Railway Supply Institute Supports Section 130 Program in FHWA NPRM Comments

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Nicole Brewin, Railway Supply Institute, brewin@rsiweb.org, 202-347-4664

Railway Supply Institute Supports Section 130 Program in FHWA NPRM Comments
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2014 –The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) recently submitted a filing in support of the Section 130 grade crossing improvement program in response to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) request for comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding proposed changes to Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) regulations within the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

In its comments, RSI notes that since 1973, Congress has provide dedicated funding to states for implementing safety improvement projects at highway-rail grade crossings, including installing flashing lights, gates, or other warning devices, and upgrading surfacing material through the Section 130 program. The MAP-21 legislation continues funding for the Section 130 highway rail grade crossing safety program through Fiscal Year 2014.

“Over the years, RSI has continuously advocated on behalf of the Section 130 highway rail grade crossing safety program,” the Institute states in its comments.

RSI cited activities in support of the program, including interacting with state and local officials, monitoring funds expenditures to ensure they are being used efficiently, engaging in rail policy development, and working closely with rail safety nonprofit Operation Lifesaver to reduce vehicle and pedestrian incidents with trains through public education programs.

“However,” the RSI continued, “the association has serious concerns about FHWA’s proposal to eliminate the existing regulatory definition of ‘highway-rail grade crossing protective devices’ and opposes this proposal.  23 USC 130(e) provides that at least 50 percent of the funds authorized and expended under Section 130 ‘shall be available for the installation of protective devices at railway-highway crossings.’ Given that statutory requirement, it is important to provide a clear definition of the type of devices eligible for funding under this section of law. The existing definition of protective devices in 23 CFR 924.3 does that and should be retained.”

About The Railway Supply Institute (RSI)

The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is the international trade association for the rail supply industry, representing the nation’s leading companies involved in the manufacture of products and services in the freight car, tank car, locomotive, maintenance-of-way, communications and signaling, and passenger rail industries. America’s railway suppliers represent a $23 billion/year industry supporting 90,000 American workers. For more information visit RSI’s website, www.rsiweb.org, or call 202-347-4664.