217.370.8505 cory@bletislb.org

FRA: CPKC Petitions for Modification of Waiver of Compliance Regarding Freight Car, Brake System Safety Standards

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) on Dec. 12, 2022, petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a modification of an existing waiver of compliance providing the Class I “limited, conditional relief” from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR parts 215 (Railroad Freight Car Safety Standards) and 232 (Brake System Safety Standards for Freight Car Safety Standards for Freight and Other Non-Passenger Trains and Equipment; End-of-Train Devices), according to a notice in the Federal Register’s Jun. 7 edition.

Additionally, CPKC requested certification under section 415 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), that “brake inspections conducted in Mexico meet FRA requirements.” FRA notes that CPKC’s request under RSIA Section 416 will be “handled separately from its waiver modification request and accordingly this notice only addresses CPKC’s request to modify the existing waiver in Docket Number FRA-2007-28700.”

Specifically, in its petition, CPKC requests a modification of the existing relief in Docket Number FRA-2007-28700 involving 49 CFR 232.205Class I brake test-initial terminal inspection, and certain provisions of 49 CFR part 215, regarding freight cars received in interchange from Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) at the U.S./Mexico border crossing and international bridge in Laredo, Texas, according to the petition. CPKC requests that FRA “permit the inspections and brake tests currently required to be conducted at the point of interchange between CPKC and KCSM and at CPKC’s Laredo Yard in Texas to be conducted in KCSM’s Sanchez Yard in Mexico.”

In support of its petition, CPKC states that the existing waiver has “contributed to border security and that no incidents have been attributed to the relief in the past fourteen years.” Additionally, according to the Federal Register, CPKC proposes to implement new technology, Duos Technologies‘ rip® Railcar Inspection (DTRI) that will:

  • “Allow FRA to confirm remotely at the time a train arrives at the international bridge that the train has passed the Class I or Class III brake test in Sanchez Yard; and
  • “Allow CPKC qualified mechanical inspectors to use the DTRI data to confirm the ‘mechanical soundness’ of any train interchanged from KCSM to CPKC.”

CPKC also explains that “[a]voiding stopping trains on the Bridge will also reduce the incidence of vandalism to brake systems that occurs when trains stop on the Bridge waiting to cross into the U.S.,” according to the petition.

A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available here.

Communications, FRA says, received by Aug. 7, 2023, will be considered “before final action is taken.” Comments received after that date will be considered “if practicable.”