants in passenger 
cars.
Appendix A to Part 238--Schedule of Civil Penalties
    Appendix A to part 238 contains a schedule of civil penalties for 
use in connection with this part. FRA intends to revise the schedule of 
civil penalties in issuing the final rule to reflect revisions made to 
part 238. Because such penalty schedules are statements of agency 
policy, notice and comment are not required prior to their issuance. 
See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). Nevertheless, commenters are invited to 
submit suggestions to FRA describing the types of actions or omissions 
for each proposed regulatory section that would subject a person to the 
assessment of a civil penalty. Commenters are also invited to recommend 
what penalties may be appropriate, based upon the relative seriousness 
of each type of violation.

B. Proposed Amendments to Part 239, Subpart B

Section 239.105 Debriefing and Critique
    This section would clarify the existing debriefing and critique 
requirements by expressly requiring train crew participation in debrief 
and critique sessions. Currently, a debriefing and critique session is 
required after each passenger train emergency situation or full-scale 
simulation to determine the effectiveness of the railroad's emergency 
preparedness plan, and the railroad is required to improve or amend its 
plan, or both, as appropriate, in accordance with the information 
developed. The debriefing and critique is intended to be an opportunity 
to evaluate the effectiveness of the emergency preparedness plan. 
Employees directly involved in the emergency situation or full-scale 
simulation, have valuable first-hand knowledge of the event. 
Participation by these employees in the debriefing and critique is 
necessary to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of the emergency 
preparedness plan. FRA

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proposes to clarify the language of the existing requirement to reflect 
this necessary participation. As such, the proposed language would 
specify that to the extent practicable, all on-board personnel, control 
center personnel, and any other employees involved in the emergency 
situation or full-scale simulation shall participate in the session. 
The section would also be clarified with respect to the flexibility for 
employees to participate in the debrief and critique sessions in 
person, offsite via teleconference, or in writing, by a statement 
responding to question provided prior to the session, and by responding 
to any follow-up questions.
Section 239.107 Emergency Exits
    FRA is proposing to remove Sec.  239.107 and move the existing 
requirements that are contained in this section into proposed 
Sec. Sec.  238.112 and 238.307. Existing requirements that are 
contained in Sec.  239.107 and are related to doors would be moved to 
proposed Sec.  238.112. Existing requirements that are contained in 
Sec.  239.107 and are related to windows would be moved to proposed 
Sec.  238.307. FRA believes that the consolidation of these 
requirements will make the regulation more user-friendly, which will 
help facilitate compliance with its requirements. FRA does not intend 
to make substantive changes to the requirements contained in this 
section in moving them to new sections. Of course, FRA does note that 
it is proposing to amend the requirements for emergency exits as 
discussed in this rule.
Appendix A to Part 239--Schedule of Civil Penalties
    Appendix A to part 239 contains a schedule of civil penalties for 
use in connection with this part. FRA intends to revise the schedule of 
civil penalties in issuing the final rule to reflect revisions made to 
part 239. Because such penalty schedules are statements of agency 
policy, notice and comment are not required prior to their issuance. 
See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). Nevertheless, commenters are invited to 
submit suggestions to FRA describing the types of actions or omissions 
for each proposed regulatory section that would subject a person to the 
assessment of a civil penalty. Commenters are also invited to recommend 
what penalties may be appropriate, based upon the relative seriousness 
of each type of violation.

VIII. Regulatory Impact and Notices

A. Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures

    This proposed rule has been evaluated in accordance with existing 
policies and procedures and determined to be non-significant under both 
Executive Order 12866 and 13563 and DOT policies and procedures. See 44 
FR 11034; February 26, 1979. FRA has prepared and placed in the docket 
a Regulatory Evaluation addressing the economic impact of this proposed 
rule. As part of the regulatory evaluation, FRA has assessed 
quantitative estimates of the cost streams expected to result from the 
implementation of this proposed rule. For the 20-year period analyzed, 
the estimated quantified cost that would be imposed on industry totals 
$21.8 million with a present value (PV, 7 percent) of $13.4 million.
    FRA considered the industry costs associated with complying with 
the three APTA standards, installation of removable panels or windows 
in single-panel vestibule door of new passenger cars, requirements for 
bi-parting vestibule doors as well as inspection, testing, and 
maintenance. The range of total cost estimates depends mostly on 
whether voluntary implementation of the APTA standards; SS-E-013-99, 
Rev. 1 Standard for Emergency Lighting System Design for Passenger 
Cars; SS-PS-004-99, Rev. 2 Standard for Low-Location Exit Path Marking; 
and SS-PS-002-98, Rev. 3 Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/
Access of Passenger Rail Equipment, in this proposed rule are 
considered as a cost of the rulemaking. Many railroads have already 
implemented these APTA standards in advance of this NPRM. .
    FRA believes that $13.4 million is the most appropriate estimate of 
regulatory cost. For more details on the costing, please see the 
Regulatory Evaluation found in the docket. The requirements that are 
expected to impose the largest burdens relate to emergency lighting, 
door/removable panels or windows (or bi-parting doors), and emergency 
egress and rescue access marking and instructions. The table below 
presents the estimated costs associated with the proposed rulemaking.

                     20-Year Cost for Proposed Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Door/Removable Panels or Windows, and Bi-Parting              $4,399,223
 Doors...............................................
Emergency Lighting...................................          2,450,213
Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Marking and                 4,730,631
 Instructions........................................
 Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Markings...........          1,377,615
Debriefing and Critique..............................                N/A
Inspection, Testing, and Recordkeeping (APTA                     405,296
 Standards)..........................................
                                                      ------------------
    Total............................................         13,362,979
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Future costs are discounted to present value using a 7 percent discount
  rate.

    As part of the Regulatory Evaluation, FRA has explained what the 
likely benefits for this proposed rule would be, and provided a break-
even analysis. The proposed rulemaking is expected to improve railroad 
safety by promoting the safe evacuation of passengers and crewmembers 
in the event of an emergency. The primary benefits include a heightened 
safety environment in egress from a passenger train after an accident. 
This corresponds to a reduction of casualties and fatalities in the 
aftermath of an accident or other emergency situations. FRA believes 
the value of the anticipated safety benefits would justify the cost of 
implementing the proposed rule.

B. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and 
Executive Order 13272 (67 FR 53461; August 16, 2002) require agency 
review of proposed and final rules to assess their impact on small 
entities. An agency must prepare an initial regulatory flexibility 
analysis (IRFA) unless it determine and certifies that a rule, if 
promulgated, would not have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. FRA has not determined whether this proposed 
rule would have a significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Therefore, FRA is publishing this IRFA to aid the public in 
commenting on the potential small business impacts of the proposed 
requirements in this NPRM. FRA invites all interested parties to submit 
data and information regarding the potential

[[Page 173]]

economic impact on small entities that would result from adoption of 
the proposals in this NPRM. FRA will consider all comments received in 
the public comment process when making a final determination.
    The proposed rule would apply to commuter and intercity passenger 
railroads. Based on information currently available, FRA estimates that 
less than 2 percent of the total railroad installation costs associated 
with implementing the proposed rule would be borne by small entities. 
Based on analysis that uses generally conservative assumptions, FRA 
estimates that the cost for the proposed rule will range between $21.8 
million and $40.8 million for the railroad industry. There are two 
passenger railroads that would be considered small for purposes of this 
analysis and together they comprise less than 7 percent of the 
railroads impacted directly by this proposed regulation. Both of these 
railroads would have to make some investment to meet the proposed 
requirements. These small railroads have much smaller fleets that the 
average passenger railroad, allowing them to meet the proposed 
requirements at lower overall costs. Thus, although a substantial 
number of small entities in this sector would likely be impacted, the 
economic impact on them would likely not be significant. This IRFA is 
not intended to be a stand-alone document. In order to get a better 
understanding of the total costs for the railroad industry, which forms 
the basis for the estimates in this IRFA, or more cost detail on any 
specific requirement, please see the Regulatory Evaluation that FRA has 
placed in the docket for this rulemaking.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, an IFRA must 
contain:
    (1) A description of the reasons why the action by the agency is 
being considered.
    (2) A succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, 
the proposed rule.
    (3) A description--and, where feasible, an estimate of the number--
of small entities to which the proposed rule will apply.
    (4) A description of the projected reporting, record keeping, and 
other compliance requirements of the proposed rule, including an 
estimate of the classes of small entities that will be subject to the 
requirements and the types of professional skills necessary for 
preparation of the report or record.
    (5) An identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant 
federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the 
proposed rule.
1. Reasons for Considering Agency Action
    Experience with passenger train accidents and simulations, and 
technological advances in emergency systems provide the main impetus 
for these proposed enhancements and additions to FRA's existing 
requirements related to passenger train emergency systems. 
Incorporation by references of these APTA standards into Part 238 would 
extend their applicability to all commuter and intercity passenger 
railroads and make them enforceable by FRA.
    As FRA was issuing comprehensive Federal standards for passenger 
train safety in the late 1990s, APTA was also developing and 
authorizing complementary industry standards applicable to its commuter 
and intercity passenger railroad members. By design, three of these 
APTA standards taken together represent an effective systems approach 
to enable passengers and train crewmembers to locate, reach, and 
operate emergency exits, thereby facilitating safe evacuation in an 
emergency. The APTA standards address emergency lighting, signage for 
emergency egress and access, and low-location exit path markings. While 
the three APTA standards contain specific requirements, they allow for 
flexibility in the application of those requirements. The Emergency 
Preparedness Task Force was charged with reviewing the standards. After 
careful review, the Task Force recommended revising the standards to 
address relevant evolving technology, and incorporating them by 
reference in their entirety into the Federal regulations.
2. A Succinct Statement of the Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, the 
Proposed Rule
    The purpose of this rulemaking is to further the safety of 
passenger train occupants through both enhancements and additions to 
FRA's existing requirements for emergency systems on passenger trains. 
As discussed in the Regulatory Evaluation, FRA is proposing incorporate 
three APTA standards covering emergency lighting; emergency egress and 
rescue access signage; and low-location emergency exit path markings 
for all passenger cars. For new passenger cars, FRA is also proposing 
requiring vestibule doors and other interior doors intended for passage 
through a passenger car to be equipped with removable panels or windows 
or bi-parting doors. The substance of this proposed regulation was 
developed by the RSAC's Passenger Safety Working Group. In addition, 
FRA is clarifying requirements for debriefing and critique following 
emergency situations and simulations.
    In November of 1994, Congress adopted the Secretary's schedule for 
implementing rail passenger equipment safety regulations and included 
it in the Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994 (the Act), 
Public Law 103-440, 108 Stat. 4619, 4623-4624 (November 2, 1994). 
Congress also authorized the Secretary to consult with various 
organizations involved in passenger train operations for purposes of 
prescribing and amending these regulations, as well as issuing orders 
pursuant to them. Section 215 of the Act (codified at 49 U.S.C. 20133).
3. A Description of, and Where Feasible, an Estimate of Small Entities 
to Which the Proposed Rule Would Apply
    The ``universe'' of the entities to be considered generally 
includes only those small entities that are reasonably expected to be 
directly regulated by this action. This proposed rule would directly 
affect commuter and intercity passenger railroads. It would indirectly 
impact manufacturers of passenger cars, emergency egress and rescue 
access related marking, and low-location emergency exit path marking .
    ``Small entity'' is defined in 5 U.S.C. 601. Section 601(3) defines 
a ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as ``small business 
concern'' under Section 3 of the Small Business Act. This includes any 
small business concern that is independently owned and operated, and is 
not dominant in its field of operation. Section 601(4) likewise 
includes within the definition of ``small entities'' not-for-profit 
enterprises that are independently owned and operated, and are not 
dominant in their field of operation. The U.S. Small Business 
Administration (SBA) stipulates in its size standards that the largest 
a railroad business firm that is ``for profit'' may be and still be 
classified as a ``small entity'' is 1,500 employees for ``Line Haul 
Operating Railroads'' and 500 employees for ``Switching and Terminal 
Establishments.'' Additionally, 5 U.S.C. 601(5) defines as ``small 
entities'' governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, 
school districts, or special districts with populations less than 
50,000.
    Federal agencies may adopt their own size standards for small 
entities in consultation with SBA and in conjunction with public 
comment. Pursuant to that authority, FRA has published a final 
statement of agency policy that formally establishes ``small entities'' 
or ``small businesses'' as being

[[Page 174]]

railroads, contractors, and hazardous materials shippers that meet the 
revenue requirements of a Class III railroad as set forth in 49 CFR 
1201.1-1, which is $20 million or less in inflation-adjusted annual 
revenues; and commuter railroads or small governmental jurisdictions 
that serve populations of 50,000 or less. See 68 FR 24891, May 9, 2003, 
codified at Appendix C to 49 CFR, part 209. The $20 million-limit is 
based on the Surface Transportation Board's revenue threshold for a 
Class III railroad. Railroad revenue is adjusted for inflation by 
applying a revenue deflator formula in accordance with 49 CFR 1201.1-1. 
FRA is using this definition for this rulemaking.
Railroads
    There are only two intercity passenger railroads, Amtrak and the 
Alaska Railroad. Neither is considered to be a small entity. Amtrak is 
a Class I railroad and the Alaska Railroad is a Class II railroad. The 
Alaska Railroad is owned by the State of Alaska, which has a population 
well in excess of 50,000.
    The level of costs incurred by each organization should generally 
vary in proportion to either the size of their passenger car fleet. For 
instance, railroads with fewer passenger cars would have lower overall 
costs associated with implementing the proposed standards. There are 
currently 28 commuter railroad operations in the U.S. Most commuter 
railroads are part of larger transportation organizations that receive 
Federal funds and serve major metropolitan areas with populations 
greater than 50,000. However, two commuter railroads do not fall in 
this category and are considered small entities. The impact of the two 
small railroads is discussed in the following section.
4. A Description of the Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements of the Rule, Including an Estimate of the Class 
of Small Entities That Will Be Subject to the Requirements and the Type 
of Professional Skill Necessary for Preparation of the Report or Record
    For a thorough presentation of cost estimates, please refer to the 
Regulatory Evaluation, which has been placed in the docket for this 
rulemaking.
    FRA notes that the requirements contained in this proposed rule 
were developed in consultation with an RSAC Working Group and task 
force that included representatives from Amtrak, individual commuter 
railroads, individual passenger car manufacturers, sign manufacturers 
and suppliers, and APTA, which represents the interests of commuter 
railroads and passenger car manufacturers in regulatory matters.
    The first small entity that would be impacted by this proposal is a 
commuter train operation that is an express service to and from a 
sporting event. It is owned by a Class III freight railroad that owns 
and operates the 6 bi-level passenger cars used for this commuter 
operation. The impacts on this entity could include upgrades related to 
achieving compliance with the 2007 APTA standards for emergency 
lighting, emergency signage, and low-location exit path markings. The 
initial costs associated with completing these upgrades for the 
railroad is estimated to range between $14,482 and $28,694 depending on 
the existing level of compliance and could be spread over 2 to 3 years. 
Since this railroad provides service under contract to a State 
institution, it could be able to pass some or all of the compliance 
cost on to that institution. Thus, the small entity itself would not be 
significantly impacted.
    The second small entity is a commuter railroad that is owned by a 
Class III railroad. This entity is fully compliant with existing 
passenger railroad regulations. Out of its entire fleet of 9 cars, FRA 
estimates that 4 cars may need emergency lighting upgrades to comply 
with the emergency lighting requirement. The costs associated with the 
upgrades of these four cars are estimated to be $18,758, which could be 
spread over 2 to 3 years.
    The proposed rule would require railroads to test a representative 
sample of passenger railcars in accordance with the APTA LLEPM 
standard, using the procedures in Annex F or another statistically 
valid documented sampling method. The estimated cost of an inspection/
record keeping is $1,500 per car over the 20-year period analyzed. This 
cost was included in the total costs for each of the small entities 
above. By following the proposed regulation, only a small percentage of 
the fleet would need to be tested. Due to the size of the fleet of each 
of these small entities, it is estimated only one car would be tested 
in each of the fleets. The record keeping burden to the railroad 
industry is estimated to be approximately 5 additional minutes per new 
car introduced to the fleet. FRA assumed that a ``Maintenance of 
Equipment & Stores'' \1\ personnel would have the professional skills 
to prepare the records. Neither of these railroads is operating newly 
build cars. They both operate cars purchased from other passenger 
railroads.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Surface Transportation Board (STB) Data Statement No. A-300 
for Year 2009 indicates that ``Maintenance of Equipment & Stores'' 
personnel earn, on average, a ``straight time rate'' of $25.25 per 
hour.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FRA believes that the two small entities directly impacted would 
not be impacted significantly. One of the entities probably would be 
able to pass these costs onto a public entity that contracts to use the 
small entity's equipment for fall sporting events. The other entity 
would likely only need to upgrade the emergency lighting in four cars, 
and the FRA does not believe that will be a significant financial 
impact on their operations.
5. An Identification, to the Extent Practicable, of All Relevant 
Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rule
    FRA is not aware of any relevant federal rules that may duplicate, 
overlap or conflict with the proposed rule.
    FRA invites all interested parties to submit data and information 
regarding the potential economic impact that would result from adoption 
of the proposals in this NPRM. FRA will consider all comments received 
in the public comment process when making a determination.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements in this proposed rule are 
being submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. 
The sections that contain the new and current information collection 
requirements and the estimated time to fulfill each requirement are as 
follows:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Respondent
               CFR Section                    universe            Total annual  responses               Average time per response         Total annual
                                             (railroads)                                                                                  burden hours
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
238.112--Doors (New)
    --Conspicuously marking/posting                    28  45,804 markings/Instructions.........  15 minutes..........................            11,451
     instructions on emergency egress
     doors.

[[Page 175]]

 
    --Marking/posting instructions on                  28  30,536 markings......................  15 minutes..........................             7,634
     emergency responder access doors.
    --Marking/posting instructions on                  28  1,340 panel markings.................  15 minutes..........................               335
     removable panel in car vestibule
     doors.
238.113--Emergency window exits
    --Markings (Current requirement).....              28  662 markings.........................  60 min./90 min./120 min.                           964
238.114--Rescue access windows
    --Markings/instructions on each                    28  1,092 markings.......................  45 minutes..........................               819
     access window (Current Requirement).
238.121--Emergency Communications:
 Intercom System
    --Posting legible/understandable                   28  116 marked intercoms.................  5 minutes...........................                10
     operating instructions at/near each
     intercom (Current requirement).
238.123--Emergency roof access
    --Marking/instructions of each                     28  232 marked locations.................  30 minutes..........................               116
     emergency roof access (Current
     requirement).
238.303--Exterior calendar day mechanical
 inspection of passenger equipment
    --Replacement markings of rescue                   28  150 marking..........................  20 minutes..........................                50
     access related exterior markings,
     signs, instructions (Current
     requirement).
238.303--Records of non-complying                      28  150 records..........................  2 minutes...........................                 5
 conditions (Current requirement).
238.305--Interior calendar day inspection
 of passenger cars
    --Non-complying end/side doors:                    28  260 written notifications + 260        1 minute............................                 9
     Written notification to crew of                        notices.
     condition + notice on door.
    --Non-complying public address/                    28  300 written notifications............  1 minute............................                 5
     intercom systems: Written
     notification to crews.
    --Records of public address/intercom               28  300 records..........................  2 minutes...........................                10
     system non-complying conditions
     (Current requirements).
--New requirement
    --Written procedure for mitigating                 28  28 written Procedures................  40 hours............................             1,120
     hazards of non-complying conditions
     relating to removable panels/windows
     in vestibule doors.
    --Written notification to train crew               28  458 notices..........................  2 minutes...........................                15
     of non-complying condition relating
     to panels/windows in vestibule doors.
238.307--Periodic mechanical inspection
 of passenger cars
    --Records of the inspection, testing,              28  7,634 car inspections/Records........  5 minutes...........................               636
     and maintenance of emergency window
     exits (New requirement).
    --Emergency roof markings and                      28  32 markings..........................  20 minutes..........................                11
     Instructions--replacements (Current
     requirement).
238.311--Single car test (Current
 Requirements)
    --Copies of APTA Standard SS-M-005-98              28  28 copies............................  15 minutes..........................                 7
     to Railroad Head Training Person.
    --Copies to Other Railroad Personnel.              28  336 copies...........................  2 minutes...........................                11
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All estimates include the time for reviewing instructions; 
searching existing data sources; gathering or maintaining the needed 
data; and reviewing the information.
    Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(B), FRA solicits comments 
concerning: whether these information collection requirements are 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of FRA, including 
whether the information has practical utility; the accuracy of FRA's 
estimates of the burden of the information collection requirements; the 
quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and 
whether the burden of collection of information on those who are to 
respond, including through the use of automated collection techniques 
or other forms of information technology, may be minimized. For 
information or a copy of the paperwork package submitted to OMB, 
contact Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Safety, Information Clearance 
Officer, at (202) 493-6292, or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of 
Information Technology, at (202) 493-6139.
    Organizations and individuals desiring to submit comments on the 
collection of information requirements should direct them to Mr. Robert 
Brogan or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20590. Comments may also 
be submitted via email to Mr. Brogan or Ms. Toone at the following 
address: Robert.Brogan@dot.gov; Kimberly.Toone@dot.gov.
    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of 
information requirements contained in this proposed rule between 30 and 
60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. 
Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect 
if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. The final rule will 
respond to any OMB or public comments on the information collection 
requirements contained in this proposal.
    FRA is not authorized to impose a penalty on persons for violating 
information collection requirements which do not display a current OMB 
control number, if required. FRA intends to obtain current OMB control 
numbers for any new information collection requirements resulting from 
this rulemaking action prior to the effective date of the final rule. 
The OMB control number, when assigned, will be announced by separate 
notice in the Federal Register.

[[Page 176]]

D. Federalism Implications

    Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999), 
requires FRA to develop an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful 
and timely input by State and local officials in the development of 
regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' ``Policies 
that have federalism implications'' are defined in the Executive Order 
to include regulations that have ``substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government.'' Under Executive Order 13132, the agency 
may not issue a regulation with federalism implications that imposes 
substantial direct compliance costs and that is not required by 
statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to 
pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local 
governments, the agency consults with State and local governments, or 
the agency consults with State and local government officials early in 
the process of developing the regulation. Where a regulation has 
federalism implications and preempts State law, the agency seeks to 
consult with State and local officials in the process of developing the 
regulation.
    This NPRM has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. This proposed rule would 
not have a substantial effect on the States or their political 
subdivisions; it would not impose any direct compliance costs; and it 
would not affect the relationships between the Federal government and 
the States or their political subdivisions, or the distribution of 
power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. 
Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 
13132 do not apply. Nevertheless, State and local officials were 
involved in developing this proposed rule. The RSAC, which recommended 
the proposals addressed in this NPRM, has as permanent members two 
organizations directly representing State and local interests, AASHTO 
and ASRSM.
    However, this proposed rule could have preemptive effect by 
operation of law under certain provisions of the Federal railroad 
safety statutes, specifically the former Federal Railroad Safety Act of 
1970 (former FRSA), repealed and recodified at 49 U.S.C. 20106, and the 
former Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act at 45 U.S.C. 22-34, repealed 
and recodified at 49 U.S.C. 20701-20703. The former FRSA provides that 
States may not adopt or continue in effect any law, regulation, or 
order related to railroad safety or security that covers the subject 
matter of a regulation prescribed or order issued by the Secretary of 
Transportation (with respect to railroad safety matters) or the 
Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to railroad security 
matters), except when the State law, regulation, or order qualifies 
under the ``local safety or security hazard'' exception to section 
20106. Moreover, the former LIA has been interpreted by the Supreme 
Court as preempting the field concerning locomotive safety. See Napier 
v. Atlantic Coast Line R.R., 272 U.S. 605 (1926).

E. Environmental Impact

    FRA has evaluated this proposed regulation in accordance with its 
``Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts'' (FRA's Procedures) 
(64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999) as required by the National Environmental 
Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), other environmental statutes, 
Executive Orders, and related regulatory requirements. FRA has 
determined that this proposed regulation is not a major FRA action 
(requiring the preparation of an environmental impact statement or 
environmental assessment) because it is categorically excluded from 
detailed environmental review pursuant to section 4(c)(20) of FRA's 
Procedures. 64 FR 28547, May 26, 1999. Section 4(c)(20) reads as 
follows: (c) Actions categorically excluded. Certain classes of FRA 
actions have been determined to be categorically excluded from the 
requirements of these Procedures as they do not individually or 
cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. 
Promulgation of railroad safety rules and policy statements that do not 
result in significantly increased emissions or air or water pollutants 
or noise or increased traffic congestion in any mode of transportation 
are excluded.
    In accordance with section 4(c) and (e) of FRA's Procedures, the 
agency has further concluded that no extraordinary circumstances exist 
with respect to this regulation that might trigger the need for a more 
detailed environmental review. As a result, FRA finds that this 
proposed regulation is not a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Pursuant to Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4, 2 U.S.C. 1531), each Federal agency ``shall, unless 
otherwise prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory 
actions on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector 
(other than to the extent that such regulations incorporate 
requirements specifically set forth in law).'' Section 202 of the Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1532) further requires that ``before promulgating any general 
notice of proposed rulemaking that is likely to result in the 
promulgation of any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may 
result in expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted 
annually for inflation) in any 1 year, and before promulgating any 
final rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking was 
published, the agency shall prepare a written statement'' detailing the 
effect on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. 
This monetary amount of $100,000,000 has been adjusted to $143,100,000 
to account for inflation. This proposed rule would not result in the 
expenditure of more than $143,100,000 by the public sector in any one 
year, and thus preparation of such a statement is not required.

G. Privacy Act

    FRA wishes to inform all interested parties that anyone is able to 
search the electronic form of any written communications and comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on 
behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Interested 
parties may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or visit http://www.dot.gov/privacy.html.

List of Subjects

49 CFR Part 238

    Passenger equipment, Railroad safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

49 CFR Part 239

    Passenger equipment, Railroad safety.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, FRA proposes to amend 
parts 238 and 239 of chapter II, subtitle B of title 49, Code of 
Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 238--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 238 continues to read as 
follows:


[[Page 177]]


    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107, 20133, 20141, 20302-20303, 
20306, 20701-20702, 21301-21302, 21304; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 
CFR 1.49.

    2. Section 238.5 is amended by adding definitions of ``End-frame 
door'' and ``Vestibule door,'' and by revising the definitions of 
``APTA'' and ``Vestibule'' in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  238.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    APTA means The American Public Transportation Association.
* * * * *
    End-frame door means an end-facing door normally located between, 
or adjacent to, the collision posts or similar end-frame structural 
elements.
* * * * *
    Vestibule means an area of a passenger car that normally does not 
contain seating, is located adjacent to a side exit door, and is used 
in passing from a seating area to a side exit door.
    Vestibule door means a door separating a seating area from a 
vestibule. End-frame doors and doors separating sleeping compartments 
or similar private compartments from a passageway are not vestibule 
doors.
* * * * *
    3. Section 238.112 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  238.112  Doors.

    Except as provided in Sec.  238.439--
    (a) Each powered, exterior side door in a vestibule that is 
partitioned from the passenger compartment of a passenger car shall 
have a manual override device that is:
    (1) Capable of releasing the door to permit it to be opened without 
power from inside the car;
    (2) Located adjacent to the door which it controls; and
    (3) Designed and maintained so that a person may readily access and 
operate the override device from inside the car without requiring the 
use of a tool or other implement. If the door is dual-leafed, only one 
of the door leaves is required to respond to the manual override 
device.
    (b) Each Tier I passenger car ordered on or after September 8, 
2000, or placed in service for the first time on or after September 9, 
2002, and all Tier II passenger cars shall have a minimum of two 
exterior side doors, one in each side of the car. Each such door shall 
provide a minimum clear opening with dimensions of 30 inches 
horizontally by 74 inches vertically. A set of dual-leafed doors is 
considered a single door for purposes of this paragraph. Each powered, 
exterior side door on each such passenger car shall have a manual 
override device that is:
    (1) Capable of releasing the door to permit it to be opened without 
power from both inside and outside the car;
    (2) Located adjacent to the door which it controls; and
    (3) Designed and maintained so that a person may access the 
override device from both inside and outside the car without requiring 
the use of a tool or other implement.

    Note: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility 
Specifications for Transportation Vehicles also contain requirements 
for doorway clearance (See 49 CFR part 38).

    (c) A manual override device used to open a powered, exterior door 
may be protected with a cover or a screen capable of removal without 
requiring the use of a tool or other implement.
    (d) All doors intended for emergency egress shall be conspicuously 
and legibly marked on the inside of the car, and legible and 
understandable instructions shall be provided for their use, as 
specified in Sec.  238.125.
    (e) All doors intended for access by emergency responders shall be 
marked on the exterior of the car with retroreflective material, and 
legible and understandable instructions shall be posted at or near each 
such door, as specified in Sec.  238.125.
    (f) Vestibule doors and other interior doors intended for passage 
through a passenger car. The requirements of this paragraph apply only 
to passenger cars ordered on or after (DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register), or placed in 
service for the first time on or after (1520 DAYS AFTER DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register).
    (1) General. Except for a door providing access to a control 
compartment and a bi-parting door, which is subject to the requirements 
in paragraph (f)(3) of this section, each vestibule door and any other 
interior door intended for passage through a passenger car shall be 
equipped with a removable panel or removable window in the event the 
door will not open in an emergency, or the car is on its side and the 
door is difficult to open. If the door is powered, it shall have a 
manual override device that conforms with the requirements of 
paragraphs (f)(4) through (f)(6) of this section.
    (2) Removable panels and windows.
    (i) Ease of operability. Each removable panel or window shall be 
designed to permit rapid and easy removal from both the vestibule and 
the passenger seating area during an emergency situation without 
requiring the use of a tool or other implement.
    (ii) Dimensions. Removal of the panel or window shall create an 
unobstructed opening in the door with minimum dimensions of 21 inches 
horizontally by 28 inches vertically.
    (iii) Location. Each removable panel or removable window shall be 
located so that the lowest point of the opening created by removing the 
panel or window is no higher than 18 inches from the floor.
    (3) Bi-parting doors. Each powered, bi-parting vestibule door and 
any other interior, powered bi-parting door intended for passage 
through a passenger car shall be equipped with a manual override device 
and mechanism to retain each door leaf in the open position (e.g., 
ratchet and pawl, or sprag). Each manual override device shall conform 
with the requirements of paragraphs (f)(4), (f)(5)(ii), and (f)(6) of 
this section.
    (4) Manual override devices. Each manual override device shall be:
    (i) Capable of releasing the door or door leaf, if door is bi-
parting, to permit it to be opened without power;
    (ii) Located adjacent to the door or door leaf, if door is bi-
parting, it controls; and
    (iii) Designed and maintained so that a person may readily access 
and operate the override device from both the vestibule and the 
passenger seating area without the use of any tool or other implement.
    (5) Marking and instructions.
    (i) Each removable panel or window in a vestibule door shall be 
conspicuously and legibly marked with luminescent material on both the 
vestibule side of the door and the passenger seating area side of the 
door, to facilitate passenger egress in an emergency situation, as 
specified in section 5.4.2 of APTA Standard SS-PS-002-98, Rev. 3, 
``Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/Access of Passenger Rail 
Equipment,'' October 2007, or an alternative standard providing at 
least an equivalent level of safety, if approved by FRA pursuant to 
Sec.  238.21. Legible and understandable operating instructions shall 
be posted on both the vestibule and the passenger seating area sides of 
the door at each such panel or window.
    (ii) Each manual door override device and each retention mechanism 
shall be conspicuously and legibly marked with luminescent material. 
Legible and understandable operating instructions for each manual 
override device and each retention mechanism shall be

[[Page 178]]

posted at or near each such device or mechanism.
    (6) Testing. At an interval not to exceed 184 days, as part of the 
periodic mechanical inspection, a railroad shall test a representative 
sample of the removable panels, removable windows, manual override 
devices, and door retention mechanisms on its cars to determine that 
they operate as intended. The sampling method must conform to a 
formalized statistical test method.
    4. Section 238.113 is amended by revising paragraph (d) and adding 
new paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  238.113  Emergency window exits.

* * * * *
    (d) Marking and instructions.
    (1) Each emergency window exit shall be conspicuously and legibly 
marked with luminescent material on the inside of each car to 
facilitate egress, as specified in Sec.  238.125.
    (2) Legible and understandable operating instructions, including 
instructions for removing the window, shall be posted at or near each 
such window exit, as specified in Sec.  238.125. If window removal may 
be hindered by the presence of a seatback, headrest, luggage rack, or 
other fixture, the instructions shall state the method for allowing 
rapid and easy removal of the window, taking into account the 
fixture(s), and this portion of the instructions may be in written or 
pictorial format.
    (e) At an interval not to exceed 184 days, as part of the periodic 
mechanical inspection, a railroad shall test a representative sample of 
emergency window exits on its cars to determine that they operate as 
intended. The sampling method must conform to a formalized statistical 
test method.
    5. Section 238.114 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  238.114  Rescue access windows.

* * * * *
    (d) Marking and instructions.
    (1) Each rescue access window shall be marked with retroreflective 
material on the exterior of each car as specified in Sec.  238.125. A 
unique and easily recognizable symbol, sign, or other conspicuous 
marking shall also be used to identify each such window.
    (2) Legible and understandable window-access instructions, 
including instructions for removing the window, shall be posted at or 
near each rescue access window as specified in Sec.  238.125.
    6. Section 238.115 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  238.115  Emergency lighting.

    After [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE], 
emergency lighting shall be provided in each passenger car in 
accordance with the minimum requirements specified in APTA Standard SS-
E-013-99, Rev. 1, ``Standard for Emergency Lighting System Design for 
Passenger Cars,'' October 2007, or an alternative standard providing at 
least an equivalent level of safety if approved by FRA pursuant to 
Sec.  238.21.
    7. Section 238.121 is amended by revising the first sentence of 
paragraph (a)(2), paragraph (b)(2), and the introductory text of 
paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  238.121  Emergency communications.

    (a) * * *
    (2) New Tier I and all Tier II passenger cars. Each Tier I 
passenger car ordered on or after April 1, 2008, or placed in service 
for the first time on or after April 1, 2010, and all Tier II passenger 
cars shall be equipped with a PA system that provides a means for a 
train crewmember to communicate by voice to passengers of his or her 
train in an emergency situation. * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Marking and instructions. The following requirements apply to 
each Tier I passenger car on or after April 1, 2010, and to all Tier II 
passenger cars. Legible and understandable operating instructions shall 
be posted at or near each such intercom, and the location of each 
intercom intended for passenger use shall be conspicuously marked with 
luminescent material that either:
    (i) Meets the minimum requirements as specified in Sec.  238.125, 
or an alternative standard providing at least an equivalent level of 
safety if approved by FRA pursuant to Sec.  238.21; or
    (ii) For material installed prior to [DATE 2 YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE 
DATE OF FINAL RULE], meets the requirements specified in paragraph 
(b)(2) of this section in effect on April 1, 2008 (see 49 CFR parts 
200-299, revised as of October 1, 2008).
    (c) Back-up power. PA and intercom systems in Tier I passenger cars 
ordered on or after April 1, 2008, or placed in service for the first 
time on or after April 1, 2010, and in all Tier II passenger cars shall 
have a back-up power system capable of--
* * * * *
    8. Section 238.123 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  238.123  Emergency roof access.

* * * * *
    (e) Marking and instructions. As specified in Sec.  238.125--
    (1) Each emergency roof access location shall be conspicuously 
marked with retroreflective material of contrasting color; and
    (2) Legible and understandable instructions shall be posted at or 
near each emergency roof access location.
    9. Section 238.125 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  238.125  Marking and instructions for emergency egress and rescue 
access.

    After [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE], 
emergency signage and markings shall be provided for each passenger car 
in accordance with the minimum requirements specified in APTA Standard 
SS-PS-002-98, Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/
Access of Passenger Rail Equipment,'' October 2007, or an alternative 
standard providing at least an equivalent level of safety, if approved 
by FRA pursuant to Sec.  238.21.
    10. Section 238.127 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  238.127  Low-location emergency exit path marking.

    After [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE], low-
location emergency exit path marking shall be provided in each 
passenger car in accordance with the minimum requirements specified in 
APTA Standard SS-PS-004-99, Rev. 2. ``Standard for Low-Location Exit 
Path Marking,'' October, 2007, or an alternative standard providing at 
least an equivalent level of safety, if approved by FRA pursuant to 
Sec.  238.21.


Sec.  238.235  [Removed and reserved]

    11. Section 238.235 is removed and reserved.
    12. Section 238.305 is amended by revising paragraph (a), revising 
the introductory text of paragraph (c), adding paragraphs (c)(11) and 
(c)(13), and revising the introductory text of paragraph (d) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  238.305  Interior calendar day mechanical inspection of passenger 
cars.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, each 
passenger car shall receive an interior mechanical inspection at least 
once each calendar day that it is placed in service.
* * * * *
    (c) As part of the interior calendar day mechanical inspection, the 
railroad shall verify conformity with the following conditions, and 
nonconformity with any such condition renders the car defective when 
discovered in service, except as

[[Page 179]]

provided in paragraphs (c)(8) through (c)(13) and paragraph (d) of this 
section.
* * * * *
    (11) Low-location emergency exit path markings required by Sec.  
238.127 are in place and conspicuous.
* * * * *
    (13) Removable panels and windows in vestibule doors and other 
interior doors used for passage through a passenger car are properly in 
place and secured, based on a visual inspection. A noncomplying 
passenger car may remain in passenger service until no later than the 
car's fourth interior calendar day mechanical inspection or next 
periodic mechanical inspection required under Sec.  238.307, whichever 
occurs first, or for a passenger car used in long-distance intercity 
train service until the eighth interior calendar day mechanical 
inspection or next periodic mechanical inspection required under Sec.  
238.307, whichever occurs first, after the noncomplying condition is 
discovered, where it shall be repaired or removed from service; 
provided--
    (i) The railroad has developed and follows written procedures for 
mitigating the hazard(s) caused by the noncomplying condition. The 
railroad's procedures shall include consideration of the type of door 
in which the removable panel or window is located, the manner in which 
the door is normally opened, and the risk of personal injury resulting 
from a missing, broken, or improperly secured removal panel or window; 
and
    (ii) The train crew is provided written notification of the 
noncomplying condition.
    (d) Any passenger car found not to be in compliance with the 
requirements contained in paragraphs (c)(5) through (c)(11) of this 
section at the time of its interior calendar day mechanical inspection 
may remain in passenger service until the car's next interior calendar 
day mechanical inspection where it must be repaired or removed from 
passenger service; provided, all of the specific conditions contained 
in paragraphs (c)(8) through (c)(10) of this section are met and all of 
the following requirements are met:
* * * * *
    13. Section 238.307 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(4), 
(c)(5), and (e)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  238.307  Periodic mechanical inspection of passenger cars and 
unpowered vehicles used in passenger trains.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (4) A representative sample of the following emergency systems 
properly operate: removable panels, removable windows, manual override 
devices, and door retention mechanisms, in accordance with Sec.  
238.112; and emergency window exits, in accordance with Sec.  238.113. 
This portion of the periodic mechanical inspection may be conducted 
independently of the other requirements in this paragraph (c). Each 
railroad shall retain records of the inspection, testing, and 
maintenance of the emergency window exits for two calendar years after 
the end of the calendar year to which they relate.
    (5) With regard to the following emergency systems:
    (i) Emergency lighting systems required under Sec.  238.115 are in 
place and operational; and
    (ii) Low-location emergency exit path markings required under Sec.  
238.127 are operational.
* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (1) A record shall be maintained of each periodic mechanical 
inspection required to be performed by this section. This record shall 
be maintained in writing or electronically, provided FRA has access to 
the record upon request. The record shall be maintained either in the 
railroad's files, the cab of the locomotive, or a designated location 
in the passenger car. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(4) of this 
section, the record shall be retained until the next periodic 
mechanical inspection of the same type is performed and shall contain 
the following information:
* * * * *
    14. Section 238.311 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  238.311  Single car test.

    (a) Except for self-propelled passenger cars, single car tests of 
all passenger cars and all unpowered vehicles used in passenger trains 
shall be performed in accordance with either APTA Standard SS-M-005-98, 
``Code of Tests for Passenger Car Equipment Using Single Car Testing 
Device,'' published March, 1998; or an alternative procedure approved 
by FRA pursuant to Sec. 238.21. The incorporation by reference of this 
APTA standard was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in 
accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a 
copy of the incorporated document from the American Public 
Transportation Association, 1666 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. 
You may inspect a copy of the document at the Federal Railroad 
Administration, Docket Clerk, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For 
information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 
741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
* * * * *
    15. Section 238.439 is amended by removing paragraphs (a), (b), 
(e), and (g), redesignating paragraphs (c), (d), and (f) as paragraphs 
(a) through (c), revising redesignated paragraph (c), and adding 
introductory text to read as follows:


Sec.  238.439  Doors.

    In addition to the requirements of Sec.  238.112--
* * * * *
    (c) For a passenger car ordered prior to (60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register), and placed in 
service prior to (1520 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE 
IN THE Federal Register), a passenger compartment end door (other than 
a door providing access to the exterior of the trainset) shall be 
equipped with a kick-out panel, pop-out window, or other similar means 
of egress in the event the door will not open, or shall be so designed 
as to pose a negligible probability of becoming inoperable in the event 
of car body distortion following a collision or derailment.
    16. Section 238.441 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  238.441  Emergency roof access.

    (a) Existing passenger cars and power cars. Each passenger car and 
power car ordered prior to April 1, 2009 and placed in service for the 
first time prior to April 1, 2011, shall have a minimum of one roof 
hatch emergency access location with a minimum opening of 26 inches by 
24 inches, or at least one structural weak point in the roof providing 
a minimum opening of the same dimensions, to provide access for 
properly equipped emergency response personnel. Each emergency roof 
access location shall be conspicuously marked, and legible and 
understandable operating instructions shall be posted at or near each 
such location. Such marking shall also conform to the requirements 
specified in Sec.  238.125.
* * * * *
    (c) New power cars. Each power car ordered on or after April 1, 
2009, or placed in service for the first time on or after April 1, 
2011, shall have a minimum of one emergency roof access location, with 
a minimum opening of 26 inches longitudinally by 24 inches

[[Page 180]]

laterally, and comply with the emergency roof access requirements 
specified in Sec.  238.123(b) and (d). Each emergency roof access 
location shall be conspicuously marked with retroreflective material of 
contrasting color meeting the minimum requirements specified in Sec.  
238.125, or an alternative standard providing at least an equivalent 
level of safety, if approved by FRA pursuant to Sec.  238.21. Legible 
and understandable instructions shall be posted at or near each such 
location.

PART 239--[AMENDED]

    17. Section 239.105 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  239.105  Debriefing and critique.

    (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, 
each railroad operating passenger train service shall conduct a 
debriefing and critique session after each passenger train emergency 
situation or full-scale simulation to determine the effectiveness of 
its emergency preparedness plan, and shall improve or amend its plan, 
or both, as appropriate, in accordance with the information developed. 
The debriefing and critique session shall be conducted within 60 days 
of the date of the passenger train emergency situation or full-scale 
simulation. To the extent practicable, all on-board personnel, control 
center personnel, and any other employees involved in the emergency 
situation or full-scale simulation shall participate in the session 
either:
    (1) In person;
    (2) Offsite via teleconference; or
    (3) In writing, by a statement responding to questions provided 
prior to the session, and by responding to any follow-up questions.
* * * * *


Sec.  239.107  [Removed and reserved]

    18. Section 239.107 is removed and reserved.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 19, 2011.
Joseph C. Szabo,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-33103 Filed 12-30-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P