THE Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Public Transportation Association (Apta) have separately petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for an extension of existing waivers of compliance from certain provisions of rail safety regulations that FRA granted in autumn 2020 relating to the pandemic.

Both petitions were posted on August 25. AAR wants the FRA to extend the existing relief previously granted on September 18 2020 with the exception of the relief related to the operational requirements of certain sections.

AAR is also requesting that FRA extends the existing relief for another 12 months, or three months after the FRA Administrator’s rescission of the existing Covid-19 Emergency Declaration, whichever comes first.

Apta notes that the guidance on social distancing, as well as avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, are expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future, and that commuter railways are still operating with much-reduced workforce levels because of the pandemic. Apta is also requesting an extension of the existing relief by one year.