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.
AUTHOR: Judith Gertler, Amanda DiFiore and Thomas Raslear OFFICE: RPD REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-13/06 SUBJECT: Fatigue Management, Hours of Service, Human Factors, Sleep Disorders, Work Schedule & Sleep Patterns KEYWORDS: Fatigue, work schedule, sleep pattern, sleep disorder, alertness, shiftwork, hours of service, split assignment, extra board ABSTRACT: This report draws on the results of several prior studies, all conducted with similar methodology, to characterize the prevalence of employee fatigue in the U.S. railroad industry. Data from logbook surveys of signalmen, maintenance of way workers, dispatchers, and train and engine service employees were combined to examine the relationship between work schedules and sleep patterns. Railroaders make up for lack of sleep on workdays by sleeping longer on rest days. This strategy is used to a greater extent among by certain groups such as signalmen working four 10-hour days, first shift dispatchers, and train and engine service (T&E) workers on jobs with a fixed start time. T&E workers in passenger service with a split assignment have a shorter primary sleep period than those working straight through or working extra board assignments, but they have similar total daily sleep because they sleep during their interim release. Overall, U.S. railroad workers are more likely than U.S. working adults to get less than 7 hours of total sleep on workdays, but railroad workers average more total sleep when sleep on workdays and rest days are combined. According to the FAST software tool, the effectiveness (inverse of fatigue) for each group, based on logbook data for work and sleep, indicates that T&E workers and third shift dispatchers have the most fatigue exposure and passenger T&E workers have the least. Railroad workers in all groups had less fatigue exposure than those involved in human factors accidents.