The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was created by the Department ofTransportation Act of 1966. It is one of ten agencies within the U.S. Department ofTransportation concerned with intermodal transportation. FRA promotes safe,environmentally sound, successful railroad transportation to meet the needs of all customers today and tomorrow.
FRA's Office of Railroad Safety promotes and regulates safety throughout the Nation's railroad industry. The office executes its regulatory and inspection responsibilities through a diverse staff of railroad safety experts.
The Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for working with stakeholders to develop cohesive goals and policies for maintaining and improving the U.S. freight and passenger rail networks. This section covers various efforts across America and the world in helping to deliver safe, reliable, and efficient rail transportation.
FRA Research & Development (R&D) projects contribute to the FRA's safety regulatory processes, to railroad suppliers, to railroads involved in the transportation of freight, intercity passengers, commuters, and to railroad employees and their labor organizations.
In this section, we provide descriptions and comprehensive, official sources for FRA's regulations (also called rules), selected legislation, as well as policy and guidance documents. Additionally, you will find current topics of high interest or significant impact to Congress, railroads, employees, labor, public interest groups and other stakeholders.
FRA supports passenger and freight railroading through a variety of competitive grant, dedicated grant, and loan programs to develop safety improvements, relieve congestion, and encourage the expansion and upgrade of passenger and freight rail infrastructure and services. FRA also provides training and technical assistance to grantees and stakeholders.
The FRA eLibrary contains all the documents that are found throughout the FRA Public Website. Multiple pages on the website may link to the same eLibrary item based on its set of metadata.
FRA’s R&D mission is to ensure the safe, efficient and reliable movement of people and goods by rail through basic and applied research, and development of innovations and solutions. Safety is the DOT’s primary strategic goal and thus, the principal driver of FRA’s R&D program. FRA’s R&D program also contributes to other DOT strategic goals because safety-focused projects typically yield solutions towards the state of good repair, economic competitiveness, and environmental sustainability goals. The R&D program also has an important role to play in workforce development.
FRA’s R&D program is founded on an understanding of safety risks in the industry. Hazard identification and risk analysis allows us to identify opportunities to reduce the likelihood of accidents and incidents, and to limit the consequences of hazardous events should they occur. Key strategies include stakeholder engagement and partnerships with other researchers such as the Association of American Railroads, prioritization of projects and conducting research through cost-effective procurement.