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Notice

Petition for Waiver of Compliance

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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In accordance with Part 211 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), notice is hereby given that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) received a request for a waiver of compliance with certain requirements of its safety standards. The individual petition is described below, including the party seeking relief, the regulatory provisions involved, the nature of the relief being requested, and the petitioner's arguments in favor of relief.

Canadian Pacific Railway

The Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR) seeks a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Railroad Locomotive Safety Standards, 49 CFR Part 229, on behalf of themselves, their U.S. subsidiaries, the Delaware & Hudson and the Soo Line Railroads, and the New York Air Brake Corporation (NYAB). Specifically, CPR requests relief from the requirements of 49 CFR 229.27(a)(2) Annual Tests and 49 CFR 229.29(a) Biennial Tests, in order to evaluate extending the required periodic maintenance time intervals for NYAB generation II Computer Controlled Brake (CCB) equipment.

CPR currently owns and operates 213 GE AC4400 locomotives built between December 1998 and September 2003, that are equipped with CCB II brake equipment. In August 2003, CPR, Transport Canada, and NYAB jointly performed a 5-year COT&S with a detailed tear-down inspection of the CCB II brake equipment from two randomly selected locomotives. According to CPR, all of the parties agreed that continued testing of extended COT&S intervals on a year-to-year basis was warranted, based on the encouraging results of the tests and inspections.

CPR has proposed evaluating the extended COT&S intervals according to a test plan that NYAB developed for CPR and Transport Canada. The test plan has assigned locomotives into tests groups based on the scheduled periodic maintenance cycles. Candidate locomotives for test tear-downs would only include those units which have not had a prior COT&S and which have had the least amount of air brake maintenance activity since entering service.

Approval of this waiver will permit the continued operation of the test locomotives in the United States, as the COT&S time intervals are extended beyond the five-year requirement. Also, it will further add to the industry's knowledge of the reliability of the CCB technology, building on a similar waiver (FRA-1999-6252) which was granted to CSXT on in September 1, 2000. It is CPR's intention that FRA would join Transport Canada and NYAB in evaluating the extended COT&S intervals for their CCB equipped locomotives, if this waiver is approved. Start Printed Page 69123

Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested party desires an opportunity for oral comment, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request.

All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number (e.g., Waiver Petition Docket Number FRA-2003-16429) and must be submitted to the Docket Clerk, DOT Docket Management Facility, Room PL-401 (Plaza Level), 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Communications received within 45 days of the date of this notice will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered as far as practicable. All written communications concerning these proceedings are available for examination during regular business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the above facility. All documents in the public docket are also available for inspection and copying on the Internet at the docket facility's Web site at http://dms.dot.gov.

Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78). The Statement may also be found at http://dms.dot.gov.

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Issued in Washington, DC on December 5, 2003.

Grady C. Cothen, Jr.,

Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety Standards and Program Development.

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[FR Doc. 03-30649 Filed 12-10-03; 8:45 am]

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