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Petition for Waiver of Compliance

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

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 temporary waiver of compliance with certain requirements of its safety standards. The individual petition is described below, including the parties seeking relief, the regulatory provisions involved, the nature of the relief being requested, and the petitioner's arguments in favor of relief.

Norfolk Southern Railway

The Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) has submitted a temporary waiver petition to support field testing of its processor-based train control system identified as NS Optimized Train Control (OTC) system, pursuant to 49 CFR 211.7 and 211.51.

An informational filing, as required under 49 CFR Part 236, Subpart H, has also been prepared and submitted in conjunction with this waiver petition, and can be found in the same docket as this waiver petition.

The NS OTC Positive Train Control (PTC) system is designed to assist train crews in situational awareness, prevent authority limit and over-speed violations, provide open switch protection in non-signaled Track Warrant Control (TWC) territory, and to prevent equipped trains from entering the limits, without authorization, of on-track authority granted to employees.

NS desires to commence field testing of the NS OTC PTC system on or after September 1, 2008, or as soon as practicable thereafter, contingent upon FRA's acceptance and approval of the informational filing and waiver petition. NS intends to test and develop the NS OTC PTC system on it's Charleston district between milepost SC7.0 (Charleston Station) and milepost SC128.9 (Andrews Yard Station, as well as on it's Columbia district between milepost R0.0 Charlotte Junction station) and milepost R108.5 (Andrews Yard station). During this initial test phase, NS does not intend to activate the NS OTC PTC system's locomotive enforcement functionality.

NS is seeking regulatory relief for development testing and demonstration purposes only. Specifically, NS is requesting regulatory relief from the following FRA requirements:

49 CFR 216.13 (Special Notice for Repairs—Locomotive);

49 CFR 217.9 (Program of Operational Tests and Inspections—Recordkeeping);

49 CFR 217.11 (Program of Instruction on Operating Rules—Recordkeeping, Electronic Recordkeeping);

49 CFR Part 218 [Subpart D] (Prohibition against tampering with safety devices);

49 CFR 229.7 (Prohibited Acts);

49 CFR 229.135 (Event Recorders);

49 CFR 233.9 (Annual Reports);

49 CFR 235.5 (Changes Requiring Filing of Application);

49 CFR 240.127 (Criteria for Examining Skill Performance); and

49 CFR 240.129 (Criteria for Monitoring Operational Performance of Certified Engineers).

Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number (Docket Number FRA-2008-0083) and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Web site: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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.

Communications received within 30 days of the date of this notice will be considered by FRA before final action being taken. Comments received after this period 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 DOT Docket Management Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12-140, in Washington DC. All documents in the public docket are also available for inspection and copying on the internet at

Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by name of the individual submitting the Start Printed Page 52080comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78).

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Issued in Washington, DC on September 3, 2008.

Grady C. Cothen, Jr.,

Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety Standards and Program Development.

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[FR Doc. E8-20708 Filed 9-5-08; 8:45 am]