The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.
FRA accomplishes this mission primarily through
FRA’s $1.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2012 funded about 900 staff, safety and compliance activities, grant oversight and development, research and technology, and operating, capital, and debt service assistance to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).
About 600 safety inspectors, specialists, and other staff work out of 8 field offices across the United States and 300 staff are based in Washington, D.C.
Today, FRA regulates more than 760 railroads (including 27 passenger, 8 switching and terminal, approximately 134 tourist/excursion/historical, and 640 freight railroads).
The railroad industry serves as a major U.S. economic driver and in 2011:
FRA’s activities have led to one of rail transportation’s safest decades ever. The number of rail-related accidents and incidents:
From 2007 to 2010, FRA’s responsibilities grew from a primary focus on improving safety to a multidimensional core of safety and development activities. The Rail Safety Improvement Act, Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and subsequent appropriation acts transformed FRA with new requirements, initiatives, and more than $10 billion for rail corridor improvement, development, and planning grants.
Eight Regional Administrators, under the supervision of the Chief Safety Officer, are primarily responsible for enforcement of all Federal laws and regulations related to railroad safety and developing, implementing and monitoring a regional safety program.