[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 230 (Friday, November 29, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71785-71816]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27731]



[[Page 71785]]

Vol. 78

Friday,

No. 230

November 29, 2013

Part III





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; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Parts 238 and 239

[Docket No. FRA-2009-0119, Notice No. 2]
RIN 2130-AC22


Passenger Train Emergency Systems II

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule 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 final rule, FRA is adding requirements for emergency passage 
through vestibule and other interior passageway doors and enhancing 
emergency egress and rescue access signage requirements. FRA is also 
establishing requirements for low-location emergency exit path markings 
to assist occupants in reaching and operating emergency exits, 
particularly under conditions of limited visibility. Further, FRA is 
adding standards to ensure that emergency lighting systems are provided 
in all passenger cars, and FRA is enhancing requirements for the 
survivability of emergency lighting systems in new passenger cars. 
Finally, FRA is clarifying requirements for participation in debriefing 
and critique sessions following emergency situations and full-scale 
simulations.

DATES: This final rule is effective January 28, 2014. The incorporation 
by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by 
the Director of the Federal Register as of January 28, 2014. Petitions 
for reconsideration must be received on or before January 28, 2014. 
Comments in response to petitions for reconsideration must be received 
on or before March 14, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration 
related to Docket No. FRA-2009-0119, Notice No. 2, may be submitted by 
any of the following methods:
     Web site: The Federal eRulemaking Portal, http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the Web site's online instructions for 
submitting comments, to include petitions for reconsideration.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., W12-140, Washington, DC 
20590.
     Hand Delivery: Room W12-140 on the ground level of the 
West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this 
rulemaking. Note that all petitions and comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information. Please see the Privacy Act heading in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document for Privacy Act 
information related to any submitted comments or materials.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, any 
petition for reconsideration submitted, or comments received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov at any time or visit the Docket Management 
Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140 on the ground 
level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Masci, Trial Attorney, Office 
of Chief Counsel, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., RCC-12, Mail Stop 
10, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202-493-6037); Michael Hunter, 
Trial Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., RCC-12, Mail Stop 10, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202-493-
0368); or Brenda Moscoso, Director, Office of Safety Analysis, Office 
of Railroad Safety, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., RRS-20, Mail Stop 
25, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202-493-6282).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Abbreviations Frequently Used in This Document

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
FRA Federal Railroad Administration
U.S.C. United States Code

Table of Contents for Supplementary Information

I. Executive Summary
II. History
    A. Statutory Background
    B. Implementation of the 1994 Passenger Equipment Safety 
Rulemaking Mandate
    C. Tasking of Passenger Safety Issues to the Railroad Safety 
Advisory Committee
    D. 2008 Passenger Train Emergency Systems Final Rule
    E. Passenger Train Emergency Systems II Rulemaking
III. Discussion of Specific Comments and Conclusions
IV. Technical Background and General Overview of Final Rule 
Requirements
    A. Doors
    B. Identification of Emergency Systems
    C. Emergency Lighting
    D. Marking and Instructions for Emergency Egress and Rescue 
Access
    E. Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking
    F. Photoluminescent Marking Materials
    G. Emergency Communications
    H. Debriefing and Critique Session Following Emergency 
Situations and Full-Scale Simulations
V. Section-by-Section Analysis
    A. Amendments to Part 238, Subparts B, C, and E
    B. Amendments to Part 239, Subpart B
VI. Regulatory Impact and Notices
    A. Executive Orders 12866 and 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. Trade Impact
    H. Privacy Act

I. Executive Summary

    Having considered the public comments in response to FRA's January 
3, 2012, proposed rule on passenger train emergency systems, see 77 FR 
153, FRA issues this final rule amending the Passenger Equipment Safety 
Standards, 49 CFR part 238, and the Passenger Train Emergency 
Preparedness regulations, 49 CFR part 239. This rule establishes 
enhanced or new requirements related to the following subject areas: 
doors, emergency lighting, 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. As part of these amendments, FRA is 
incorporating by reference three American Public Transportation 
Association (APTA) standards for passenger train emergency systems. A 
brief overview of the final rule is provided below, organized by 
subject area:

Door Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Systems

    This rule as it relates to vestibule doors (and other interior 
passageway doors) requires such doors in new passenger cars to be 
fitted with a removable panel or removable window for use in accessing 
and exiting the passenger compartment through the vestibule in the 
event that the vestibule door is inoperable. Additionally, FRA is 
establishing distinct requirements for bi-parting vestibule doors (and 
other bi-parting, interior passageway doors),

[[Page 71787]]

including provisions for a manual override and retention mechanisms. 
For security reasons, an exception is included to allow railroads 
discretion when deciding whether to include a removable panel or 
removable window in a door leading to a cab compartment. This rule also 
sets forth requirements for the inspection, testing, reporting, and 
repairing of the door safety mechanisms.

Emergency Lighting

    This rule establishes requirements for minimum emergency light 
illumination levels within all passenger cars, supplementing 
requirements that have applied generally to new passenger cars. The 
rule also provides standards for the number and placement of power 
sources for the emergency lighting system in newer cars and specifies 
requirements for testing lighting fixtures and power sources that are 
part of the emergency lighting system for all cars.
    Emergency lighting power sources that include batteries located 
under passenger cars may not be reliable following a collision or 
derailment due to their location. This rule helps to ensure that in 
both new and certain existing passenger cars these essential back-up 
power sources are able to function as intended by requiring that the 
batteries are located in the passenger compartment, where they are 
better protected.

Emergency Communications

    This rule makes clear that public address (PA) and intercom systems 
on newer passenger cars are required to have back-up power to remain 
operational for at least 90 minutes when the primary power source 
fails. This rule also establishes more specific requirements for the 
luminescent material used to mark intercoms, enhancing regulations that 
have required the location of each intercom to be clearly marked with 
luminescent material.

Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Markings and Instructions

    This rule enhances current signage requirements by specifying 
requirements for signage recognition, design, location, size, color and 
contrast, and materials used for emergency exits and rescue access 
locations. This additional detail helps to ensure that emergency egress 
points and systems can be easily identified and operated by passengers 
and train crewmembers needing to evacuate a passenger car during an 
emergency. The enhancements also help to ensure that emergency response 
personnel can easily identify rescue access points and then facilitate 
their access to the passenger car. This rule establishes more 
comprehensive requirements for marking emergency roof access locations 
and providing instructions for their use to facilitate emergency 
responder access to passenger cars.

Photoluminescent Materials

    Specifically, the rule enhances requirements related to the use of 
high-performance photoluminescent (HPPL) material, i.e., a 
photoluminescent material that is capable of emitting light at a very 
high rate and for an extended period of time, as well as policies and 
procedures for ensuring proper placement and testing of 
photoluminescent materials. These revisions are intended to help ensure 
greater visibility of signage and markings in an emergency situation so 
that train occupants can identify emergency exits and the path to the 
nearest exit in conditions of limited visibility, which include, but 
are not limited to conditions when all lighting fails, or when smoke is 
present in the passenger car. Existing emergency egress signage inside 
some passenger compartment areas within passenger cars has been 
ineffective due to its inability to absorb sufficient levels of ambient 
or electrical light. The requirements in this rule improve the 
conspicuity of signage and markings in the passenger compartment, and 
thus increase the discernability of the exit signs and markings.

Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking (LLEEPM)

    This rule establishes minimum requirements for photoluminescent and 
electrically-powered LLEEPM systems 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 also requires railroads to conduct periodic inspections and 
tests to verify that all LLEEPM system components, including power 
sources, function as intended.

Debriefing and Critique

    FRA is modifying the existing debriefing and critique requirements 
to clarify that passenger train personnel who have first-hand knowledge 
of an emergency involving a passenger train are intended to participate 
in a debriefing and critique session after the emergency, or an 
emergency simulation, occurs.

Economic Impact

    FRA has assessed the cost to railroads that is expected to result 
from the implementation of this rule. For the 20-year period analyzed, 
the estimated quantified cost that will be imposed on industry totals 
$21.8 million, with a present value (PV, 7 percent) of $13.4 million.

                       20-Year Cost for Final Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Door Removable Panels or Windows, and Bi-Parting Doors..      $4,399,223
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
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dollars are discounted at a present value rate of 7 percent.

    This rule is expected to improve railroad safety by promoting the 
safe resolution of emergency situations involving passenger trains, 
including the evacuation of passengers and crewmembers in the event of 
an emergency. The primary benefits include a heightened safety 
environment for egress from a passenger train and rescue access by 
emergency response personnel after an accident or other emergency. 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 will justify 
the cost of implementing this rule.

II. History

A. Statutory Background

    In September 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 DOT would begin developing safety standards for rail 
passenger equipment over a five-year period. In November 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

[[Page 71788]]

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).

B. Implementation of the 1994 Passenger Equipment Safety Rulemaking 
Mandate

    On May 4, 1998, pursuant to Section 215 of the Act, FRA published 
the Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness (PTEP) final rule. See 63 FR 
24629. This 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. The 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, along with instructions 
provided for their use, and marking on the exterior of all windows 
intended for rescue access by emergency responders with retroreflective 
material, along with instructions provided for their use; lighting or 
marking of all door exits intended for egress on the interior along 
with instructions for their use; and marking of all door exits intended 
for rescue access by emergency responders, on the exterior along with 
providing instructions for their use. In addition, the rule contains 
specific requirements for participation in debrief and critique 
sessions following emergency situations and full-scale simulations.
    On May 12, 1999, FRA published the Passenger Equipment Safety 
Standards (PESS) final rule. See 64 FR 25540. The rule established 
comprehensive safety standards for railroad passenger equipment. The 
standards established various requirements for emergency systems, 
including requirements for the size, location, 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 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. See 65 FR 41284; 67 FR 19970; and 67 FR 42892.

C. Tasking of Passenger Safety Issues to the Railroad Safety Advisory 
Committee

    While FRA had completed these rulemakings, FRA had identified 
various issues for possible future rulemaking, including those to be 
addressed following the completion of additional research, the 
gathering of additional operating experience, or the development of 
industry standards, or all three. FRA decided to address these issues 
with the assistance of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC). 
FRA established the RSAC in March 1996, and it serves as a forum for 
developing consensus recommendations on rulemakings and other safety 
program issues. The RSAC 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;
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 (Mexico);*
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. (Please see 77 FR 156 for 
additional discussion of the RSAC process.)

    On May 20, 2003, FRA presented the RSAC with 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. In turn, the RSAC accepted the task 
and established the Passenger Safety Working Group (Working Group) to 
handle the 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;
APRCO;
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.
    The Working Group met 14 times between September 9, 2003, and 
September 16, 2010. Staff from DOT's John A. Volpe National 
Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center) attended all of the 
Working Group meetings and

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contributed to the technical discussions. See 77 FR 157. Due to the 
variety of issues involved, at its November 2003 meeting, the Working 
Group established four task forces: Emergency Systems, Vehicle/Track 
Interaction, Crashworthiness/Glazing, and Mechanical. Each task force 
was formed as a smaller group to develop recommendations on specific 
issues within each group's particular area of expertise. Members of the 
Emergency Systems 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.

    Representatives from TSA, of the U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS), while an advisory member and not a voting member of the 
Task Force, attended certain 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 between February 25, 2004, and 
March 31, 2009. Associated with these meetings were site visits where 
FRA met with representatives of Metrolink, MBTA, Amtrak, LIRR, Coaster, 
SEPTA, and Caltrans, respectively, and toured their passenger 
equipment. See 77 FR 157-158. The visits were open to all members of 
the Task Force (and Working Group) and included a demonstration of 
emergency system features. As in the case of Working Group visits to 
Metra and the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, 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.

D. 2008 Passenger Train Emergency Systems Final Rule

    With the RSAC's assistance, FRA published a final rule on Passenger 
Train Emergency Systems (PTES) on February 1, 2008. See 73 FR 6370. The 
rule addressed a number of concerns raised and issues discussed during 
the various Task Force and Working Group meetings, and was a product of 
the RSAC's consensus recommendations. The rule expanded the 
applicability of requirements for PA systems to all passenger cars, and 
also expanded the applicability of requirements for intercom systems 
and emergency responder roof access to all new passenger cars. Further, 
the rule enhanced requirements for emergency window exits and 
established requirements for rescue access windows used by emergency 
responders. See 73 FR 6370.

E. Passenger Train Emergency Systems II Rulemaking

    To address additional concerns raised, and issues discussed, during 
the various Task Force and Working Group meetings, FRA initiated the 
Passenger Train Emergency Systems II (PTES II) rulemaking. In addition 
to clarifying the nature of participation in debriefing and critique of 
emergency situations and full-scale simulations, the purpose of the 
rulemaking was to address the following emergency systems: door 
emergency egress and rescue access, emergency lighting, marking and 
instruction for emergency egress and access, emergency communication, 
and low-location emergency exit path markings. The Working Group 
reached full consensus on recommendations related to these emergency 
systems and issues at its December 11, 2007 meeting. The Working Group 
presented its consensus recommendations to the full RSAC body for 
concurrence at its meeting on February 20, 2008. All of the members of 
the full RSAC body in attendance at that February 2008 meeting accepted 
the regulatory recommendations submitted by the Working Group. Thus, 
the Working Group's recommendations became the full RSAC body'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 
requirements affecting Tier II equipment, i.e., passenger equipment 
operating at speeds in excess of 125 mph but not exceeding 150 mph. 
This sub-task force did not recommend any changes to the 
recommendation. After reviewing the full RSAC body's recommendations, 
FRA agreed that the recommendations provided a sound basis for a rule 
and adopted the recommendations with generally minor changes for 
purposes of clarity and Federal Register formatting. On January 3, 
2012, FRA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), and opened 
the comment period. 77 FR 154.

III. Discussion of Specific Comments and Conclusions

    FRA received nine comments in response to the NPRM during the 
comment period from the following parties: Metra, Caltrans, NTSB, City 
of Seattle, students from the Quinnipiac University School of Law (the 
Students), and four individual commenters. FRA appreciated and 
carefully considered all comments. The comments generally raised issues 
related to doors, emergency lighting, emergency markings, and 
instructions for emergency egress and rescue access. FRA also received 
comments that were outside the scope of this rule. The final rule text 
differs from the proposed rule in part because of the concerns raised 
by Metra in relation to the emergency lighting requirement. Please note 
that the order in which the comments are discussed in this document is 
not intended to reflect the significance of the comment raised or the 
standing of the commenter.
    Please also note that following the issuance of the NPRM and the 
close of the comment period, as part of improvements to the APTA 
Standards Program, APTA comprehensively changed the numbering 
nomenclature for its standards, including the standards FRA proposed to 
incorporate by reference in this rule. However, these nomenclature 
changes do not affect the substantive content or the revision histories 
of the standards FRA proposed to incorporate in this rule. Accordingly, 
in this final rule FRA has updated the numbering nomenclature of these 
APTA standards as follows:

[[Page 71790]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Standard title                      Previous standard No.                 New standard No.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Standard for Emergency Lighting System    SS-E-013-99.......................  PR-E-S-013-99
 Design for Passenger Cars, Rev. 1,
 October 2007.
Standard for Emergency Signage for        SS-PS-002-98......................  PR-PS-S-002-98
 Egress/Access of Passenger Rail
 Equipment, Rev. 3, October 2007.
Standard for Low-Location Exit Path       SS-PS-004-99......................  PR-PS-S-004-99
 Marking, Rev. 2, October 2007.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Metra submitted comments stating that the proposed emergency 
lighting requirement, which would incorporate by reference APTA 
Standard PR-E-S-013-99 (previously SS-E-013-99), Rev. 1, ``Standard for 
Emergency Lighting Design for Passenger Cars,'' October 2007, would 
require Metra to expend $4,700,000.00 to bring its equipment into 
compliance with the rule as proposed. When the NPRM was published, 
Metra had 386 cars that would have been considered non-compliant under 
the rule as proposed. Metra provided FRA with a schedule for bringing 
the cars into compliance. While Metra supports the emergency lighting 
requirement, it suggests that the applicability date be extended two 
years until January 1, 2017, to allow Metra to bring its 386 cars into 
compliance. Metra also believes that extending the applicability date 
would allow additional research and development that may yield an 
industry-wide standard with added benefits of energy and maintenance 
savings. To mitigate the expense of compliance and permit time for 
additional research and development, FRA is modifying the proposal 
related to the emergency lighting requirement to phase-in compliance. 
The phased-in compliance schedule requires that by December 31, 2015, 
railroads retrofit 70% of their passenger cars that are not in 
compliance with the emergency lighting requirements as of the date of 
publication of the final rule, and that by January 1, 2017, all cars 
comply with the emergency lighting requirements.
    Caltrans submitted comments stating that the proposed requirement 
that vestibule doors and certain other interior doors be equipped with 
removable panels is confusing based on the examples that are provided 
in the NPRM and Caltrans's understanding of the Working Group's 
discussions and agreements related to this issue. Caltrans points out 
that based on the examples, it appears that end-frame doors would be 
required to be equipped with a removable panel, while noting that the 
definition of vestibule door that is contained in Sec.  238.5 excludes 
an end-frame door. Caltrans suggests that this is confusing, because 
there was no agreement within the Working Group to require end-frame 
doors to be equipped with a removable panel.
    FRA agrees that, at this time, removable panels or windows should 
not be required in end-frame doors because, ultimately, no design was 
identified that would address three overriding concerns related to end-
frame doors. Those concerns are: (1) unintentional removal of the panel 
or window, which would result in a safety hazard for occupants while 
the train is in operation; (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 vestibule doors, and 
certain other interior passageway doors. An interior passageway door is 
a door used to pass through a passenger car to the vestibule to exit 
the car from a side door exit or to pass through the car to exit the 
car into an adjoining car, or both. In addition to end-frame doors, 
doors separating sleeping compartments or similar private compartments 
from a passageway are neither vestibule doors nor other interior 
passageway doors. FRA believes that the examples that are provided in 
the NPRM have caused inadvertent confusion about this issue. FRA did 
not intend to propose a requirement to equip end-frame doors with a 
removable panel or window, and FRA does not intend to establish such a 
requirement in this final rule.
    To clarify the removable panel or window requirement related to 
vestibule doors and certain other interior passageway doors, the 
following example supersedes and replaces the examples that were 
provided in the NPRM. Amtrak Acela Express (Acela) passenger cars that 
are not at the end of the train consist have no end-frame doors, as the 
cars are semi-permanently coupled to other Acela passenger cars (not 
the power cars). In the case of two business class cars that are 
coupled together in the interior of the consist, moving from one of 
these passenger cars to the next, an occupant would pass the end-frame 
(collision posts/corner posts), then pass through the vestibule where 
there are exterior side door exits, and, depending on the end of the 
car, move through a passageway adjacent to a restroom accessible under 
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) before arriving at an 
interior bi-parting door that leads to the seating area. Because that 
interior door does not directly lead to the vestibule when moving from 
the seating area, but to the passageway where the ADA-accessible 
restroom is located and then to the vestibule, the door is an interior 
passageway door but not a vestibule door. Certain foreign trainsets 
have a similar layout that includes interior passageway doors that are 
not vestibule doors.
    The NTSB submitted a comment that recounts the various safety 
recommendations issued by the NTSB following the February 16, 1996, 
collision of two passenger trains near Silver Spring, MD, and the 
status of many of those recommendations. The comment states that FRA 
has addressed many of the recommendations through its various 
rulemakings, but highlights that two of the recommendations--Safety 
Recommendation R-97-15, regarding removable windows, kick panels, or 
other suitable means for emergency exiting through interior and 
exterior passageway doors where the door could impede passengers 
exiting in an emergency; and R-97-17, regarding fitting each emergency 
lighting fixture with a self-contained independent power source--are 
currently classified as ``Open-Unacceptable Response.'' The comment 
notes that proposed Sec.  238.112, ``Door emergency egress and rescue 
access systems,'' and the proposed revisions to Sec.  238.115, 
``Emergency lighting,'' are considered consistent with the intent of 
Safety Recommendations R-97-15, and R-97-17, respectively. While the 
NTSB stated that it is ``encouraged that the various actions indicated 
in the NPRM are under consideration'' and expresses support for the 
intent of the NPRM, the comment noted that it is unfortunate that no 
design changes have yet been required for passenger car doors or 
emergency lighting more than 17 years after the Silver Spring accident. 
The NTSB also commented that it ``remains concerned about the 
significant length of time it is taking to make a modification 
available to [railroad] operators.''
    In response to the Silver Spring accident, FRA has focused on some 
of

[[Page 71791]]

the broader issues of passenger train safety, emergency egress and 
rescue access, to ensure that there is a means of egress and rescue 
access in every passenger compartment of a passenger rail car. With 
respect to NTSB's specific concerns related to passenger car doors, FRA 
points out that it has required design changes in Tier II passenger 
trains. In the 1997 PESS NPRM, FRA stated that for Tier II passenger 
equipment that is operated as a fixed unit, having kick-panels to allow 
emergency egress through the length of the train has merit, so long as 
the panels do not interfere with the normal operation of the doors in 
which they are installed. 62 FR 49735. As such, in the 1999 PESS final 
rule, FRA required that Tier II passenger railroads must equip 
passenger compartment end doors (other than those leading to the 
exterior of the train) with removable windows or kick-panels, unless 
the doors have a negligible probability of becoming inoperable. 64 FR 
25642, 25689. For Tier I passenger rail cars, FRA stated in the 1997 
PESS NPRM that ``the interchangeable use of some cab cars and MU 
locomotives as leading and trailing units on a Tier I passenger train 
will complicate analyzing the efficacy of installing such panels on 
Tier I equipment,'' and reserved the issue for future consideration. 62 
FR 49735. FRA is not aware of any design changes that would safely 
mitigate the additional safety concerns raised by requiring kick-panels 
or other removable panels or windows in doors leading to the exterior 
of a passenger car, such as end-frame doors, as discussed above.
    With respect to emergency lighting, FRA required in the 1999 PESS 
final rule that new passenger cars have a ``back-up power feature 
capable of operating the lighting for a minimum of 90 minutes after 
loss of normal power.'' See 64 FR 25598. This back-up feature assists 
occupants of the rail cars to discern their immediate surroundings and 
thereby minimize or avoid panic in an emergency, if normal lighting is 
lost, because fully-equipped emergency response forces can take an hour 
or more to arrive at a remote accident site, with additional time 
required to deploy and reach people trapped or injured in a train. Even 
passenger train emergencies in urban areas can pose significant rescue 
problems, especially in the case of tunnels, and operations during 
hours of limited visibility or inclement weather. In either situation, 
emergency lighting should help emergency responders extricate occupants 
that may be injured and assist with an orderly evacuation. FRA also 
addressed design concerns in the 1999 PESS final rule and stated that 
its ``findings in recent accidents support NTSB's implied concern that 
placement of electrical conduits and battery packs below the floor of 
passenger coaches can result in damage that leads to the unavailability 
of emergency lights precisely at the time they are most needed,'' but 
that ``the concept of a power source at each fixture, as a regulatory 
requirement, is novel.'' 64 FR 25598. Moreover, FRA questioned 
``whether current `ballast' technology provides illumination of 
sufficient light level quality with reliable maintainability.'' 64 FR 
25598. FRA therefore reserved the issue of independent power sources 
for future consideration.
    While this final rule is being issued many years after the Silver 
Spring accident, the underlying concerns expressed by NTSB in issuing 
recommendations R-97-15 and R-97-17 have not gone unaddressed; rather, 
they have been reflected in FRA final rules issued following this 
accident, as codified in FRA regulations. For example, the 2008 PTES 
final rule established requirements that improve passenger emergency 
egress and rescue access that are consistent with the intent of NTSB's 
recommendations. Specifically, the rulemaking enhanced the emergency 
window exits requirements, established roof access requirements, and 
added rescue access window requirements to improve the means by which 
occupants can quickly and safely egress when exit doors are inoperable 
or inaccessible. See 73 FR 6376-78. During the development of the 2008 
PTES final rule, FRA realized that there was a potential safety gap in 
the then-existing regulatory requirements that could result in 
passenger trains not being equipped with rescue access windows. The 
requirements established by the 2008 PTES rulemaking, which considered 
NTSB's recommendations, remedy this potential safety gap. In this 
regard, FRA has been actively addressing the underlying concerns 
expressed by NTSB recommendations R-97-15 and R-97-17 since they were 
issued.
    The City of Seattle submitted comments suggesting that FRA consider 
adding roof access requirements for passenger cars. The NPRM did not 
raise the issue of roof access for passenger cars, other than for their 
marking and instructions for their use. Accordingly, FRA believes that 
the City of Seattle's comment is outside of the scope of this 
rulemaking proceeding to the extent it concerns the development of more 
substantive requirements for roof access systems. However, FRA believes 
that roof access is an important safety feature for passenger cars, and 
it is addressed by FRA regulation at Sec. Sec.  238.123 and 238.441.
    The 2008 PTES final rule established a roof access requirement for 
all new passenger cars by adding Sec.  238.123, ``Emergency roof 
access,'' requiring that all new passenger cars be equipped with two 
roof access locations (roof hatches or structural weak points). Section 
238.441 continues to contain specific requirements for Tier II 
passenger equipment. See 73 FR 6403. FRA recognizes that roof access 
locations can be especially useful in emergency situations where 
passenger cars have rolled onto their sides following certain collision 
and derailment scenarios. All else being equal, car rollover or tilt 
should result in more severe injuries than when a car remains upright, 
as occupants may be thrown greater distances inside the car. In turn, 
this risk increases the potential need for access to rescue the car's 
occupants because of the reduced likelihood that the occupants can 
evacuate the car on their own. In addition, when there is a rollover, 
doors, which are the preferred means of access under normal 
circumstances, may be blocked or otherwise rendered inoperable due to 
structural damage to the door or the door pocket. In particular, end 
doors, which due to the direction they face, would normally be better 
suited for use than side doors when a car has tilted or rolled onto its 
side, may also be blocked, jammed, or otherwise unavailable for use. 
Moreover, although emergency responders may be able to enter a car that 
is on its side via a rescue access window, the removal of an injured 
occupant through a side window in such circumstances can be difficult 
or complicated, especially depending upon the condition of the 
occupant. Nonetheless, the Task Force that helped to develop the 
existing requirements determined that having more than two roof access 
locations could jeopardize the structural integrity of passenger cars.
    At this time, FRA believes that the requirements contained in 
Sec. Sec.  238.123 and 238.441 adequately address the important need 
for roof access for passenger cars. FRA is therefore not modifying or 
expanding the existing regulations based on this comment, other than 
for enhancing requirements for the marking of roof access locations and 
provision of instructions for their use.
    The Students submitted comments stating that they agree with many 
aspects of the NPRM, but they also have

[[Page 71792]]

general concerns related to: The door panel requirement; the emergency 
lighting requirement; the emergency communications requirement; and the 
cost of the rulemaking. The Students recommend requiring removable 
panels or removable windows in vestibule doors and other interior 
passageway doors to be shatter-proof. While FRA believes that such a 
regulatory requirement would be too prescriptive at this time, the 
potential maintenance and replacement costs associated with removable 
panels or windows that shatter during normal operations will drive the 
industry to use sufficiently shatter-resistant materials. In fuller 
context, of course, these removable panels or removable windows are to 
be used as one of a number of possible means of egress.
    The Students also ask whether a floor hatch may be an effective 
alternative method for emergency egress. FRA believes that a floor 
hatch would likely cause a tripping hazard when not in use, and further 
believes that it may present significant challenges to maintaining the 
integrity of the carbody structure, and its design. Openings large 
enough for egress though the carbody underframe would have a greater 
impact on the structural integrity of the car than the soft spots on 
the roof and windows/doors on the sides of the car that are currently 
required. In addition, a floor hatch may reduce the ability of the car 
to protect passengers from an under-car fire and, as such, would be 
inconsistent with FRA's fire safety regulations. See, e.g., appendix B 
to part 238, note 16, concerning fire resistance requirements for the 
structural flooring assembly separating the interior of a vehicle from 
its undercarriage.
    The Students further suggest supplementing the required emergency 
lighting with a hearing sensory device that will guide passengers and 
train crews to emergency exits when the emergency lighting is obscured 
by smoke. FRA believes that the addition of a hearing sensory device 
for safety purposes may be reasonable, but it was not part of FRA's 
proposal in the NPRM. FRA would need to pursue this suggestion in a 
future rulemaking with full notice and comment, including the gathering 
of information related to the capabilities and cost of such devices, as 
well as power supply needs.
    In addition, the Students commented in favor of requiring an 
automated safety announcement played by the on-board train crew each 
time new passengers board the train. Such announcements may be 
worthwhile for some operations. However, FRA has addressed this type of 
passenger safety awareness requirement in the Passenger Train Emergency 
Preparedness rule, codified at Sec.  239.101(a)(7), and believes that 
each railroad is in the best position to decide which additional 
required safety awareness medium to use--one of which is on-board 
announcements--in conjunction with the conspicuous positing of 
emergency procedures.
    The last comment from the Students raises concerns about the costs 
of implementing the rule. FRA believes that the costs of investing in 
the safety systems required by this rule should have a nominal impact 
on ticket fares. According to the APTA Fact Book for 2012, all capital 
investment is funded only by government funds, and capital investment 
is defined as expenses related to the purchase of equipment. Passenger 
railroads have a dedicated funding source for capital investment that 
can be used to implement certain requirements of this rule. FRA 
recognizes that there may be an indirect impact on passenger fares due 
to potential increases in maintenance costs for the upkeep of the new 
safety systems. However, users of passenger rail take into account many 
things when determining their mode of transportation, in addition to 
fare price. Many value avoidance of traffic congestion associated with 
driving, or the convenience of being able to read or work. For peak-
hour commuters who are less responsive to fare changes, it would take a 
significant increase in fares for such riders to switch modes of 
travel.
    As part of their comment, the Students also sought clarification as 
to the costs associated with enforcing the rule as proposed. By law, 
FRA is responsible for promoting the safety of railroads throughout the 
Nation, and FRA's enforcement policy is carried out through the support 
of its approximately 470 Federal inspectors and technical specialists 
who also coordinate their efforts with approximately 172 State 
inspectors. These inspectors work with railroads, shippers of hazardous 
materials, and other regulated entities to help ensure a safe railroad 
environment. The Students recommended random inspections to verify 
proper installation and use of the new systems that would be required 
by the proposed rule. FRA and State inspectors routinely conduct 
inspections of railroad operations, property, and records to determine 
that safety is being properly maintained. Unannounced inspections are 
an important part of their work. Consequently, any costs associated 
with the enforcement of this and other regulations have been accounted 
for in FRA's budgeting process, and will not be impacted due to the 
issuance of this regulation.
    One individual submitted a comment suggesting that FRA require an 
independent power source for illuminated exit signs in the event that 
an accident disrupts the normal power supply to a car. In the NPRM, FRA 
proposed to incorporate by reference APTA Standard PR-PS-S-002-98 
(previously SS-PS-002-98), ``Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/
Access of Passenger Rail Equipment,'' October 2007. The APTA standard 
specifically requires that emergency exit signs and markings located on 
vestibule, end-frame, and side-door exits leading to the outside of the 
passenger car for emergency egress have electrically powered fixtures 
that have an independent power source to power either the internally 
illuminated sign, or the light fixture that is externally illuminating 
the non-HPPL sign when there is disruption to the normal power supply 
to the car. FRA notes that alternatively under this standard, railroads 
are able to employ HPPL material that provides an adequate level of 
conspicuity, when there is disruption to the normal power supply to a 
car, and this specifically includes dual-mode HPPL signs.
    Wherever illumination from the normal lighting system is less than 
required for charging, dual-mode sign systems can be used to achieve 
greater conspicuity. Dual-mode signs have an active component (an 
active light source to properly charge the HPPL) and a passive 
component (the HPPL material itself). FRA notes that the use of HPPL 
material would obviate the need for an independent power source, as the 
properly charged HPPL material will luminesce, and in-turn, provide the 
desired conspicuity under conditions of limited visibility or darkness, 
when there is a disruption to the normal power supply to a car. 
Moreover, the emergency lighting requirement that was also proposed in 
the NPRM, incorporating APTA Standard PR-E-S-013-99 (previously SS-E-
013-99), ``Standard for Emergency Lighting Design for Passenger Cars,'' 
October 2007, is being retained in the final rule, which helps to 
ensure that the independent power source is effective when the normal 
power supply to a car is disrupted.
    Another individual submitted comments stating that the proposed 
rule is extremely warranted, highlighting the general need for 
emergency exit lighting. In addition, this commenter disagrees with 
providing passengers the ability to apply the emergency brake whenever 
they deem it necessary,

[[Page 71793]]

although the NPRM did not raise this issue. As such, FRA believes that 
this comment is outside of the scope of this rulemaking proceeding. 
Making the emergency brake accessible to passengers is a longstanding 
industry practice and an important safety feature that was codified as 
a Federal regulatory requirement for all passenger cars in 1999. See 64 
FR 25540. FRA is not modifying the existing regulation based on this 
comment.
    Two comments in favor of the proposed changes that are contained in 
the NPRM were received from two other individual commenters. Both 
stated that the proposed rule is a good idea because it will enhance 
passenger rail safety and it should be adopted as a final rule. FRA 
appreciates the positive feedback and has considered it in the 
formulation of this final rule.

IV. Technical Background and General Overview of Final Rule 
Requirements

    Experience with passenger train accidents and simulations of 
emergency situations, and technological advances in emergency systems 
are the main impetus for the enhancements and additions in this final 
rule 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 (MARC) train and an Amtrak 
train in Silver Spring, MD, 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. 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, 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, in the development of this 
rulemaking, 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,'' an emergency evacuation simulator located at the 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) 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.
    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 passenger car interior passageway doors and exterior end-
frame 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-frame 
doors, or both, are located in vestibule areas that are separated from 
the seating area(s) by a vestibule door. Structural deformation or 
malfunctioning of vestibule doors could inhibit or unduly delay egress 
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 panel or window, which present a clear 
safety hazard for occupants while the train is in operation; (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 vestibule doors and other interior passageway doors. For new 
passenger cars, the Task Force generally recommended requiring a 
removable panel or removable window in each vestibule door and other 
interior passageway doors. In the case of a vestibule, for example, 
occupants could use a removable panel or removable window in the 
vestibule 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 removable 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 removable window would be

[[Page 71794]]

appropriate for its specific equipment and operation.
    In particular, FRA believes that to require vestibule doors to be 
equipped with a removable panel or removable window will, in the event 
that vestibule doors are not operable, provide a means for occupants in 
the passenger seating area to reach the vestibule area where exterior 
doors are located, facilitating their egress. Additionally, the 
removable panel or removable window will provide an additional means 
for emergency responders to access the passenger seating area to aid 
and assist occupants. FRA further believes that the rule satisfies the 
safety concerns expressed in the NTSB's recommendation without raising 
other safety concerns both during normal operations and in emergency 
situations.
    The Task Force considered requiring that existing passenger cars be 
retrofitted to comply with the removable panel/window requirement for 
vestibule and other interior passageway doors. Because of limitations 
posed by the design of existing doors, the Task Force decided not to 
recommend that the equipment be retrofitted. For example, 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 removable 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. The Task Force also reviewed 
additional issues related to the emergency operation of these doors and 
developed recommendations applicable to manual override devices and bi-
parting doors, including door retention systems, which are addressed in 
this final rule.
    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, due to 
remaining concerns related to the crashworthiness of the exterior end-
frame doors, the prevention of fluids entering the passenger car in an 
accident, and unintentional removal of the panel or window while the 
train is in operation. These concerns remain. The Task Force did, 
however, extend the removable window or panel requirement to ``any 
other interior door used for passage through a passenger car'' to 
further expand options for emergency egress, as well as rescue access.
    The Task Force also reviewed the APTA emergency signage standard, 
as discussed below, to develop recommendations for sign and instruction 
marking to assist passengers and crewmembers in locating and operating 
removable panels and windows in vestibule and other interior passageway 
doors, as well as operating bi-parting vestibule and other interior 
passageway doors in an emergency situation.

B. Identification of Emergency Systems

    An overturned rail car, or a rail car located on a narrow bridge or 
in a tunnel can greatly complicate passenger train evacuation in an 
emergency situation. Evacuation can be further complicated when 
multiple rail cars are affected, or when conditions of limited 
visibility or adverse weather are present. Such circumstances 
necessitate enhanced systems for use in emergency evacuations. The 1999 
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, in addition to the general 
emergency lighting level in a car. 64 FR 25598. In particular, in the 
PESS final rule FRA stated that it was investigating emergency lighting 
requirements, as part of a systems approach to effective passenger 
train evacuation.
    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. In this regard, FRA stated in the 1999 PESS 
final rule that it would examine the APTA emergency lighting standard 
to determine whether the standard satisfactorily addresses matters 
related to emergency signage, exit path marking, and egress capacity. 
See 64 FR 25598. Through the development and issuances of multiple 
standards, APTA developed a systems-based approach to facilitate the 
safe evacuation of a passenger car in an emergency under various 
circumstances. These APTA standards, which address emergency lighting, 
signage, and low-location exit path markings, were designed to work 
together to provide a means for passengers and crewmembers to identify, 
reach, and operate passenger car emergency exits.
    The most recent, revised versions of the APTA standards, all 
authorized on October 7, 2007, are listed below; copies are included in 
the docket.
     PR-E-S-013-99 (previously SS-E-013-99), Rev. 1, Standard 
for Emergency Lighting System Design for Passenger Cars.
     PR-PS-S-002-98 (previously SS-PS-002-98), Rev. 3, Standard 
for Emergency Signage for Egress/Access of Passenger Rail Equipment.
     PR-PS-S-004-99 (previously SS-PS-004-99), Rev. 2, Standard 
for Low-Location Exit Path Marking.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Please note that although the title of the APTA standard 
does not contain the word ``emergency,'' FRA considers low-location 
exit path markings and low-location emergency exit path markings to 
be one in the same for purposes of this final rule and can be used 
interchangeably. For ease of reference, both terms are referred to 
with the acronym ``LLEEPM.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The APTA approach recognizes that, in the majority of emergencies, 
the safest place for passengers and crewmembers is to remain on the 
train. Should evacuation from a particular rail car be required, the 
safest course of action for passengers and crewmembers 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 life-threatening situations 
that it would be necessary for passengers and crewmembers to leave 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 window egress 
and rescue access marking requirements contained in Sec. Sec.  238.113 
and 238.114, respectively. In addition, the Task Force was charged with 
adding a new requirement for LLEEPM systems. After careful review, the 
Task Force recommended that the three APTA standards be revised to 
address relevant advances in technology, and that these standards be 
incorporated by reference in their entirety in Federal regulations. 
With assistance from the Task Force, and an investment of considerable 
time and

[[Page 71795]]

effort, APTA revised the three standards to enable FRA to incorporate 
them by reference and take advantage of certain technological advances 
that allow for certain other desired enhancements. In addition, the 
Task Force recommended applying the requirements of APTA's emergency 
lighting, emergency signage, and LLEEPM standards (as revised in 2007), 
to both new and existing equipment. Incorporation by reference of these 
APTA standards into part 238 extends their applicability to all 
commuter and intercity passenger railroads and makes them enforceable 
by FRA. FRA has reviewed these industry standards and has determined 
that they contain appropriate specifications for passenger train 
emergency systems to be incorporated into this final rule.

C. Emergency Lighting

    Section 238.115 has contained emergency lighting requirements 
applicable for new passenger cars since the 1999 PESS final rule. As 
noted in that 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 
injuries and casualties in emergency situations. For example, according 
to the NTSB report, two passengers in a coach car of the MARC train 
involved in the 1996 Silver Spring, MD, 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 NTSB/RAR-97/02 at 61-62. The 
coach car's tilted position also contributed to their disorientation 
and hindered mobility. Id. at 62. Post-accident investigation by the 
NTSB also revealed that the main car battery powering the emergency 
lighting had been damaged as a result of the derailment. Id.
    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.'' Id. 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 in new 
passenger car door locations, aisles, and passageways, to help enable 
the occupants of the passenger cars to discern their immediate 
surroundings (be situationally aware) 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 required that the emergency lighting system 
remain operational on each car for 90 minutes.
    With respect to existing equipment, FRA noted in the 1999 PESS 
final rule that it desired achievable emergency lighting enhancements 
and that it would evaluate an APTA emergency lighting standard when 
completed. Subsequently, the Task Force helped develop a revised APTA 
emergency lighting standard that would enhance the 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 
certain existing cars). The Task Force recommended revisions to the 
APTA emergency lighting standard to address older equipment not covered 
by the emergency lighting requirements contained in original Sec.  
238.115. The revised APTA standard 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 by the 
APTA standard. 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. It 
should be noted that, although the APTA standard provides for 
compliance by January 1, 2015, FRA requires compliance by January 1, 
2017, to allow those railroads not already in compliance sufficient 
time to comply with the requirements.
    In addition, the APTA emergency lighting standard provides that 
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 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 originally specified in Sec.  238.115 for 
doors, aisles, and passageways. The independent power source 
requirement was not originally contained in Sec.  238.115, and is being 
incorporated into this final rule. The Task Force evaluated the 
feasibility of equipping emergency lighting fixtures 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

[[Page 71796]]

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 passenger car they are located in 
relation to the nearest exit. APTA added four requirements that address 
the 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 
one-half of a 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 under-floor 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 batteries 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 by the 
APTA standard 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 have a gas vent on top, which 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 being tilted.
    Finally, the APTA standard 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. Additionally, augmenting this requirement, FRA notes that the 
APTA emergency signage standard that FRA is incorporating by reference 
into this rule requires a minimum of 144 square-inches of HPPL material 
placed either on, or in the immediate vicinity of, side door exits that 
are intended to be used as emergency exits, to provide some 
illumination at the floor for passengers and crewmembers as they exit.
    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 technologies:

     Solid-state lighting (SSL)--most commonly known as light 
emitting diodes (LEDs); and
     Super capacitors--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 light 
technologies to produce illumination without the use of legacy methods 
such as incandescent filaments or excited gases in glass containers. 
Compared with other lighting technologies, the SSL devices are much 
smaller, are able to withstand hundreds or thousands of times as much 
shock forces, and have much longer service lives. LED and other SSL 
devices use approximately 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 25 to 90 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. Use of LEDs also 
makes it easier to shape the light output to concentrate it in areas 
such as an aisle or at door locations and permits meeting the 
illumination requirements with less power than would be needed if LEDs 
were omnidirectional (like incandescent or fluorescent lamps).
    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. Super capacitors 
are rated for 500,000 charge-discharge cycles, and their service lives 
are expected to extend to at least ten years. Currently, commercial 
super capacitors 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 traditional emergency lighting systems currently 
in use. As discussed in sections VII.D through F, below, the brightness 
of newer photoluminescent materials that 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 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, MD, 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 than April 20, 1996. In 
an effort to respond to this requirement as effectively as possible in 
the timeframe provided, affected railroads that had not done so began 
to install photoluminescent emergency exit markings to mark emergency 
window exits, as well as doors intended for emergency egress, using 
photoluminescent materials that were available at the time for this 
purpose.
    On May 4, 1998, FRA issued the PTEP final rule that required 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 required that emergency

[[Page 71797]]

window exits be conspicuously marked with luminescent material, and 
that instructions for their use be provided as well. See 63 FR 24630. 
Similarly, the rule required that doors and windows intended for 
emergency access by emergency responders for extrication of passengers 
also be marked with retroreflective material and instructions for their 
use posted.
    Notably, the 1998 PTEP rule did not specify criteria for minimum 
luminance levels, letter size, or sign color. Yet, FRA 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, could 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 for only 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 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 the American Society for Testing and Materials 
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 
concerning sign size, color, and contrast, etc., before the standard 
would be incorporated by reference by FRA. See 63 FR 6886.
    Accordingly, APTA further 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 VII.F, below). 
Substantively, the revised APTA emergency signage standard required 
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 
passenger rail car or train. The standard also required that each car 
have exterior signage to assist emergency responders in more readily 
locating and utilizing emergency access points during an emergency 
situation warranting immediate passenger rail car or train evacuation. 
To ensure visibility to passengers, signs used to mark the location of 
vestibule doors were required to meet the brightness and duration 
performance requirements for photoluminescent material, as specified in 
the APTA standard.
    Although the APTA emergency signage standard does not address 
emergency communications system signage, the Task Force recommended 
applying certain criteria for photoluminescent marking specified in 
that standard to intercom systems, as further described in Section 
VII.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 location. In addition, the APTA standard is more detailed 
than the relevant FRA requirements that have previously been specified 
in this part, for example addressing minimum letter sizes for doors and 
emergency window exits and including 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. Accordingly, an 
individual railroad would have the responsibility to design, install, 
and maintain an emergency signage system that is compatible with its 
internal safety policies for emergency evacuation, while complying with 
the performance criteria specified in this APTA standard.
    The Task Force previously recommended that FRA adopt the specific 
retroreflective material criteria contained in the APTA emergency 
signage standard related to rescue access windows and doors intended 
for access by emergency responders. See Sec.  238.114 of the 2008 PTES 
rule, which added requirements for the installation of a minimum number 
of rescue access windows in specified locations on all passenger cars. 
Thus, in that rule, FRA added a definition of ``retroreflective 
material'' that incorporates by reference criteria from ASTM's Standard 
D 4956-07 for Type 1 Sheeting, which is consistent with 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 standard. 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 limited visibility when these accidents occurred 
caused confusion and contributed to 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 limited visibility, or when illumination from 
emergency lighting fixtures located at or near the ceiling are obscured 
by smoke, such LLEEPM (including exit signs) must remain discernible. 
Particularly when smoke is present, the most viable escape path is the 
more visible escape path, which is likely to be at or near the floor, 
towards where occupants are forced to lower themselves (where the 
pathway markings are located) to avoid inhaling the smoke.
    The 1999 APTA LLEEPM standard required HPPL material to be 
installed on all new passenger rail cars. Such

[[Page 71798]]

markings are intended to provide a visible pathway for passenger rail 
car occupants to locate and reach emergency exits under conditions of 
limited visibility, even if the emergency lighting system fails. The 
standard includes requirements for marking aisles, stairways, and 
passageways to indicate the path to the primary exit for both existing 
and new cars, using either HPPL material for marking, or lighting 
having an independent power source with a duration of at least 90 
minutes. Certain revisions were made to the original LLEEPM standard, 
which consisted primarily of additional definitions, reorganization and 
revision of certain sections, and the addition of annexes used to 
evaluate the performance of HPPL material used for LLEEPM.
    In December 2006, with the participation of the Task Force, the 
Volpe Center conducted a series of emergency egress simulations at the 
WMATA training facility, which demonstrated that egress from a 
passenger rail car can be very challenging. Initially, some 
photoluminescent emergency exit sign materials commonly found in 
passenger rail cars and some HPPL sign and LLEEPM materials were placed 
in a single-level passenger rail car that was darkened to demonstrate 
the difference in performance between the two types of materials. Next, 
the car was filled with theatrical smoke, which quickly rose and filled 
most of the car, obscuring photoluminescent signs, including HPPL 
markings, except for door exit location markings located near the floor 
and LLEEPM. 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 LLEEPM system as guidance. The 
LLEEPM system was covered in one end (half) of the car to demonstrate 
the noticeable effectiveness of the LLEEPM system that remained visible 
in the other end (half) of the car, in terms of brightness and 
duration. Then, 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 LLEEPM system complements the emergency signage system by 
identifying all primary door exits with HPPL and complements the 
emergency lighting system by providing a visible path to emergency 
exits that is not dependent on a power source outside of the passenger 
compartment, so that all primary emergency exits in a passenger car can 
be identified from every seat in the car. The Task Force initially 
reviewed the 2002 version of the APTA LLEEPM standard and recommended 
that certain revisions be made to address the same type of issues 
related to photoluminescent material as in the emergency signage 
standard, as well as recommended other technical revisions for 
consistency with the emergency signage standard, to enable FRA to 
incorporate the standard by reference.

F. Photoluminescent Marking Materials

    As mentioned above, as a result of the NTSB's investigation of the 
February 1996 Silver Spring, MD, accident, the NTSB expressed concern 
that at least some of the passengers in the MARC train involved in the 
collision 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 brightness levels for many of the 
emergency exit signs and LLEEPM using zinc sulfide material, originally 
installed in response to EO 20, are low and the duration is short, and 
thus do not perform as well as 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 light is key to proper performance in terms of brightness 
and duration. Other factors that affect the ability of occupants to see 
and read signs and markings include the size of the letters and their 
distance from the sign or marking.
    Separately, and in conjunction with industry representatives, the 
Volpe Center conducted tests in various in-service passenger cars of 
different design and age by measuring illumination and luminance 
levels, and demonstrated that some of the photoluminescent markings 
were not as bright as they were intended to be. Photoluminescent signs 
and LLEEPM materials certified to be capable of achieving certain 
brightness 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 signs and photoluminescent LLEEPM materials, the 
condition of light diffusers, and the type of lamps used to provide the 
charging light were all causes for why either the zinc sulfide or the 
HPPL products were unable to charge sufficiently and thus achieve 
expected brightness levels.
    The Task Force considered the use of HPPL material to be an 
important improvement over the previous photoluminescent materials that 
were designed to less stringent criteria for duration and brightness, 
and also a cost-effective means of addressing concerns regarding the 
survivability of emergency lighting systems, particularly for older 
equipment in service. To develop a more effective photoluminescent 
standard that would address the Volpe Center findings, the Task Force 
developed HPPL material specifications with technical assistance from 
the Volpe Center, which APTA included in its 2007 revision of both the 
emergency signage standard and the LLEEPM standard. FRA notes that the 
Task Force revisions to the emergency signage and LLEEPM standards: (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 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, allow for lower 
luminance levels and in some cases the 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 
limited visibility when the emergency lighting system has failed (or 
when smoke conditions obscure overhead emergency lighting).

G. Emergency Communications

    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

[[Page 71799]]

panic and further injuries. According to the NTSB report (NTSB/RAR-97/
01, at p. 27):

    Although 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 help address such concerns, 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 25641. PA systems allow the train crew to keep 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 the passengers, 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 pertinent information to the train crew, such 
as injuries resulting from an accident, other forms of medical 
emergencies, or serious mechanical problems with the passenger rail 
car. The 2008 PTES final rule established emergency communication (PA 
and intercom) system requirements for Tier I passenger equipment and 
replaced the previous emergency communication system requirements in 
Sec.  238.437 for Tier II passenger equipment. See 73 FR 6370, 6389.
    When there is a disruption to the normal power supply to a car, 
having markings that remain conspicuous allow passengers to locate and 
use the intercom to communicate with the train crew. During the 
development of the 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 
indicating 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 a requirement for 
luminescent markings of intercom locations in the 2008 PTES final rule, 
and invited comment on whether the luminescent material should be HPPL 
material. 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. The 
APTA Passenger Rail Equipment Safety Standards (PRESS) Task Force had 
also indicated that they intended to revise then-APTA Standard SS-PS-
001-98 (re-designated as PR-PS-S-001-98), ``Standard for Passenger 
Railroad Emergency Communications,'' to include more specific 
requirements for marking emergency communication systems.
    The 2008 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 as 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 emergency communication 
system markings comply with the performance criteria for brightness and 
duration of HPPL material in the emergency signage standard. 
Accordingly, FRA believes that applying the luminescent marking 
requirements in the revised APTA emergency signage standard to intercom 
systems will further address the emergency communication concerns 
raised in the NTSB report.

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 Amtrak's Northeast Corridor 
between Washington and New York during the morning rush hour, stranding 
approximately 112 trains with tens of thousands of passengers on board. 
Part 239 has required that train crewmembers participate in a 
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 for that train, rather than the train 
crew.
    The Task Force recognized the importance of the participation in 
the debriefing and critique session of train crewmembers and other 
employees who actually have first-hand knowledge of the emergency that 
occurred. Accordingly, the Task Force reviewed the debriefing and 
critique requirements in Sec.  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 recommended to be provided to railroads by permitting 
participation in the required debriefing and critique sessions of the 
employees either by appearing in person or by the use of alternative 
methods. As such, FRA clarifies Sec.  239.105 to reflect this necessary 
participation.

V. Section-by-Section Analysis

    This section-by-section analysis explains the provisions included 
in the rule. A number of the issues and provisions involving this rule 
have been discussed and addressed in detail in the preamble, above. 
Accordingly, these preamble discussions should be considered in 
conjunction with those below and will be referenced as appropriate. 
Notably, as indicated above, there has been a change in the final rule 
text from the NPRM in relation to emergency lighting based on comments 
received from Metra.

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

Section 238.5 Definitions
    In this section, FRA is introducing a set of new definitions into 
the

[[Page 71800]]

regulation, as well as revising 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'' means the American Public Transportation Association, the 
present name of APTA.
    ``End-frame door'' means 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 
is added for use in the definition of a vestibule door to make clear 
that an end-frame door is not a vestibule door.
    ``Vestibule'' means an area of a passenger car that normally does 
not contain seating, is adjacent to a side door, and is used for 
passing from a seating area to a side exit door. Passageways located 
away from side door exits are not considered vestibules.
    ``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. This term is referenced in Sec.  238.112(f) as one type of door 
that is required to have removable panels or windows for emergency 
egress use in new passenger cars. Please note that Sec.  238.112 also 
applies to other interior doors intended for passage through a 
passenger car, and not only vestibule doors.
Section 238.112 Door Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Systems
    FRA revised this new section heading from the NPRM to make clear 
that the requirements of this section concern systems for door use 
during an emergency. FRA notes that this clarification will be 
particularly helpful in light of FRA's intent to propose enhancements 
to the requirements for passenger train exterior side door safety 
systems in the near future.
    This section consolidates certain existing door requirements that 
apply to both Tier I and Tier II passenger cars, adds new requirements 
related to removable panels or windows in vestibule and other interior 
doors, and clarifies 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. 
These door requirements were formerly located in Sec. Sec.  238.235 for 
Tier I equipment and 238.439 for Tier II equipment. Section 239.107 
also contained 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 emergency egress and rescue access system requirements that 
apply both to Tier I and Tier II passenger cars have been moved to this 
new Sec.  238.112. Notably, the new vestibule door requirements enhance 
passenger safety by requiring an additional means of access to the 
vestibule area from the passenger seating area, and vice versa.
    Paragraphs (a) through (c) contain the requirements formerly 
located in paragraphs Sec.  238.235(a) through (c), respectively. 
Paragraph (a), moved from former 238.235(a) and concerning manual 
override devices, is being modified slightly to remove the December 31, 
1999 compliance date. Having this date written in the rule is no longer 
necessary, as the scope of subpart B in which this section is located 
does not limit application of its requirements to equipment ordered on 
or after September 8, 2000, or placed in service for the first time on 
or after September 9, 2002, unless otherwise specified, as subpart C 
does. See Sec.  238.201(a). A manual override device allows a passenger 
during an emergency to open or unlock a passenger car door that has 
been closed or locked by the railroad for operational purposes. Without 
the manual override device, a key or other tool or implement is 
typically needed to open or unlock the door. By making the door easier 
to unlock, the manual override device expedites passenger egress during 
an emergency.
    A minor modification to paragraph (b) makes 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 (or 
bi-parting) exterior doors is considered a single door for purposes of 
this paragraph.
    Paragraphs (d) and (e) contain requirements for interior and 
exterior door exit markings and instructions, respectively, which were 
formerly contained in Sec. Sec.  238.235(d) and 239.107(a). Both 
paragraphs reference the requirements for marking and instructions for 
emergency egress and rescue access in new Sec.  238.125.
    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 other interior 
passageway door or the door pocket, may become deformed or otherwise 
inoperable during an emergency. The additional means of egress would be 
used in the event that the door cannot be opened, or it becomes 
difficult to retain the door in an open position, as in the case of a 
vestibule door 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 removable 
window facilitates passage through the car to the vestibule to exit the 
car from a side door exit or through the car to exit the car into an 
adjoining car, or both.
    Specifically, in addition to the requirements for removable panels 
or removable windows, paragraph (f)(1) requires a manual override 
device for a vestibule door or other interior passageway door if it is 
powered, so that occupants can open the door in the event power is lost 
and the door or its pocket is not deformed. Moving through the open 
door is, of course, the preferred means of passage; a removable panel 
or window is provided in the door as an alternative means of passage, 
should the manual override device not be able to open the door. As 
further described, below, paragraph (f)(2) contains requirements for 
the ease of operability, dimensions, and location of the removable 
panels or windows in doors. In addition, distinct requirements in 
paragraph (f)(3) apply to bi-parting doors; because such individual 
door panels or leaves are very narrow, they 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 apply to equipment ordered on or after January 28, 2014, or 
placed in service for the first time on or after January 29, 2018. 
Railroad representatives on the Task Force indicated that such a 4-year 
time period is consistent with the time between the placement of an 
order and delivery of the ordered equipment.
    This section makes clear that doors providing access to a control 
compartment are exempt from the requirement for removable panels or

[[Page 71801]]

windows. 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 are not required to do so.
    Paragraph (f)(2)(i) requires that each removable panel or removable 
window be designed to permit rapid and easy removal from both sides of 
the door without the use of a tool or other implement. For example, in 
the case of a vestibule door, rapid and easy removal is required from 
the vestibule side and the seating area side of the door. Access from 
both sides of the door 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 in the doors 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 in paragraph 
(f)(2)(i) 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 2008 PTES final rule, would satisfy the requirements 
for ease of operability. See 73 FR 6370.
    Paragraph (f)(2)(ii) requires that removal of the panel or window 
in the door 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 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 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.
    Paragraph (f)(2)(iii) requires that the removable panel or 
removable window in the door be located so that the lowest point of the 
opening is no higher than 18 inches from the floor. This requirement 
provides ease of use for passing through after removal of the panel or 
window. The opening should be located close to the floor so that car 
occupants can crawl through without undue difficulty or undue delay.
    Paragraph (f)(3) contains distinct requirements for bi-parting 
doors. Each powered, bi-parting vestibule door and any other interior, 
powered bi-parting door intended for passage through a passenger car 
must 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, which allows movement in 
one direction but locks it in the other, and a sprag. The retention 
mechanism is intended to expedite egress by holding the door panels in 
place once they are opened. The override mechanism provides a means to 
operate the doors in the event that power is lost. It must be located 
adjacent to the door leaf it controls and be designed and maintained so 
that a person can readily access and operate it from each side of the 
door without the use of any tool or other implement. Access from both 
sides of the door is consistent with the preferred means of car 
evacuation, which is to the next car, and not onto the right-of-way.
    Paragraph (f)(4) specifically contains requirements relating to the 
capabilities of manual override devices for vestibule doors and other 
interior doors intended for passage through a passenger car, including 
such doors that are bi-parting. See the discussion relating to manual 
override devices in paragraph (a).
    Paragraph (f)(5)(i) contains requirements for marking and operating 
instructions for removable panels and windows in vestibule and other 
interior passageway doors. Paragraph (f)(5)(ii) contains particular 
requirements for marking and providing operating instructions for door 
override devices and retention mechanisms in vestibule and other 
interior passageway doors that are bi-parting.
    To ensure that each removable panel or removable window in a door 
can be identified in conditions of limited visibility, the panel or 
window must be conspicuously and legibly marked with HPPL material on 
both sides of the vestibule or other interior passageway door in which 
it is installed, in accordance with section 5.4.2 of the APTA emergency 
signage standard that FRA is incorporating by reference in Sec.  
238.125. 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 removable window 
must also be provided on each side of the door. For example, in the 
case of a vestibule door, these instructions need to be provided on 
both the vestibule side and the seating area side of the door. Marking 
and instruction requirements also apply to bi-parting door manual 
override devices and retention mechanisms.
    Paragraph (f)(6) contains requirements for testing a representative 
sample of door removable panels and windows, manual override devices, 
and door retention mechanisms to determine that they operate as 
intended. In particular, FRA believes that it is important to inspect, 
maintain, and repair manual vestibule and other interior passageway 
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 is 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 removable windows located 
in vestibule doors and other interior passageway doors, including bi-
parting doors, separate tests are needed. Following each test, 
defective systems must be repaired as appropriate in accordance with 
the requirements of this part.
Section 238.113 Emergency Window Exits
    Requirements in parts 223 and 239 for the marking of emergency 
exits, as well as in part 238 for the marking of emergency 
communications transmission points, have specified 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 Sec.  238.5. However, Sec.  238.113 has not specified 
minimum requirements for the initial levels of brightness of the 
markings (i.e., luminance levels) or how long the markings must 
maintain the same or reduced levels of brightness.
    Accordingly, paragraph (d) of this section is amended to require 
markings, as well as instructions, for emergency

[[Page 71802]]

window exits to comply with the APTA emergency signage standard that 
FRA is incorporating by reference in Sec.  238.125. The inspection 
requirement related to marking of emergency window exits formerly 
contained in Sec.  239.107(b) is also added as paragraph (e) of this 
section. By helping to ensure that the markings appear conspicuous and 
legible, FRA believes that these changes enhance the capability and 
benefit of the markings in guiding passenger train occupants to locate 
and operate emergency window exits.
    Specifically, as further discussed below, in Sec.  238.125 FRA is 
incorporating by reference APTA Standard PR-PS-S-002-98 (previously SS-
PS-002-98), Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/Access 
of Passenger Rail Equipment.'' The APTA standard establishes specific 
criteria for luminescent material, including how bright the material 
must be and for how long. 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.
    As noted above, FRA is moving the emergency window exit testing 
requirements formerly contained in Sec.  239.107(b) 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 intended for egress be rendered 
inoperable or inaccessible. Emergency windows also provide an 
additional means of egress in life-threatening situations requiring 
very rapid exit, such as an on-board fire 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 20 and is being carried 
forward from Sec.  239.107 into this new paragraph.
Section 238.114 Rescue Access Windows
    This section includes requirements for the location and 
retroreflective marking of rescue access windows. Paragraph (d) of this 
section continues to require that retroreflective material be used to 
mark rescue access windows. However, as further discussed below, in 
Sec.  238.125 FRA is incorporating by reference APTA Standard PR-PS-S-
002-98 (previously SS-PS-002-98), Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency 
Signage for Egress/Access of Passenger Rail Equipment.'' FRA believes 
that adopting the APTA standard enhances the effectiveness of the 
retroreflectivity requirements in identifying rescue access locations 
for emergency responders, taking into consideration the environment in 
which passenger trains operate. 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 any exterior doors are blocked.
    The same APTA emergency signage standard discussed previously 
related to emergency window exit marking contains detailed criteria for 
marking rescue access windows, including the use of certain 
retroreflective material. FRA notes that, consistent with this 
standard, in the 2008 PTES final rule it added the definition of 
``retroreflective material'' for marking doors, windows, and roof 
locations intended for rescue access. See Sec.  238.5; 73 FR 6370, 
6380. As used in this rule, ``retroreflective material'' means a 
material that is capable of reflecting light rays back to the light 
source and that conforms to the specifications for Type I Sheeting, as 
specified in ASTM International's (ASTM) Standard D 4956-07, ``Standard 
Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control.'' ASTM 
International defines Type I Sheeting as ``medium-intensity 
retroreflective sheeting referred to as `engineering grade' and 
typically enclosed lens glass-bead sheeting,'' and FRA has previously 
incorporated the ASTM definition by reference. FRA is now incorporating 
by reference the APTA emergency signage standard, and notes that the 
standard also requires that the retroreflective material be tested 
according to ASTM's Standard E 810-03, ``Standard Test Method for 
Coefficient of Retroreflective Sheeting Utilizing the Coplanar 
Geometry.'' Further, the APTA standard provides that, in order to 
maintain the optimum retroreflective properties of the base material, 
any retroreflective markings that have ink or pigment applied shall 
utilize a translucent or semi-translucent ink, as per the 
manufacturer's instructions. In addition, a clear coat that protects 
against ultra-violet light may be added to prevent fading. Finally, 
retroreflectivity requirements shall be met if protective coatings or 
other materials for the enhancement of sign durability are used. Please 
see section 6 of the APTA emergency signage standard for design 
requirements addressing rescue access information for emergency 
responders.
Section 238.115 Emergency Lighting
    This section formerly contained requirements for emergency lighting 
in passenger cars only ordered on or after September 8, 2000, or placed 
in service for the first time on or after September 9, 2002. These 
requirements continue to apply to this equipment. Yet, to enhance the 
performance of emergency lighting in passenger cars, FRA is amending 
this section to expand its application to all passenger cars, both new 
and existing, and is also modifying the emergency lighting 
requirements. Specifically, this section now incorporates by reference 
APTA Standard PR-E-S-013-99 (previously SS-E-013-99), Rev. 1, 
``Standard for Emergency Lighting Design for Passenger Cars.'' All 
passenger cars must comply with this standard by January 1, 2017, or an 
alternative standard providing at least an equivalent level of safety 
if approved by FRA pursuant to Sec.  238.21. Moreover, in advance of 
the January 1, 2017 compliance deadline, this section requires that by 
December 31, 2015, each railroad must ensure that 70% of its passenger 
cars comply. Incorporating and phasing-in this APTA emergency lighting 
standard for all passenger cars not only enhances the standards for new 
passenger cars but also establishes standards for passenger cars both 
ordered before September 8, 2000, and placed in service before 
September 9, 2002, i.e., passenger cars not previously subject to this 
section.
    This section continues to require minimum emergency illumination 
levels at doors, aisles, and passageways. In addition to these 
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.
    This section has required 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 battery has also been considered an 
acceptable ``back-up power system.'' However, a traditional main 
battery is

[[Page 71803]]

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, which would render the emergency lighting system 
inoperable, as occurred in the MARC train cab car that was involved in 
the 1996 accident in Silver Spring, MD. Accordingly, for equipment 
ordered on or after April 7, 2008, or first placed in service on or 
after January 1, 2012, the APTA emergency 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.
    FRA notes that Sec.  238.307 requires railroads to perform periodic 
mechanical inspections of passenger equipment, including passenger 
cars. Specifically, that section requires the inspection of interior 
and exterior mechanical components not less frequently than every 184 
days. As part of this inspection, railroads have been required to 
verify that all emergency lighting systems are in place and operational 
as specified in this Sec.  238.115. The APTA emergency lighting 
standard contains more detailed periodic inspection and maintenance 
requirements, including the conduct of periodic tests to confirm the 
minimum illumination levels and duration no less frequently than every 
eight years on a representative sample of cars or areas. However, if 
the first two cars or areas tested exceed the minimum illumination 
levels by a factor of 4 or greater, no further testing is required of 
that particular representative sample until the next required periodic 
test eight years later, according to the APTA emergency lighting 
standard. 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 the 
lighting circuit can be manually turned off or is equipped with 
controllers that automatically prevent unnecessary battery discharge, 
or other measures are taken to prevent routine discharge (e.g., 
maintaining equipment on wayside power or head-end power). If so 
equipped, the APTA standard requires that the battery-replacement 
interval be according to the 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.
    FRA has reviewed the APTA emergency lighting standard it is 
incorporating by reference and has determined that the standard 
contains 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 occupants 
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 is phasing in the requirements of 
this section, as discussed above.
Section 238.121 Emergency Communications
    This section contains requirements for PA and intercom systems so 
that passengers and train crewmembers may communicate with each other 
in an emergency.
    FRA is clarifying the requirements in paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section, which applies to new Tier I and all Tier II passenger cars. 
FRA is inserting the word ``after'' directly before the date ``April 1, 
2010.'' The previous omission of the word ``after'' in this paragraph 
was a typographical error, which was evident from the discussion of 
this provision in the 2008 PTES final rule. See 73 FR 6389. Insertion 
of ``after'' in the rule text makes clear that the requirements of this 
paragraph (a)(2) apply 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--not only on April 1, 2010, as well as to all Tier II 
passenger cars. This clarification does not result in substantive 
change to the requirements contained in this section.
    In addition, FRA is amending paragraph (b)(2) of this section, 
which contains requirements for marking the location of each intercom 
intended for passenger use and providing operating instructions. 
Specifically, prior to January 28, 2016, this paragraph continues to 
require 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. Paragraph (b)(2)(i). A new 
provision, paragraph (b)(2)(ii), now provides that on or after January 
28, 2016, each intercom intended for passenger use shall be marked in 
accordance with section 5.4.2 of the APTA emergency signage standard. 
Notably, the APTA standard for emergency signage incorporated into this 
rule includes specific requirements for the use of luminescent marking 
materials, thereby enhancing the former requirements in this paragraph 
for luminescent material at intercom locations. Legible and 
understandable operating instructions shall also continue to be posted 
at or near each such intercom to facilitate passenger use.
    FRA believes that the compliance dates in paragraph (b)(2) are 
consistent with the Task Force's intent to allow for sufficient 
implementation time to transition to the newer requirements. 
Accordingly, photoluminescent markings that were installed in 
accordance with the 2008 PTES final rule continue to remain in 
compliance for the first two years following the effective date of this 
rule, as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(i). The requirements in paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) then become applicable to both Tier I and Tier II passenger 
equipment two years from the effective date of this final rule.
    Paragraph (c) of this section continues to require that PA and 
intercom systems on all new Tier I passenger rail cars, as explained 
below, and all Tier II passenger cars have back-up power for

[[Page 71804]]

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 making 
clarifies the applicability of this paragraph, which was originally 
added by the 2008 PTES final rule without any express applicability 
dates. The back-up power requirements have the same applicability dates 
as those for intercom systems in the PTES final rule. That is, 
paragraph (c) applies to each Tier I passenger rail 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 removes any 
confusion that may arise.
Section 238.123 Emergency Roof Access
    This section contains emergency roof access requirements for Tier I 
and Tier II passenger cars ordered on or after April 1, 2009, or placed 
in service for the first time on or after April 1, 2011. Requirements 
for Tier II power cars and existing Tier II passenger cars are found in 
Sec.  238.441.
    Paragraph (e) of this section contains specific requirements for 
marking, and providing instructions for, emergency roof access 
locations. This rule amends paragraph (e) to reference the APTA 
emergency signage standard in new Sec.  238.125 for marking emergency 
roof access locations and providing instructions for their use. 
Paragraph (e) of this section formerly required that each emergency 
roof access location be conspicuously marked with retroreflective 
material as defined in Sec.  238.5 and be of contrasting color, and 
that legible and understandable instructions be provided near each 
emergency roof access location. Section 6 of the APTA emergency signage 
standard contains design requirements for rescue access information for 
emergency responders, and section 6.1.3 of the standard specifically 
addresses emergency roof access locations. The APTA standard is more 
comprehensive than the former requirements in paragraph (e) of this 
section.
    The use of retroreflective material is intended to enable emergency 
responders to quickly identify emergency roof access locations by 
shining a light directly onto the car roof, and the instructions are 
intended to promote the proper use of the emergency roof access feature 
by emergency responders. To maximize the potential use of the required 
retroreflective material, this paragraph (e) now references the 
requirements of Sec.  238.125, which incorporates by reference APTA's 
emergency signage standard for retroreflective material. Please see the 
discussion in Sec.  238.114 of retroreflective material requirements in 
the APTA emergency signage standard. Overall, FRA believes that 
compliance with the APTA emergency signage standard will help ensure 
that the retroreflective material markings for emergency roof access 
are conspicuous and that the instructions are legible, thereby 
facilitating emergency responder access to passenger cars.
Section 238.125 Markings and Instructions for Emergency Egress and 
Rescue Access
    To enhance the requirements for markings and instructions for 
passenger car emergency egress and rescue access, FRA is adding a new 
section that incorporates by reference APTA Standard PR-PS-S-002-98 
(previously SS-PS-002-98), Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency Signage for 
Egress/Access of Passenger Rail Equipment,'' October 2007. This new 
section also permits use of an alternative standard providing at least 
an equivalent level of safety if approved by FRA pursuant to Sec.  
238.21. FRA notes that it intends the term ``markings'' to encompass 
the term ``emergency signage,'' as an emergency sign is a type of 
marking.
    Generally, the APTA emergency signage standard provides 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 as necessary from the rail car or train during 
an emergency situation. The APTA standard also addresses exterior 
emergency signage to assist emergency responders in locating and 
operating features and systems to access the rail equipment.
    FRA and passenger railroads recognize that, in the majority of 
emergency situations, the safest place for passengers and crewmembers 
is typically 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. Staying on the train avoids or 
minimizes the hazards inherent in evacuating passengers onto the 
railroad right-of-way. The APTA emergency signage standard was designed 
to achieve the desired goal of facilitating passenger and crew egress 
from potentially life-threatening situations in passenger rail cars, as 
well as offer flexibility in application.
    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 and rescue access, 
while complying with the performance criteria specified in the APTA 
emergency signage standard. The APTA standard is intended to increase 
the overall effectiveness of the emergency signage by specifying 
requirements related to signage that include: recognition, design, 
location, size, color and contrast, and materials. Incorporation of the 
more detailed APTA standard's requirements helps ensure that emergency 
exits are more easily identified and operated by passengers and train 
crewmembers to evacuate a passenger car during an emergency and also 
that rescue access systems are more easily identified and used by 
emergency responders.
    As noted above, 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, railroads 
have been 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 emergency signage standard specifies more detailed periodic 
inspection and maintenance related to emergency egress and rescue 
access signage. Notably, as with the APTA LLEEPM standard, discussed 
below, the APTA emergency signage standard provides that railroads 
verify that all emergency signage system components function as 
intended. In particular, section 10.2.1.2 of the APTA emergency signage 
standard addresses photoluminescent (including HPPL) systems in 
passenger rail cars and provides that passenger railroads:
     Conduct tests and inspections in conformance with APTA 
standard PR-IM-S-005-98 (previously SS-I&M-005-98), Rev. 2, ``Standard 
for Passenger Compartment Periodic Inspection and Maintenance,'' 
September 2003, a copy of which has been placed in the public docket 
for this rulemaking;
     Conduct periodic tests and inspections to verify that all 
emergency signage system components, including power sources, function 
as intended; 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

[[Page 71805]]

later than 8 years after a car has been placed in service for the first 
time, for only the following components:
    1. HPPL signs/markings placed in areas designed or maintained with 
normal light levels of less than 5 foot candles; and
    1. Grandfathered PL materials, where the sign/marking is placed in 
an area designed or maintained with normal light levels of less than 10 
foot candles.
    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 set forth in 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.
    FRA has reviewed the APTA emergency signage standard it is 
incorporating by reference and has determined that the standard 
contains appropriate specifications for emergency signage and markings 
for egress and access so that passenger car occupants may identify and 
operate emergency exits and emergency responders may identify and use 
rescue access features. FRA believes that compliance with the APTA 
standard identified in this section ensures effective use of signage 
and markings for emergency egress and rescue access.
    FRA expects that almost all affected railroads are already in 
compliance with the APTA emergency signage standard, while some 
railroads, including railroads that are not members of APTA, are not 
currently in compliance. To allow railroads that are not currently in 
compliance with the APTA standard sufficient time to get into 
compliance, this section is not applicable until one year from the 
effective date of this final rule. Consequently, to ensure continued 
application of FRA's existing signage and marking requirements until 
this section is applicable, in each separate section in which this 
section is referenced applicability dates have been inserted that 
conform with the applicability date for this section. FRA's existing 
signage and marking requirements continue to apply in this interim 
period.
Section 238.127 Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking
    To facilitate passenger car evacuation, particularly under 
conditions of limited visibility, FRA is adding this new section that 
incorporates by reference APTA's LLEEPM standard: PR-PS-S-004-99 
(previously SS-PS-004-99), Rev. 2, ``Standard for Low-Location Exit 
Path Marking,'' October 2007. This section also permits the 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 LLEEPM standard was developed to establish 
minimum requirements for LLEEPM 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 limited 
visibility when the emergency lighting system has failed or when smoke 
conditions obscure overhead emergency lighting. The APTA standard 
requires that each passenger rail car have an LLEEPM 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 provide directional guidance to passengers to 
exit an affected car to the adjacent car (or, at the option of the 
railroad, exit off the train). The LLEEPM system, by virtue of its 
location in or near the rail car floor, is intended to assist 
passengers and train crewmembers in identifying the path to exit a rail 
car in an emergency under conditions of darkness and especially smoke.
    The requirement for an LLEEPM system is also intended to complement 
the emergency signage that has been required by FRA regulation and 
thereby increase the overall effectiveness of such signage systems to 
enable passengers and train crewmembers to locate, reach, and operate 
emergency exits under a greater range of emergency situations, 
particularly life-threatening circumstances involving smoke. Much like 
the APTA emergency signage standard, the APTA LLEEPM standard specifies 
requirements related to the selection of the physical characteristics, 
informational content, and placement of LLEEPM systems for installation 
within passenger rail cars to provide consistent identification of both 
primary and, under certain conditions, secondary exits, as well as the 
path(s) to follow to reach such exits.
    As noted above, 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, railroads 
have been required to verify that all vestibule steps are illuminated. 
See Sec.  238.305(c)(9). The APTA LLEEPM standard specifies additional 
periodic inspection and maintenance related to LLEEPM signage and 
markings. Notably, section 9.2 of the APTA LLEEPM standard requires 
railroads to conduct periodic inspections and tests to verify that all 
LLEEPM system components, including power sources, function as 
intended. See section 9.2. Like the APTA emergency signage standard, 
the LLEEPM standard also requires railroads to test a representative 
sample of passenger rail cars or areas using a statistically-valid, 
documented sampling method.
    FRA has reviewed the APTA LLEEPM standard it is incorporating in 
this rule and has determined that the standard contains appropriate 
specifications for LLEEPM systems. FRA believes that compliance with 
the APTA standard identified in this section helps 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 LLEEPM standard, while some railroads, 
including railroads that are not members of APTA, are not currently in 
compliance. To allow railroads that are not currently in compliance 
with the APTA standard sufficient time to get into compliance, this 
section is not applicable until one year from the effective date of 
this final rule.
Section 238.235 Doors
    FRA has removed Sec.  238.235 and moved the requirements of this 
section to new Sec.  238.112, for user convenience and to consolidate 
the requirements of this part for conciseness. Section 238.235 
principally contained requirements for exterior side doors in passenger 
cars and features capable of opening the doors to exit or access the 
cars in an emergency situation. The safety requirements are unchanged. 
Section 238.112 consolidates all door emergency egress and rescue 
access system requirements into one section 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 have been moved to new 
Sec.  238.112, no requirements remain in Sec.  238.235, and it is 
reserved for future use.
Section 238.303 Exterior Calendar Day Mechanical Inspection of 
Passenger Equipment
    This section contains the requirements related to the performance 
of exterior mechanical inspections of each passenger car (i.e., 
passenger coach, MU locomotive, and cab car) and each unpowered vehicle 
used in a passenger train each calendar day that the equipment is 
placed in service. FRA is revising paragraph (e)(18) of this section 
only to update the cross

[[Page 71806]]

reference to the marking requirements for door emergency egress and 
rescue access systems from former Sec.  239.107(a) to new Sec.  
238.112. The final rule consolidates door emergency egress and rescue 
access system requirements into new Sec.  238.112, as discussed above. 
As part of this consolidation, requirements to mark these systems have 
been moved from former Sec.  239.107(a) to new Sec.  238.112, which in 
turn references new Sec.  238.125, discussed above. Paragraph (e)(18) 
has been updated accordingly as a conforming change; no other change is 
intended.
Section 238.305 Interior Calendar Day Mechanical Inspection of 
Passenger Cars
    This section contains the requirements related to the performance 
of interior mechanical inspections of passenger cars each calendar day 
that the cars are placed in service. FRA is clarifying paragraph (a) of 
this section; adding new paragraphs (c)(11) and (13) to address the 
inspection of LLEEPM systems, as well as the inspection of removable 
panels and windows in vestibule doors and certain other interior 
passageway doors; and amending paragraph (d) to reference new paragraph 
(c)(11).
    Paragraph (a) sets forth the general requirement for passenger car 
interior calendar day mechanical inspections and formerly referenced 
paragraph (d) of this section as providing an exception to the general 
requirement for long-distance intercity passenger trains that have been 
delayed en route. This cross-reference to paragraph (d) was in error 
and was caused by a previous re-designation of the original paragraph 
(d) that should have been updated in paragraph (a). See 65 FR 41308. As 
previously re-designated, paragraph (e) of this section contains the 
exception. Accordingly, FRA is correcting the reference in paragraph 
(a) from paragraph (d) to paragraph (e).
    Paragraph (c) of this section identifies the various components 
that require visual inspection as part of the interior calendar day 
mechanical inspection. Inspection, testing, and maintenance of 
emergency systems helps 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. In turn, this information helps provide 
for more effective and safe resolution of emergency situations.
    FRA is adding two new paragraphs to paragraph (c). First, paragraph 
(c)(11) is added to require the daily inspection of LLEEPM systems to 
ensure that they are in place and conspicuous. LLEEPM systems are 
required in new Sec.  238.127. Nonetheless, FRA has amended paragraph 
(d) of this section to allow flexibility for safely operating a 
passenger car in service with a noncompliant LLEEPM system found during 
the car's interior calendar day mechanical inspection until the next 
required daily inspection, so as not to unduly disrupt normal passenger 
operations.
    Paragraph (c)(13) is also added to ensure 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. Paragraph (c)(13) affords special 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. Thus, a passenger car with an inoperative or 
nonfunctioning removable panel or removable window in a vestibule door 
or other interior passageway door is permitted to remain in passenger 
service after the noncompliant condition is discovered 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. At that time, the 
removable panel or removable window in the door must be repaired, or 
the car must be removed from service.
Section 238.307 Periodic Mechanical Inspection of Passenger Cars and 
Unpowered Vehicles Used in Passenger Trains
    This section contains the requirements related to the performance 
of periodic mechanical inspections of all passenger cars and all 
unpowered vehicles used in a passenger train. Paragraph (c) of this 
section specifically identifies interior and exterior mechanical 
components that are required to be inspected not less frequently than 
every 184 days. FRA is modifying paragraph (c)(4) of this section to 
add requirements for inspecting and testing a representative sample of 
door removable panels and windows, manual override devices, and 
retention mechanisms, in accordance with Sec.  238.112. (Please note 
that existing paragraph (d)(1) of this section contains a separate 
requirement to inspect manual door releases not less frequently than 
every 368 days, to determine that all manual door releases operate as 
intended.) FRA is also relocating the requirement for inspecting and 
repairing emergency window exits from Sec.  239.107 to this paragraph. 
In this regard, FRA continues 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 formerly required by Sec.  239.107(c). In particular, FRA is 
concerned that sufficient records be kept of periodic emergency window 
exit testing, which FRA is moving from Sec.  239.107(b) to Sec.  
238.113(e). Further, FRA is modifying paragraph (c)(5) of this section 
to add requirements for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of 
LLEEPM systems, as required by Sec.  238.127, to ensure that they are 
operational.
    The inspection, testing, and maintenance of emergency systems help 
to ensure that these systems are available for use in the event of an 
emergency. This allows for more effective and safe resolutions of 
emergency situations.
Section 238.311 Single Car Test
    In the NPRM, FRA had proposed to amend this section to update the 
name of APTA, ``American Public Transportation Association,'' and its 
address, 1666 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. However, FRA has 
decided not to amend this section at this time. FRA's changes would 
have been mere technical corrections. Moreover, this section does not 
address passenger train emergency systems, which are the focus of this 
rulemaking, but rather the testing of passenger brake equipment. Any 
revision to this section will be addressed in a separate rulemaking 
proceeding.
Section 238.439 Doors
    This section has contained the requirements for door safety systems 
for Tier II passenger cars. As noted, FRA is consolidating the 
requirements of this section applicable to both Tier I and Tier II 
passenger cars, together with those in its former Tier I counterpart 
(former Sec.  238.235), and restating them in a single, new section: 
Sec.  238.112. The requirements that are unique to Tier II passenger 
equipment remain in this section.
    Specifically, FRA is removing former paragraphs (a), (b), (e), and 
(g) of this section, which are now addressed by the requirements of new 
Sec.  238.112. The remaining paragraphs, former paragraphs (c), (d), 
and (f) of this

[[Page 71807]]

section, are re-designated as paragraphs (a) through (c), respectively. 
Former paragraphs (c) and (d) have no counterpart in the Tier I 
equipment requirements and remain in this section. Former paragraph 
(f), re-designated as paragraph (c), is revised to limit its 
applicability effectively to existing Tier II passenger cars.
    Paragraph (a) of this section, formerly paragraph (c), now 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 (b) of this section, formerly paragraph (d), requires 
that powered, exterior side doors be connected to an emergency back-up 
power system. Both paragraphs are otherwise unchanged.
    Paragraph (c) of this section, formerly paragraph (f), requires 
passenger compartment end doors to be equipped with a kick-out panel, 
pop-out window, or other similar 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. As revised, this paragraph's 
applicability is limited to Tier II passenger cars both ordered prior 
to the effective of this final rule and placed in service within four 
years after the effective date of this final rule. To date, no kick-out 
panel, pop-out window, or other similar means of emergency egress has 
been placed in a Tier II passenger car, on the basis that the end 
compartment doors, as designed, pose a negligible probability of 
failure due to car body distortion following a collision or derailment. 
All new Tier II passenger cars are now subject to the more 
comprehensive requirement in new Sec.  238.112 related to equipping 
vestibule doors and other interior doors intended for passage through a 
passenger car with a removable panel or removable window.
Section 238.441 Emergency Roof Access
    This section contains emergency roof access requirements for Tier 
II passenger cars and Tier II power cars. Please see the 2008 PTES 
final rule for a full discussion of the requirements of this section. 
73 FR 6395-6396.
    Specifically, paragraph (a) of this section contains requirements 
for marking, and providing instructions for, emergency roof access 
locations in Tier II passenger cars and Tier II power cars ordered 
prior to April 1, 2009, and placed in service prior to April 1, 2011. 
This rule amends paragraph (a) to reference the APTA emergency signage 
standard in new Sec.  238.125 for marking emergency roof access 
locations and providing instructions for their use. Please see Sec.  
238.125 for a discussion of the APTA emergency signage standard 
relating to the marking of emergency roof access locations. Each 
emergency roof access location continues to be required to be 
conspicuously marked with retroreflective material of contrasting 
color, and legible and understandable instructions must continue to be 
provided near the emergency roof access location. To enhance the 
potential use of the required retroreflective material, this paragraph 
now references the requirements of Sec.  238.125, which incorporates by 
reference APTA's emergency signage standard for retroreflective 
material. FRA believes that compliance with the APTA standard 
identified in Sec.  238.125 will ensure that retroreflective material 
markings for emergency roof access are conspicuous and that the 
instructions are legible, thereby facilitating emergency responder 
access to passenger cars.
    Paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section apply, respectively, to Tier 
II passenger cars and Tier II power cars ordered on or after April 1, 
2009, or placed in service for the first time on or after April 1, 
2011. Paragraph (b) references the requirements in Sec.  238.123 in 
full, and paragraph (c) references the marking and instruction 
requirements in Sec.  238.123. Accordingly, the marking and instruction 
requirements in Sec.  238.125 apply to the Tier II passenger equipment 
covered by paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, by the reference to 
Sec.  238.125 that is now provided in Sec.  238.123.
Appendix A to Part 238--Schedule of Civil Penalties
    This appendix contains a schedule of civil penalties for use in 
connection with this part. 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, FRA invited 
comment on the penalty schedule; however, no comments were received.
    Accordingly, FRA is amending the penalty schedule to reflect the 
addition of the following sections to this part 238: Sec.  238.112, 
Door emergency egress and rescue access systems; Sec.  238.125, Marking 
and instructions for emergency egress and rescue access; and Sec.  
238.127, Low-location emergency exit path marking. FRA is also removing 
and reserving the entry for Sec.  238.235, whose requirements have been 
integrated into Sec.  238.112.

B. Amendments to Part 239, Subpart B

Section 239.105 Debriefing and Critique
    FRA is clarifying the debriefing and critique requirements in this 
section by expressly requiring train crew participation in debriefing 
and critique sessions. This section has required a debriefing and 
critique session after each passenger train emergency situation or 
full-scale simulation to evaluate the effectiveness of the railroad's 
emergency preparedness plan. The railroad is then required to improve 
or amend its plan, or both, as appropriate, in accordance with the 
information developed. 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 session is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the 
emergency preparedness plan, and FRA is clarifying this requirement to 
reflect this necessary participation.
    The rule now specifies 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 debriefing and critique session. The rule also makes 
clear the flexibility that exists for employees to participate in these 
sessions by one or more of the following means: in person; offsite via 
teleconference; or in writing, by a statement responding to questions 
provided prior to the session, and by responding to any follow-up 
questions. FRA believes that these clarifications will help to ensure 
that the debriefing and critique sessions provide meaningful 
information for railroads to use in furthering their emergency 
preparedness planning efforts.
Section 239.107 Emergency Exits
    FRA is removing Sec.  239.107 and moving the requirements formerly 
contained in this section into Sec. Sec.  238.112 and 238.307. 
Requirements formerly contained in Sec.  239.107 related to doors have 
been moved to Sec.  238.112. Requirements formerly contained in Sec.  
239.107 and related to windows have been moved to Sec.  238.307. FRA 
believes that the consolidation of these requirements makes the 
regulation more user-friendly, which helps facilitate compliance with 
its requirements. FRA

[[Page 71808]]

has not made substantive changes to the requirements formerly contained 
in this section in moving them to these other sections. Of course, FRA 
notes that it has amended the requirements for emergency exits as 
discussed in this rule.
Appendix A to Part 239--Schedule of Civil Penalties
    This appendix contains a schedule of civil penalties for use in 
connection with this part. 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, FRA invited 
comment on the penalty schedule; however, no comments were received.
    Accordingly, FRA has revised the schedule of civil penalties in 
issuing this rule to reflect revisions made to this part 239. 
Specifically, FRA is removing and reserving the entry for Sec.  
239.107, whose requirements have been integrated into new Sec.  238.112 
and into Sec.  238.307.

VI. Regulatory Impact and Notices

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

    This final 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 final 
rule. As part of the Regulatory Evaluation, FRA has assessed 
quantitative estimates of the cost streams expected to result from the 
implementation of this rule. For the 20-year period analyzed, the 
estimated quantified costs imposed on industry total $22.7 million with 
a present value (PV, 7 percent) of $13.1 million. In particular, FRA 
considered the industry costs associated with complying with the three 
APTA passenger train emergency systems standards incorporated by 
reference in this rule, installation of removable panels or windows in 
single-panel vestibule doors of new passenger cars, requirements for 
bi-parting vestibule doors, and inspection, testing, and maintenance of 
the emergency systems.
    In analyzing the final rule, FRA has applied updated ``Guidance on 
the Economic Value of a Statistical Life in US Department of 
Transportation Analyses,'' March 2013. This policy updates the Value of 
a Statistical Life (VSL) from $6.2 million to $9.1 million and revises 
guidance used to compute benefits based on injury and fatality 
avoidance in each year of the analysis based on forecasts from the 
Congressional Budget Office of a 1.07 percent annual growth rate in 
median real wages over the next 30 years (2013-2043). FRA also adjusted 
wage-based labor costs in each year of the analysis accordingly. Real 
wages represent the purchasing power of nominal wages. Non-wage inputs 
are not impacted. The cost and benefit drivers for this analysis are 
labor costs and avoided casualties, both of which in turn depend on 
wage rates.
    FRA believes that $13.1 million is the best estimate of regulatory 
cost. For more details on the costing of this rule, 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 rule.

                       20-Year Cost for Final Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Door Removable Panels or Windows, and Bi-Parting Doors..      $4,564,599
Emergency Lighting......................................       1,845,309
Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Marking and                 4,845,853
 Instructions...........................................
Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Markings...............       1,378,352
Debriefing and Critique.................................             N/A
Inspection, Testing, and Recordkeeping (APTA Standards).          44,750
                                                         ---------------
  Total.................................................      13,074,863
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 final rule are, and provided a break-even 
analysis. This rulemaking is expected to improve railroad safety by 
promoting the safe resolution of emergency situations involving 
passenger trains, including the 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 and 
rescue access by emergency response personnel after an accident or 
other emergency. This corresponds to a reduction of casualties 
resulting from collisions, derailments, and other emergency situations. 
FRA believes the value of the anticipated safety benefits justify the 
cost of implementing the rule.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 13272

    To ensure potential impacts of rules on small entities are properly 
considered, FRA has developed this final rule in accordance with 
Executive Order 13272 (``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in 
Agency Rulemaking'') and DOT's procedures and policies to promote 
compliance with The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.).
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires an agency to review 
regulations to assess their impact on small entities. An agency must 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis (RFA) unless it determines 
and certifies that a rule, if promulgated, would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    This final rule requires each commuter and intercity passenger 
railroad to comply with three APTA standards, as well as requirements 
for installation of removable panels or windows in single-panel 
vestibule doors and other interior passageway doors of new passenger 
cars, bi-parting vestibule doors, and inspection, testing, and 
maintenance of these emergency systems. The APTA standards are: PR-E-S-
013-99 (previously SS-E-013-99), Rev. 1, Standard for Emergency 
Lighting System Design for Passenger Cars; PR-PS-S-004-99 (previously 
SS-PS-004-99), Rev. 2, Standard for Low-Location Exit Path Marking 
(LLEPM); and PR-PS-S-002-98 (previously SS-PS-002-98), and Rev. 3. 
Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/Access of Passenger Rail 
Equipment. Many railroads have already implemented these APTA standards 
in advance of this rulemaking.
    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 final rule directly affects 
intercity passenger railroads and commuter railroads. It indirectly 
impacts manufacturers of passenger cars, marking related to emergency 
egress and rescue access, 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

[[Page 71809]]

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 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 (STB), 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.
    FRA developed the requirements contained in this final rule 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 level of costs incurred by each organization should generally 
vary in proportion to the size of their passenger car fleet. For 
instance, railroads with fewer passenger cars have lower overall costs 
associated with implementing these standards. In the United States, 
there are currently 2 intercity passenger railroads, and 28 commuter 
railroad operations. The two intercity passenger railroads, Amtrak and 
the Alaska Railroad, are not considered to be small entities as Amtrak 
is a Class I railroad and the Alaska Railroad is a Class II railroad. 
Additionally, the Alaska Railroad is owned by the State of Alaska, 
which has a population in excess of 50,000.
    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 on these two small railroads is discussed in the 
following section.
    The first small entity impacted by this regulation is a commuter 
train operation that provides express service to and from a sporting 
event approximately seven times per year. A Class III railroad owns and 
operates the 6 bi-level passenger cars used for this commuter 
operation. The impact on this entity may include upgrades related to 
achieving compliance with the 2007 APTA standards for emergency 
lighting, emergency signage, and low-location exit path markings. The 
costs associated with completing these upgrades for the railroad are 
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 may be able to pass some or all of the compliance cost 
on to that institution. FRA published this analysis in the Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) that accompanied the NPRM and 
requested comments on the Analysis but did not receive any on this 
estimate. Thus, the small entity itself is not significantly impacted.
    The second small entity impacted by this regulation is a commuter 
railroad that is owned by a Class III railroad. Out of its entire fleet 
of 9 cars, FRA estimates that 4 cars may need emergency lighting 
upgrades to comply with the new emergency lighting requirement. The 
costs associated with the upgrades of these 4 cars are estimated to be 
$18,758, which could be spread over 2 to 3 years. FRA also published 
this estimate in the IRFA that accompanied the NPRM and requested 
comments on the Analysis but did not receive any on this estimate.
    The final rule requires 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 inspection/recordkeeping is 
$1,500 per car over the 20-year period analyzed. This cost was included 
in the total cost for each of the small entities above. This regulation 
only requires that a small percentage of each fleet be tested. Due to 
the size of the fleet of each of these small entities, it is estimated 
that only one car per fleet will need to be tested. The recordkeeping 
burden on the railroad industry is estimated to be 5 additional minutes 
per new car introduced to the fleet. FRA assumed that a ``Maintenance 
of Equipment & Stores'' \2\ employee would prepare the records. Neither 
of these railroads is operating newly-built cars. They both operate 
cars purchased from other passenger railroads.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ STB Data Statement No. B-300 for Year 2012 indicates that 
``Maintenance of Equipment & Stores'' personnel earn, on average, a 
``straight time rate'' of $27.20 per hour.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FRA believes that the two small entities directly impacted will not 
be affected significantly. One of the entities should be able to pass 
these costs on to a public entity. The other entity will likely only 
need to upgrade the emergency lighting in four cars, and FRA does not 
believe that will have a significant financial impact on their 
operations.
    During the public comment period following publication of the NPRM, 
FRA did not receive any comments discussing the IRFA or Executive Order 
13272. FRA certifies that the final rule will not have any significant 
economic impact on the competitive position of small entities, or on 
the small entity segment of the railroad industry as a whole.
    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), FRA 
certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although a 
substantial number of small railroads will be affected by the final 
rule, none of these two entities will be significantly impacted.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements in this final rule are 
being submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review 
and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The sections that contain both new and current 
information collection requirements, and the estimated time to fulfill 
each requirement, are summarized in the following table:

[[Page 71810]]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             CFR Section                  Respondent  universe       Total annual  responses     Average time per response    Total annual burden hours
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
238.112--Door emergency egress and
 rescue access systems (New
 requirements):
    --Conspicuously marking/posting   30 railroads...............  45,804 markings/             15 minutes.................  11,451 hours.
     instructions on emergency                                      instructions.
     egress doors.
    --Marking/posting instructions    30 railroads...............  30,536 markings............  15 minutes.................  7,634 hours.
     on emergency responder access
     doors.
    --Marking/posting instructions    30 railroads...............  1,340 panel markings.......  15 minutes.................  335 hours.
     on removable panels/windows in
     car vestibule and other
     interior passageway doors.
    --Periodic testing:               30 railroads...............  17 tested cars.............  90 minutes.................  26 hours.
     representative sample--
     removable panels/windows/etc.
238.113--Emergency window exits:
    --Markings (Current requirement)  30 railroads...............  662 markings...............  60 minutes, 90 minutes.....  964 hours.
    --Periodic testing:               30 railroads...............  17 tested cars.............  120 minutes, 30 minutes....  9 hours.
     representative sample of
     emergency window exits on
     passenger cars (Current
     requirement).
238.114--Rescue access windows:
    --Markings/instructions on each   30 railroads...............  1,092 markings.............  45 minutes.................  819 hours.
     access window (Current
     requirement).
238.121--Emergency communications:
 intercom system:
    --Posting legible/understandable  30 railroads...............  116 marked intercoms.......  5 minutes..................  10 hours.
     operating instructions at/near
     each intercom (Current
     requirement).
238.123--Emergency roof access:
    --Marking/instructions of each    30 railroads...............  232 marked locations.......  30 minutes.................  116 hours.
     emergency roof access location
     (Current requirement).
238.303--Exterior calendar day
 mechanical inspection of passenger
 equipment:
    --Replacement markings of rescue  30 railroads...............  150 markings...............  20 minutes.................  50 hours.
     access related exterior
     markings, signs, instructions
     (Current requirement).
238.303--Records of non-complying     30 railroads...............  150 records................  2 minutes..................  5 hours.
 conditions (Current requirement).
238.305--(Current requirements)
 Interior calendar day inspection of
 passenger cars:
    --Non-complying end/side doors--  30 railroads...............  260 written notifications +  1 minute...................  9 hours.
     written notification to crew of                                260 notices.
     condition + notice on door.
    --Non-complying public address/   30 railroads...............  300 notifications written..  1 minute...................  5 hours.
     intercom systems: written
     notification to crews.
    --Records of public address/      30 railroads...............  300 records................  2 minutes..................  10 hours.
     intercom system non-complying
     conditions.
New requirements:
    --Written procedure for           30 railroads...............  30 written procedures......  40 hours...................  1,200 hours.
     mitigating hazards of non-
     complying conditions relating
     to removable panels/windows in
     vestibule and other interior
     passageway doors.
    --Written notification to train   30 railroads...............  458 notices................  2 minutes..................  15 hours.
     crew of non-complying condition
     relating to panels/windows in
     vestibule and other interior
     passageway doors.
238.307--Periodic mechanical
 inspection of passenger cars:
    --Records of the inspection,      30 railroads...............  7,634 car inspections/       5 minutes..................  636 hours.
     testing, and maintenance of                                    records.
     emergency window exits (Current
     requirement).
    --Emergency roof markings and     30 railroads...............  32 markings................  20 minutes.................  11 hours.
     instructions--replacements
     (Current requirement).
238.311--Single car test:
    --Copies of APTA Standard SS-M-   30 railroads...............  30 copies..................  15 minutes.................  8 hours.
     005-98 to railroad head
     training person (Current
     requirement).
    --Copies to other railroad        30 railroads...............  360 copies.................  2 minutes..................  12 hours.
     personnel.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, 
searching existing data sources, gathering or maintaining the needed 
data, and reviewing the information. For information or a copy of the 
paperwork package submitted to OMB, contact Mr. Robert Brogan, 
Information Clearance Officer, Federal Railroad Administration, at 202-
493-6292 (Robert.Brogan@dot.gov), or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Records 
Management Officer, Federal Railroad Administration, at 202-493-6132 
(Kimberly.Toone@dot.gov).
    Organizations and individuals desiring to submit comments on the 
collection of information requirements should direct them to the Office 
of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 
Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FRA Desk Officer. Comments may also be 
sent via email to the Office of Management and Budget at the following 
address: oira_submissions@omb.eop.gov.
    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of 
information requirements contained in this final rule between 30 and 60 
days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. 
Therefore, a comment

[[Page 71811]]

to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it 
within 30 days of publication.
    FRA is not authorized to impose a penalty on persons for violating 
information collection requirements that 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 this final rule. 
The OMB control number, when assigned, will be announced by separate 
notice in the Federal Register.

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 rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. This rule will not have a 
substantial effect on the States or their political subdivisions; it 
does not impose any substantial direct compliance costs; and it will 
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 rule. The RSAC, which recommended the proposals 
addressed in this rule, has as permanent members two organizations 
directly representing State and local interests, AASHTO and ASRSM.
    However, this 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 re-codified at 49 U.S.C 20106, and the former 
Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act (LIA) at 45 U.S.C. 22-34, repealed and 
re-codified 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) and Kurns v. Railroad 
Friction Products Corp., 132 S. Ct. 1261 (2012).

E. Environmental Impact

    FRA has evaluated this 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 
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 28545, 28547; May 26, 
1999. 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 
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 final rule will not result in the expenditure, in the aggregate, 
of $100,000,000 or more (as adjusted annually for inflation) in any one 
year, and thus preparation of such a statement is not required.

G. Trade Impact

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39, 19 U.S.C. 2501 et 
seq.) prohibits Federal agencies from engaging in any standards or 
related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign 
commerce of the United States. Legitimate domestic objectives, such as 
safety, are not considered to be unnecessary obstacles. The statute 
also requires consideration of international standards and, where 
appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.
    FRA has assessed the potential effect of this rulemaking on foreign 
commerce and believes that its requirements are consistent with the 
Trade Agreements Act. The requirements are safety standards, which, as 
noted, are not considered unnecessary obstacles to trade. Moreover, FRA 
has sought, to the extent practicable, to state the requirements in 
terms of the

[[Page 71812]]

performance desired, rather than in more narrow terms restricted to a 
particular system design, so as not to limit different, compliant 
designs by any manufacturer--foreign or domestic.

H. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any comment or 
petition received into any of FRA's dockets by the name of the 
individual submitting the comment or petition (or signing the comment 
or petition, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor 
union, etc.). Please see the privacy notice at http://www.regulations.gov/# !privacyNotice. You may review DOT's complete 
Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477-19478).

List of Subjects

49 CFR Part 238

    Incorporation by reference, Passenger equipment, Railroad safety, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

49 CFR Part 239

    Passenger equipment, Railroad safety.

The Rule

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

PART 238--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 238 is revised to read as follows:

    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 1.89.

0
2. Section 238.5 is amended by adding in alphabetical order definitions 
of ``End-frame door'' and ``Vestibule door,'' and by revising the 
definitions of ``APTA'' and ``Vestibule'' 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.

* * * * *

0
3. Section 238.112 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  238.112  Door emergency egress and rescue access systems.

    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 to paragraph (b): 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)(1) Prior to January 28, 2015, all door exits intended for 
emergency egress shall either be lighted or conspicuously and legibly 
marked with luminescent material on the inside of each car, and legible 
and understandable instructions shall be provided for their use at or 
near each such door.
    (2) On or after January 28, 2015, all door exits intended for 
emergency egress shall be marked, and instructions provided for their 
use, as specified in Sec.  238.125.
    (e)(1) Prior to January 28, 2015, 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.
    (2) On or after January 28, 2015, all doors intended for access by 
emergency responders shall be marked, and instructions provided for 
their use, as specified in Sec.  238.125.
    (f) Vestibule doors and other interior doors intended for passage 
through a passenger car. The requirements of paragraphs (f)(1) through 
(6) of this section apply only to passenger cars ordered on or after 
January 28, 2014, or placed in service for the first time on or after 
January 29, 2018.
    (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 (6) of this section.
    (2) Removable panels and windows--(i) Ease of operability. Each 
removable panel or removable window shall be designed to permit rapid 
and easy removal from each side of the door 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 above 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

[[Page 71813]]

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 the door is bi-
parting, to permit it to be opened without power;
    (ii) Located adjacent to the door or door leaf, if the door is bi-
parting, it controls; and
    (iii) Designed and maintained so that a person may readily access 
and operate the override device from each side of the door without the 
use of a tool or other implement.
    (5) Marking and instructions. (i) Each removable panel or removable 
window in a vestibule door or other interior door intended for passage 
through a passenger car shall be conspicuously and legibly marked with 
luminescent material on each side of the door as specified in section 
5.4.2 of APTA PR-PS-S-002-98, Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency Signage 
for Egress/Access of Passenger Rail Equipment,'' Authorized October 7, 
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 each side of 
the door at each such panel or window. 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, 
www.aptastandards.com. 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.
    (ii) For bi-parting doors, each manual 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 
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, each railroad shall test a 
representative sample of the door removable panels, removable windows, 
manual override devices, and retention mechanisms on its cars, as 
applicable, to determine that they operate as intended. The sampling 
method must conform with a formalized statistical test method.


0
4. Section 238.113 is amended by revising paragraph (d) and adding 
paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  238.113  Emergency window exits.

* * * * *
    (d) Marking and instructions. (1) Prior to January 28, 2015, each 
emergency window exit shall be conspicuously and legibly marked with 
luminescent material on the inside of each car to facilitate egress. 
Legible and understandable operating instructions, including 
instructions for removing the window, shall be posted at or near each 
such window exit.
    (2) On or after January 28, 2015, each emergency window exit shall 
be marked, and instructions provided for its use, as specified in Sec.  
238.125.
    (3) 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. This paragraph 
(d)(3) applies to each emergency window exit subject to paragraph 
(d)(1) or (2) of this section.
    (e) Periodic testing. At an interval not to exceed 184 days, as 
part of the periodic mechanical inspection, each 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 with a formalized statistical test method.


0
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) Prior to January 28, 2015, each 
rescue access window shall be marked with retroreflective material on 
the exterior of each car. A unique and easily recognizable symbol, 
sign, or other conspicuous marking shall also be used to identify each 
such window. Legible and understandable window-access instructions, 
including instructions for removing the window, shall be posted at or 
near each rescue access window.
    (2) On or after January 28, 2015, each rescue access window shall 
be marked, and instructions provided for its use, as specified in Sec.  
238.125.


0
6. Section 238.115 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  238.115  Emergency lighting.

    (a) Prior to January 1, 2017, the requirements specified in 
paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section apply to each passenger 
car ordered on or after September 8, 2000, or placed in service for the 
first time on or after September 9, 2002. Emergency lighting shall be 
provided in each passenger car and shall include the following:
    (1) A minimum, average illumination level of 1 foot-candle measured 
at floor level adjacent to each exterior door and each interior door 
providing access to an exterior door (such as a door opening into a 
vestibule);
    (2) A minimum, average illumination level of 1 foot-candle measured 
25 inches above floor level along the center of each aisle and 
passageway;
    (3) A minimum illumination level of 0.1 foot-candle measured 25 
inches above floor level at any point along the center of each aisle 
and passageway; and
    (4) A back-up power system capable of:
    (i) Operating in all equipment orientations within 45 degrees of 
vertical;
    (ii) Operating after the initial shock of a collision or derailment 
resulting in the following individually applied accelerations:
    (A) Longitudinal: 8g;
    (B) Lateral: 4g; and
    (C) Vertical: 4g; and
    (iii) Operating all emergency lighting for a period of at least 90 
minutes without a loss of more than 40% of the minimum illumination 
levels specified in this paragraph (a).
    (b)(1) As further specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, on 
or after January 1, 2017, emergency lighting shall be provided in each 
passenger car in accordance with the minimum requirements specified in 
APTA PR-E-S-013-99, Rev. 1, ``Standard for Emergency Lighting System 
Design for Passenger Cars,'' Authorized October 7, 2007, or an 
alternative standard providing at least an equivalent level of safety 
if 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.

[[Page 71814]]

You may obtain a copy of the incorporated document from the American 
Public Transportation Association, 1666 K Street NW., Washington, DC 
20006, www.aptastandards.com. 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.
    (2) No later than December 31, 2015, at least 70 percent of each 
railroad's passenger cars that were ordered prior to September 8, 2000, 
and placed in service prior to September 9, 2002, shall be in 
compliance with the emergency lighting requirements provided in 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

0
7. Section 238.121 is amended by revising the first sentence of 
paragraph (a)(2), paragraph (b)(2), and paragraph (c) introductory text 
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 passenger car:
    (i) Prior to January 28, 2016, the location of each intercom 
intended for passenger use shall be conspicuously marked with 
luminescent material and legible and understandable operating 
instructions shall be posted at or near each such intercom.
    (ii) On or after January 28, 2016, each intercom intended for 
passenger use shall be marked in accordance with section 5.4.2 of APTA 
PR-PS-S-002-98, Rev. 3, ``Standard for Emergency Signage for Egress/
Access of Passenger Rail Equipment,'' Authorized October 7, 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 at or near each such intercom. 
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, www.aptastandards.com. 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.
    (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--
* * * * *


0
8. Section 238.123 is amended by redesignating paragraph (e) 
introductory text as paragraph (e)(1), redesignating paragraphs (e)(1) 
and (2) as paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii), revising the first sentence 
of newly redesignated paragraph (e)(1), and by adding paragraph (e)(2) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  238.123  Emergency roof access.

* * * * *
    (e) Marking and instructions. (1) Prior to January 28, 2015, each 
emergency roof access location shall be conspicuously marked with 
retroreflective material of contrasting color. * * *
* * * * *
    (2) On or after January 28, 2015, each emergency roof access 
location shall be marked, and instructions provided for its use, as 
specified in Sec.  238.125.


0
9. Section 238.125 is added to read as follows:


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

    On or after January 28, 2015, emergency signage and markings shall 
be provided for each passenger car in accordance with the minimum 
requirements specified in APTA PR-PS-S-002-98, Rev. 3, ``Standard for 
Emergency Signage for Egress/Access of Passenger Rail Equipment,'' 
Authorized October 7, 2007, or an alternative standard providing at 
least an equivalent level of safety, if 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, 
www.aptastandards.com. 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.


0
10. Section 238.127 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  238.127  Low-location emergency exit path marking.

    On or after January 28, 2015, low-location emergency exit path 
marking shall be provided in each passenger car in accordance with the 
minimum requirements specified in APTA PR-PS-S-004-99, Rev. 2, 
``Standard for Low-Location Exit Path Marking,'' Authorized October 7, 
2007, or an alternative standard providing at least an equivalent level 
of safety, if 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, www.aptastandards.com. 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


Sec.  238.235  [Removed and reserved]


0
11. Section 238.235 is removed and reserved.


0
12. Section 238.303 is amended by revising paragraph (e)(18) 
introductory text to read as follows:


Sec.  238.303  Exterior calendar day mechanical inspection of passenger 
equipment.

* * * * *

[[Page 71815]]

    (e) * * *
    (18) All rescue-access-related exterior markings, signage, and 
instructions required by Sec. Sec.  238.112 and 238.114 shall be in 
place and, as applicable, conspicuous or legible, or both.
* * * * *
0
13. Section 238.305 is amended by revising paragraph (a), revising 
paragraph (c) introductory text, adding paragraphs (c)(11) and (13), 
and revising paragraph (d) introductory text 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 provided in paragraphs (c)(8) through 
(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 removable windows in vestibule doors and 
in 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 removable 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 removable panel 
or removable 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 (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 (10) of this section are met and all of 
the following requirements are met:
* * * * *


0
14. Section 238.307 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(4) and (5) 
and (e)(1) introductory text to read as follows:


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

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (4)(i) A representative sample of the following emergency systems 
properly operate:
    (A) Door removable panels, removable windows, manual override 
devices, and retention mechanisms, as applicable, in accordance with 
Sec.  238.112; and
    (B) Emergency window exits, in accordance with Sec.  238.113.
    (ii) This portion of the periodic mechanical inspection may be 
conducted independently of the other requirements in this paragraph 
(c); and
    (iii) 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 marking systems 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:
* * * * *


0
15. Section 238.439 is amended by adding introductory text, removing 
paragraphs (a), (b), (e), and (g), redesignating paragraphs (c), (d), 
and (f) as paragraphs (a) through (c), revising newly redesignated 
paragraph (c) 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 January 28, 2014, and 
placed in service prior to January 29, 2018, 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.


0
16. Section 238.441 is amended by adding a sentence at the end of 
paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  238.441  Emergency roof access.

    (a) * * * On or after January 28, 2015, such markings shall also 
conform with the requirements specified in Sec.  238.125.
* * * * *

0
17. Appendix A to part 238 is amended by adding the entries for new 
Sec. Sec.  238.112, 238.125, and 238.127 in numerical order and 
removing and reserving the entry for Sec.  238.235.
    The additions read as follows:

[[Page 71816]]

Appendix A to Part 238--Schedule of Civil Penalties 1, 2

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Willful
               Section                    Violation         violation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          SUBPART B--SAFETY PLANNING AND GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
238.112 Door emergency egress and                2,500             5,000
 rescue access systems..............
 
                              * * * * * * *
238.125 Marking and instructions for             2,500             5,000
 emergency egress and rescue access.
 
                              * * * * * * *
238.127 Low-location emergency exit              2,500             5,000
 path marking.......................
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ A penalty may be assessed against an individual only for a willful
  violation. Generally when two or more violations of these regulations
  are discovered with respect to a single unit of passenger equipment
  that is placed or continued in service by a railroad, the appropriate
  penalties set forth above are aggregated up to a maximum of $16,000
  per day. However, failure to perform, with respect to a particular
  unit of passenger equipment, any of the inspections and tests required
  under subparts D and F of this part will be treated as a violation
  separate and distinct from, and in addition to, any substantive
  violative conditions found on that unit of passenger equipment.
  Moreover, the Administrator reserves the right to assess a penalty of
  up to $105,000 for any violation where circumstances warrant. See 49
  CFR Part 209, appendix A.
Failure to observe any condition for movement of defective equipment set
  forth in Sec.   238.17 will deprive the railroad of the benefit of the
  movement-for-repair provision and make the railroad and any
  responsible individuals liable for penalty under the particular
  regulatory section(s) concerning the substantive defect(s) present on
  the unit of passenger equipment at the time of movement.
Failure to observe any condition for the movement of passenger equipment
  containing defective safety appliances, other than power brakes, set
  forth in Sec.   238.17(e) will deprive the railroad of the movement-
  for-repair provision and make the railroad and any responsible
  individuals liable for penalty under the particular regulatory
  section(s) contained in part 231 of this chapter or Sec.   238.429
  concerning the substantive defective condition.
The penalties listed for failure to perform the exterior and interior
  mechanical inspections and tests required under Sec.   238.303 and
  Sec.   238.305 may be assessed for each unit of passenger equipment
  contained in a train that is not properly inspected. Whereas, the
  penalties listed for failure to perform the brake inspections and
  tests under Sec.   238.313 through Sec.   238.319 may be assessed for
  each train that is not properly inspected.
\2\ The penalty schedule uses section numbers from 49 CFR Part 238. If
  more than one item is listed as a type of violation of a given
  section, each item is also designated by a ``penalty code,'' which is
  used to facilitate assessment of civil penalties, and which may or may
  not correspond to any subsection designation(s). For convenience,
  penalty citations will cite the CFR section and the penalty code, if
  any. FRA reserves the right, should litigation become necessary, to
  substitute in its complaint the CFR citation in place of the combined
  CFR and penalty code citation, should they differ.

PART 239--[AMENDED]

0
18. The authority citation for part 239 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 20102-20103, 20105-20114, 20133, 21301, 
21304, and 21311; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.89(c), (g), 
(m).


0
19. 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]

0
20. Section 239.107 is removed and reserved.

Appendix A to Part 239--[Amended]

0
21. Appendix A to part 239 is amended by removing and reserving the 
entry for Sec.  239.107.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 14, 2013.
Karen J. Hedlund,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-27731 Filed 11-27-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P