DIRECTOR: JASON R. HAYDEN                                                              

FRA Final Rule on improved Locomotive Cab Safety


WASHINGTON – A final rule on improved locomotive cab safety and comfort
has been published by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The final rule, affecting all new and remanufactured locomotives in road
and yard service, follows collaboration among the FRA, rail labor and
carriers through the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) process and
becomes effective June 8.

Significant in the final rule is a requirement that new and remanufactured
locomotives be equipped with a secure cab lock to prevent unauthorized
intrusions. While many locomotives do have cab locks, not all are

As secure cabs create intolerable conditions during hot weather, the new
rule also requires climate control – air cooling inside the cab in hot
weather as well as a cab environment ensuring a low temperature of no less
than 60 degrees in cold weather – for all new and remanufactured

“Fatigue management and security concerns require climate controlled
locomotive cabs," said UTU National Legislative Director James Stem. He
observed that “CSX is doing a good job of consist management to move the
newer and air-conditioned locomotives to the lead.”

Stem also observed that 22 months ago, a crew member was fatally shot
inside a locomotive cab in Louisiana during a robbery attempt. And while
that locomotive did have locking devices for the cab door and windows, the
locomotive was not air-conditioned, which caused the crew not to secure
the cab.

The new rule also affects use and operation of remote control locomotives,
and revised standards for locomotive brake maintenance, headlight
replacement and locomotive electronics.

To read the final rule, go to www.utu.org