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Notice

Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Federal Railroad Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and its implementing regulations, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hereby announces that it is seeking renewal of the following currently approved information collection activities. Before submitting these information collection requirements for clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below.

DATES:

Comments must be received no later than February 9, 2004.

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ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments on any or all of the following proposed activities by mail to either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Safety, Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590, or Ms. Debra Steward, Office of Information Technology and Productivity Improvement, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590. Commenters requesting FRA to acknowledge receipt of their respective comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard stating, “Comments on OMB control number __.” Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6230 or (202) 493-6170, or e-mail to Mr. Brogan at robert.brogan@fra.dot.gov, or to Ms. Steward at debra.steward@fra.dot.gov. Please refer to the assigned OMB control number in any correspondence submitted. FRA will summarize comments received in response to this notice in a subsequent notice and include them in its information collection submission to OMB for approval.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292) or Debra Steward, Office of Information Technology and Productivity Improvement, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6139). (These telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13, 2, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified as revised at 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR. Part 1320, require Federal agencies to provide 60-days notice to the public for comment on information collection activities before seeking approval for reinstatement or renewal by OMB. 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), 1320.10(e)(1), 1320.12(a). Specifically, FRA invites interested respondents to comment on the following summary of proposed information collection activities regarding (i) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (ii) the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (iii) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (iv) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public by automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses). See 44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(2)(A)(i)-(iv); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1)(i)-(iv). FRA believes that soliciting public comment will promote its efforts to reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information mandated by Federal regulations. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received will advance three objectives: (i) Reduce reporting burdens; (ii) ensure that it organizes information collection requirements in a “user friendly” format to improve the use of such information; and (iii) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501.

Below are brief summaries of the three currently approved information collection activities that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:

Title: Track Safety Standards (Gage Restraint Measurement Systems Amendment).

OMB Control Number: 2130-0010.

Abstract: Qualified persons inspect track and take action to allow safe passage of trains and ensure compliance with prescribed Track Safety Standards. FRA amended the Track Safety Standards to provide procedures for track owners to use Gage Restraint Measurement Systems (GRMS) to assess the ability of their track to maintain proper gage. Under the current Track Safety Standards, track owners must evaluate a track's gage restraint capability through visual inspections conducted at frequencies and intervals specified in the standards. With this amendment, track owners may monitor gage restraint on a designated track segment using GRMS procedures. Individuals employed by the track owner to inspect track must be permitted to exercise their discretion in judging whether the track segment should also be visually inspected by a qualified track inspector.

Form Number(s): None.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 685 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Reporting Burden:

CFR sectionRespondent universe (railroads)Total annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hoursTotal annual burden cost
213.14—Excepted Track16025 orders15 minutes6$228
—Notification to FRA—Removal of Track Segment From Excepted Statutes16020 notifications10 minutes3114
213.5—Responsibility of Track Owners—Assignment68512 notifications8 hours963,648
213.7—Designation of Qualified Persons to Supervise Certain Renewals and Inspect Track6851,500 names10 minutes2509,500
—Designations (Partially Qualified under Paragraph c)31250 names10 minutes421,596
213.17—Exeptions6858 petitions24 hours1927,296
213.57—Curves; Elevations & Speed Limits6854 requests40 hours1606,080
—Notification to FRA6852 notifications45 minutes276
—Requests for FRA Approval—Test Plans14 test plans16 hours642,432
213.110—Gage Restraint Meas. Syts.—Implementing68540 notifications + 4 tech. rpts45 minutes/4 hrs461,748 46,250
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GRMS Output Reports685150 reports5 minutes13494
—GRMS Exception Reports685150 reports5 minutes13494
—Procedures For Maintaining GRMS Data68510 doc. proc.2 hours20760
—GRMS Training68510 training prog. + 25 tr. sessions16 hours56021,280
—GRMS Inspections—Two Most Recent Records685200 records2 hours40015,200
213.119—Continuous Weld Rail (CWR)—Records1503,000 records10 minutes50019,500
213.233—Track Inspections By Person/Vehicle—Rcds6852,500 notations1 minute421,260
213.241—Inspection Records68520,0005 minutes1,763,94152,918,230
213.303—Responsibility for Compliance—High Speed Track: Assignment of Responsibility21 petition8 hours8304
213.305—Designation of Fully Qualified Individuals2150 designations10 minutes25950
—Designation of Partially Qualified Individuals215 designations10 minutes3114
213.317—Exemption From Any/All Requirements2124 hours24912
213.329—Curves, Elevation, and Higher Speed Limits23 notifications40 hours1204,560
—Passenger/Commuter Service Over More Than 1 Trk.23 notifications45 minutes276
213.333—Track Geometry Measurement Sys.—Rpts.318 reports20 hours36010,800
—Track/Vehicle Measurement Perf. Sys.—Procedures11 written proc8 hours8304
—Exception Printouts213 printouts20 hours2607,800
213.341—Initial Inspection—New Rail/Welds Mill Insp22 reports8 hours16608
—Welding Plant Inspection22 reports8 hours16608
—Inspection of Field Welds—Records2200 records20 minutes672,546
213.343—Continuous Weld Rail—History—Records2200 records10 minutes331,254
213.345—Vehicle Qualification Testing—Results/Rcds12 reports16 hours321,216
213.14—Excepted Track16025 orders15 minutes6228
—Notification to FRA—Removal of Track Segment From Excepted Statues16020 notifications10 minutes3114
213.5—Responsibility of Track Owners—Assignment68512 notifications8 hours963,648
213.7—Designation of Qualified Persons to Supervise Certain Renewals and Inspect Track6851,500 names10 minutes2509,500
—Designations (Partially Qualified under Paragraph c)31250 names10 minutes421,596
213.17—Excemptions6858 petitions24 hours1927,296
213.57—Curves; Elevations & Speed Limits8654 requests40 hours1606,080
—Notification to FRA6852 notifications45 minutes276
—Requests for FRA Approval—Test Plans14 test plans16 hours642,432
213.110—Gage Restraint Meas. Sys.—Implementing68540 notifications + 4 tech rpts45 minutes/4 hrs461,748 46,250
—GRMS Output Reports685150 reports5 minutes13494
—GRMS Exception Reports685150 reports5 minutes13494
—Procedures For Maintaining GRMS Data68510 doc. proc.2 hours20760
—GRMS Training68510 training prog. + 25 tr. sessions16 hours56021,280
—GRMS Inspections—Two Most Recent Records685200 records2 hours40015,200
213.119—Continuous Weld Rail (CWR)—Records1503,000 records10 minutes50019,500
213.233—Track Inspections By Person/Vehicle—Rcds6852,500 notifications1 minute421,260
213.241—Inspection Records68520,000 records5 minutes1,763,94152,918,230
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213.303—Responsibility for Compliance—High Speed Track; Assignment of Responsibility21 petition8 hours8304
213.347—Automotive or RR Crossing at Grade—Plans12 plans8 hours16608
213.353—Turnouts and Crossovers11 guide book40 hours401,520
213.361—Right of Way—Class 8 & 9—Plan Approv.11 plan40 hous401,520
213.369—Inspection Records2500 records1 minute8240
213.369—Inspection Records2500 records18240
—Designation records22 designations15 minutes138
—Inspection Records of Defects and Remedial Actions250 records5 minutes4120

Total Responses: 1,635,052.

Total Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,767,433 hours.

Type of Request: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

Title: Special Notice For Repairs.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0504.

Abstract: The Special Notice For Repairs is issued to notify the carrier in writing of an unsafe condition involving a locomotive, car, or track. The carrier must return the form after repairs have been made. The collection of information is used by State and Federal inspectors to remove freight car or locomotives until they can be restored to a serviceable condition. It is also used by State and Federal inspectors to reduce the maximum authorized speed on a section of track until repairs can be made.

Form Number(s): FRA F 6180.8; FRA F 6180.8a.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 685 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Total Responses: 58.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 7 hours.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Title: Designation of Qualified Persons.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0511.

Abstract: The collection of information is used to prevent the unsafe movement of defective freight cars. Railroads are required to inspect freight cars for compliance and to determine restrictions on the movements of defective cars.

Form Number(s): None.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 685 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 40 hours.

Total Responses: 1,200.

Type of Request: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b), 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

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Issued in Washington, DC on December 5, 2003.

Maryann Johnson,

Acting Director, Office of Information Technology and Support Systems, Federal Railroad Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-30652 Filed 12-10-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-06-P