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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of Transportation


Notice and request for comments.


Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its implementing regulations, FRA seeks approval of proposed information collection activities listed below. Before submitting these information collection requests (ICRs) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval, FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified in this notice.


Comments must be received no later than August 29, 2017.


Submit written comments on the information collection activities by mail to either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590; or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Information Technology, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 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 2130-XXXX,” (the relevant OMB Start Printed Page 29977control number for each ICR is listed below) and should also include the title of the ICR. Alternatively, comments may be faxed to (202) 493-6216 or (202) 493-6497, or emailed to Mr. Brogan at, or Ms. Toone at 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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Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292) or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Information Technology, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6132). (These telephone numbers are not toll free.)

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The PRA, 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 to allow comment on information collection activities before seeking OMB approval of the activities. See 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 parties to comment on the following summary of proposed information collection activities regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (2) 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; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public by automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses). See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1).

FRA believes soliciting public comment will promote its efforts to reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information Federal regulations mandate. In summary, FRA reasons comments received will advance three objectives: (1) Reduce reporting burdens; (2) ensure it organizes information collection requirements in a “user-friendly” format to improve the use of such information; and (3) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501.

Below is a brief summary of currently approved information collection activities FRA will submit for OMB clearance as the PRA requires:

Title: Railroad Operating Rules.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0035.

Abstract: The collection of information is due to regulations in 49 CFR part 217 which require Class I and Class II railroads to file with FRA copies of their operating rules, timetables, and timetable special instructions, and subsequent amendments. The regulations require Class III railroads to retain copies of these documents at their systems headquarters. Also, 49 CFR 220.21(b) prescribes the collection of information by requiring railroads to retain one copy of their current operating rules with respect to radio communications and one copy of each subsequent amendment. Railroads must make these documents available to FRA upon request. Through these rules, FRA learns the condition of operating rules and practices of trains and instructions railroads provide their employees on operating practices.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 755 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Reporting Burden

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
217.7—Copy—FRA—Operating rules, timetables, Class I & II RRs2 new railroads2 submissions1 hour2 hours.
—Amendments55 railroads165 amendments20 minutes55 hours.
—Copy of operating rules/timetables, etc. by Class III5 new railroads5 submissions55 minutes5 hours.
—Amendments by Class III Railroads704 railroads2,013 amendments15 minutes503 hours.
217.9—Records of Qualification755 railroads4,732 records2 minutes158 hours.
—Written Prog. of Operational Tests5 new railroads5 programs9.92 hours50 hours.
—Records of Operational Tests/Inspections755 railroads9,120,000 records5 minutes760,000 hours.
—Amendments55 railroads165 amendments70 minutes193 hours.
—Quarterly Review of Accident/Incident Data/ Prior Op. Tests/Insp37 railroads148 reviews2 hours296 hours.
—Designated Officers & Conduct of 6 Mo. Rev37 railroads37 designations + 74 reviews5 seconds + 2 hours148 hours.
—Designated Officers & Conduct of Six Month Review by Passenger/ Commuter RailroadsAmtrak + 33 railroads34 designations + 68 reviews5 seconds + 2 hours136 hours.
—Records of Periodic Reviews101 railroads290 review records1 minute5 hours.
—Annual Summary on Operational Tests/Insp101 railroads71 summary records61 minutes72 hours.
—FRA Disapproval of RR Program of Operational Tests/Insp. & Response by RR755 railroads5 supporting documents1 hour5 hours.
—Amended Prog. Docs755 railroads5 amended documents30 minutes3 hours.
271.11—Instruction of Program Employees755 railroads130,000 instr. employees8 hours1,040,000 hours.
—New RR & Copy of Program of Op. Tests5 new railroads5 Programs8 hours40 hours.
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—Amendments to Op. Rules Instr. Program755 railroads110 amendments30 minutes55 hours.
218.95—Instruction, Training, Examination—Records755 railroads98,000 records5 minutes8,167 hours.
—Response to FRA Disapproval of Program755 railroads5 written/oral submissions1 hour5 hours.
—Programs Needing Amendment755 railroads5 amended programs30 minutes3 hours.
218.97—Employee Copy of Written Procedures755 railroads4,732 copies6 minutes473 hours.
—Good Faith Challenges by RR Employees98,000 RR Employees15 challenges10 minutes3 hours.
—RR Responses to Empl. Challenge15 railroads15 responses5 minutes1 hour.
—Immediate Review of Employee Challenge15 railroads5 immediate reviews30 minutes3 hours.
—RR Officer Explanation of Federal Law Protection Against Retaliation15 railroads5 explanations1 minute.08 hour.
—Documented Protest by RR Employee10 railroads10 written protests15 minutes3 hours.
—Copies of Protests10 railroads10 protest copies1 minute.17 hour.
—Further Reviews10 railroads3 further reviews15 minutes1 hour.
—Written Verification Decision to Employee10 railroads10 verification decisions10 minutes2 hours.
—Copy of Written Procedures at RR Hdqtr755 railroads755 copies of procedures5 minutes63 hours.
—Copy of Verification Decision at RR Headquarters & Division Headquarters755 railroads20 verification decision copies5 minutes2 hours.
218.99—Shoving or Pushing Movements
—Operating Rule Modifications755 railroads32 rule modifications1 hour32 hours.
—Locomotive Engineer Job Briefing Before Movement130,000 RR Employees180,000 job briefings1 minute3,000 hours.
—Point Protection Determinations & Signals/Instructions to Control Movements130,000 RR Employees87,600,000 determinations + 87,600,000 signals/instructions1 minute + 1 minute2,920,000 hours.
—Remote Control Movements—Verbal Confirmation130,000 RR Employees876,000 confirmations1 minute14,600 hours.
—Remote Control Determinations That Zone Is Not Jointly Occupied/Track Clear130,000 RR Employees876,000 confirmations1 minute14,600 hours.
—Dispatcher Authorized Train Movements6,000 RR Dispatchers30,000 auth. movements1 minute500 hours.
218.101—Operating Rule Re: Leaving Rolling & On-Track MOW Equipment in the Clear755 railroads32 amended op. rules30 minutes16 hours.
218.103—Hand-Operated Switches—RR Operating Rule That Complies w/§ 218.103755 railroads32 modified operating rules1 hour32 hours.
—Specification of Minimum Job Briefing Requirements755 railroads5 modified op. rules30 minutes3 hours.
—Employee Operating or Verifying Position of Hand-operated Switches: Job Briefings755 railroads1,125,000 job briefings1 minute18,750 hours.
218.105—Additional Requirements for Hand-Operated Main Track Switches—Job Briefing755 railroads60,000 job briefings1 minute1,000 hours.
—Roadway Worker Report on Position of Switches to Roadway Worker in Charge (RWIC) or Designated Employee Conveying Information to RWIC7704 railroads100,000 empl. reports + 100,000 conveyances1 minute + 1 minute3,334 hours.
—Dispatcher Acknowledgment of Switch Position and Employee Confirmation to Train Dispatcher755 railroads60,000 acknowledgment + 60,000 confirmations30 seconds + 5 seconds583 hours.
218.109—Hand-Operated Fixed Derails: Job Briefings755 railroads562,500 job briefings30 seconds4,688 hours.

Total Responses: 188,591,125.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 4,797,590 hours.

Type of Request: Extension with change of a currently approved ICR (extension with change reflects revised estimates for some rule requirements).

Title: Track Safety Standards; Concrete Crossties.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0592.

Abstract: On April 1, 2011, FRA amended the Federal Track Safety Standards to promote the safety of railroad operations over track constructed with concrete crossties. FRA mandated specific requirements for effective concrete crossties, for rail fastening systems connected to concrete crossties, and for automated inspections of track constructed with concrete crossties. FRA uses the information collected under 49 CFR 213.234 to ensure automated track inspections of track constructed with concrete crossties are carried out as specified in the rule to supplement visual inspections by Class I and Class II railroads, intercity passenger railroads, and commuter railroads or small Start Printed Page 29979government jurisdictions that serve populations greater than 50,000.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 18 railroads

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden:

CFR SectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
213.234—Automated Inspection of Track Constructed with Concrete Crossties: Exception Reports Listing All Exception to § 213.109(d)(4)18 Railroads75 reports8 hours600 hours.
—Copies of Exception Report Provided to Designated Person under § 213.234(e)(1)18 Railroads75 report copies12 minutes15 hours.
—Field Verification of Exception Reports18 Railroads75 verification2 hours150 hours.
—Records of Inspection Data18 Railroads75 records30 minutes38 hours.
—Institution of Procedures by Track Owner to Maintain Integrity of Track Data Collected by the Measurement System18 Railroads18 procedures4 hours72 hours.
—Training by Track Owner: Annual Training in Handing Rail Seat Deterioration Exceptions to All Persons Designated Fully Qualified under § 213.718 Railroads2,000 trained employees2 hours4,000 hours.

Total Responses: 2,318

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 4,875 hours

Type of Request: Extension with change of a currently approved ICR (extension with change reflects revised estimates for some rule requirements)

Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 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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Sarah L. Inderbitzin,

Acting Chief Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 2017-13746 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am]