Federal Railroad Administration (11 - 20 of 89 items)
Positive Train Control: Additional Oversight Needed As Most Railroads Do Not Expect to Meet 2015 Implementation Deadline
GAO-15-739: Published: Sep 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2015.
Most railroads in GAO’s review (20 of 29) estimate that they will implement positive train control (PTC)—a communications-based system designed to prevent certain types of train accidents—1 to 5 years after the statutory deadline of December 31, 2015 (3 did not have an estimated completion date). Of the remaining 6 railroads, one was excepted from installing PTC based on limited speeds on it...
Rail Safety: Improved Human Capital Planning Could Address Emerging Safety Oversight Challenges
GAO-14-85: Published: Dec 9, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 2013.
The Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) rail-safety oversight framework relies on inspections to ensure railroads comply with federal safety regulations. FRA inspects railroad infrastructure and operations, identifies safety defects, and may, if warranted, cite the railroads for violations of federal safety regulations. The agency estimates that its inspectors have the ability to annually insp...
Positive Train Control: Additional Authorities Could Benefit Implementation
GAO-13-720: Published: Aug 16, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2013.
To install positive train control (PTC)--a communications-based system designed to prevent certain types of train accidents caused by human factors-- almost all railroads are overlaying their existing infrastructure with PTC components; nonetheless, most railroads report they will miss the December 31, 2015, implementation deadline. Both the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the Federal...
Rail Safety: Preliminary Observations on Federal Rail Safety Oversight and Positive Train Control Implementation
GAO-13-679T: Published: Jun 19, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 2013.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) primarily monitors railroads' compliance with federal safety regulations through routine inspections by individual inspectors at specific sites on railroads' systems. Thirty states also employ railroad safety inspectors, who participate in a partnership program with FRA to conduct supplemental safety oversight activities based on FRA rail safety regulation...
California High-Speed Passenger Rail: Project Estimates Could Be Improved to Better Inform Future Decisions
GAO-13-304: Published: Mar 28, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2013.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) met some, but not all of the best practices in GAO's Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide (Cost Guide) for producing cost estimates that are accurate, comprehensive, well documented, and credible. By not following all best practices, there is increased risk of such things as cost overruns, missed deadlines, and unmet performance targets. The Aut...
High-Speed Passenger Rail: Preliminary Assessment of California's Cost Estimates and Other Challenges
GAO-13-163T: Published: Dec 6, 2012. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 2012.
Based on an initial evaluation of the California High Speed Rail Authority's (Authority) cost estimates, GAO found that they exhibit certain strengths and weaknesses when compared to best practices in GAO's Cost Guide. Adherence with the Cost Guide reduces the risk of cost overruns and missed deadlines. GAO's preliminary evaluation indicates that the cost estimates are comprehensive in that they i...
Freight Railroad Safety: Hours of Service Changes Have Increased Rest Time, but More Can Be Done to Address Fatigue Risks
GAO-11-853: Published: Sep 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2011.
The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) overhauled requirements for how much time certain freight railroad workers can spend on the job (called "hours of service"). Changes included limiting the number of consecutive days on duty before rest is required, increasing minimum rest time from 8 to 10 hours, and requiring rest time to be undisturbed. RSIA also provided for pilot projects and waiv...
Recovery Act: Funding Used for Transportation Infrastructure Projects, but Some Requirements Proved Challenging
GAO-11-600: Published: Jun 29, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2011.
This report responds to two GAO mandates under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). It is the latest report on the uses of and accountability for Recovery Act funds in selected states and localities, focusing on the $48.1 billion provided to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to invest in transportation infrastructure. This report also examines the quality of reci...
Recovery Act: Use of Transportation Funds, Outcomes, and Lessons Learned
GAO-11-610T: Published: May 4, 2011. Publicly Released: May 4, 2011.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) provided more than $48 billion to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to be distributed through existing programs and through two new competitive grant programs--high speed intercity passenger rail and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. As requested, this testimony addresses the (1) status...
Intercity Passenger Rail: Recording Clearer Reasons for Awards Decisions Would Improve Otherwise Good Grantmaking Practices
GAO-11-283: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2011.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) appropriated $8 billion for high and conventional speed passenger rail. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), within the Department of Transportation (the department), was responsible for soliciting applications, evaluating them to determine program eligibility and technical merits, and selecting awards, which were announced in...