[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 225 (Friday, November 20, 2020)]
[Pages 74488-74489]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-25681]



Federal Railroad Administration

[Docket Number FRA-2020-0087]

Petition for Waiver of Compliance

    Under part 211 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this 
provides the public notice that on November 5, 2020, Illinois Central 
Railroad Company, for itself and on behalf of the U.S. railroad 
subsidiaries operating under the Canadian National Railway Company 
(CN), petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver 
of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety 
regulations contained at 49 CFR part 232, Brake System Safety Standards 
for Freight and Other Non-Passenger Trains and Equipment; End-of-Train 
Devices. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA-2020-0087.
    Specifically, CN proposes to use software technology to implement a 
virtual three-dimensional simulation as an alternative to satisfy the 
``hands-on'' portion of periodic refresher training required by 49 CFR 
232.203(b)(8). Refresher training is required at intervals not to 
exceed 3 years, and must consist of classroom and hands-on training, as 
well as testing. CN states the training will better equip CN employees 
to perform Class I freight air brake tests and there will be no impact 
on safety.
    The instructor-led simulation is based on performance of a Class I 
freight air brake test and is designed to place the user in a virtual 
realistic scenario. The user is required to perform a variety of 
inspection tasks relating to preprogrammed defects including, but not 
limited to, closed cut-out cocks, uncoupled air hoses, closed angle 
cocks, improperly positioned retainer valves, fouled brake rigging, and 
using a two-way end-of-train device. CN states that it is often 
difficult to stage various types of freight air brake equipment with 
defects to demonstrate the location of key components. CN also states 
that the simulation allows CN to control the environment and employees 
are better able to examine components of the air brake system. 
Furthermore, given the restrictions of person-to-person contact related 
to COVID-19, safety is further enhanced by utilizing the simulation. CN 
proposes to apply this waiver system-wide to all CN personnel 
responsible for performing Class I freight air brakes tests. CN 
explains it may use the simulation as a supplement at initial training, 
but it will not replace traditional hands-on training employees receive 
at initial training.
    A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications 
concerning the petition, is available for review online at 
    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 parties 
desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, 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 and may be submitted by any of the following 
     Website: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, W12-140, Washington, DC 
     Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Room W12-140, 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,

[[Page 74489]]

Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
    Communications received by January 4, 2021 will be considered by 
FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date 
will be considered if practicable.
    Anyone can search the electronic form of any written communications 
and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the 
individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
Under 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better 
inform its processes. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including 
any personal information the commenter provides, to 
www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/
ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice for the 
privacy notice of regulations.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC.
John Karl Alexy,
Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer.
[FR Doc. 2020-25681 Filed 11-19-20; 8:45 am]