WSR 04-05-104

PROPOSED RULES

UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION

COMMISSION

[ Docket No. TR-021465 -- Filed February 18, 2004, 9:25 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-04-004.

Title of Rule: Remote-control locomotive (RCL) operations. Rules relating to public safety when railroads operate locomotives with remote-control technology. The proposal would amend WAC 480-62-320 Remote controlled operations, to clarify and expand reporting requirements to include notice of railroads' intention to use cameras for point protection at crossings. In addition, the proposal would amend WAC 480-62-125 Definitions, to add definitions of "remote-control area," "remote-control operations," and "remote-control zone."

Purpose: See Explanation of Rule below.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 80.01.040, 81.04.160.

Summary: See Explanation of Rule below.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: See Explanation of Rule below.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Mike Rowswell, Rail Safety Manager, 1400 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1265; Implementation and Enforcement: Carole J. Washburn, Secretary, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1174.

Name of Proponent: Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The rule will improve public safety in areas where railroads use remote-control locomotives by improving commission staff awareness of remote-control operations in the state of Washington. Overall, the rule adds definitions to clarify the meaning of the rule. The rule clarifies existing reporting requirements and expands reporting requirements to include remote-control zones and the use of cameras for protection of train movements.

The reporting requirements in subsection (1) of the existing rule could be read to require reporting only in the first instance of railroad use of remote-control locomotives. The proposed rule amends the existing rule to ensure that the commission will be made aware of all locations where railroads intend to use remote-control locomotives, including remote-control zones. Remote-control zones are locations within areas where remote-control locomotives are used where protection rules are relaxed. The rule expands reporting requirements to include these areas and zones because of the additional safety concerns involved. The information provided as a result of the proposed rule will allow commission staff to timely perform safety evaluations of locations where remote-control operations will occur. The use of cameras to provide protection is not a standard railroad practice and poses limitations on the ability to protect crossings. The reporting requirement will allow commission staff to conduct safety diagnostic evaluations before cameras are used at specific locations.

In public meetings with interested persons concerning this rule making, commission staff and others had discussed draft rules concerning protection of the point of movement of remote-controlled trains at grade crossings and where trains can enter mainline tracks. The commission will address the issue of point protection of trains, generally, in a new rule making, Docket No. TR-040151, to consider a new rule in chapter 480-62 WAC concerning point protection.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Definitions of remote-control area, remote-control operations, and remote-control zone are added to WAC 480-62-125. WAC 480-62-320 is amended as described above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule will not result in or impose an increase in costs for any businesses in the railroad industry. Because there will not be any increase in costs resulting from the proposed rules, a small business economic impact statement is not required under RCW 19.85.030(1).

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The commission is not an agency to which RCW 34.05.328 applies. The proposed rules are not significant legislative rules of the sort referenced in RCW 34.05.328(5).

Hearing Location: Commission Hearing Room 206, Second Floor, Chandler Plaza Building, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, on April 28, 2004, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Mary DeYoung by April 23, 2004, TDD (360) 586-8203 or (360) 664-1133.

Submit Written Comments to: Carole J. Washburn, Secretary, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504, or e-mail to records@wutc.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-1150, by March 10, 2004. Please include Docket No. TR-021465 in your communication.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 28, 2004.

February 18, 2004

C. Robert Wallace

for Carole J. Washburn

Executive Secretary

OTS-6995.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Docket No. TR-981102, General Order No. R-477, filed 1/30/01, effective 3/2/01)

WAC 480-62-125   Definitions.   The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

"Class I railroad company" means a railroad company having annual operating revenues of $250 million or more;

"Class II railroad company" means a railroad company having annual operating revenue of less than $250 million, but more than $20 million; and

"Class III railroad company" means a railroad company having annual operating revenues of $20 million or less.

"Commission" means the Washington utilities and transportation commission.

"Department of labor and industries" means the Washington state department of labor and industries.

"Department of transportation" means the Washington state department of transportation.

"On track equipment" means self-propelled equipment, other than locomotives, that can be operated on railroad tracks.

"Passenger carrying vehicle" means those buses and trucks owned, operated, and maintained by a railroad company which transports railroad employees in other than the cab of such vehicles and are designed primarily for operation on roads which may or may not be equipped with retractable flanged wheels for operation on railroad tracks.

"Railroad" means every permanent road with a line of rails fixed to ties providing a track for cars or equipment drawn by locomotives or operated by any type of power, including interurban and suburban electric railroads, for the public use of conveying persons or property for hire, with all bridges, ferries, tunnels, equipment, switches, spurs, sidings, tracks, stations, and terminal facilities of every kind, used, operated, controlled, managed, or owned by or in connection therewith. Unless otherwise provided by rule, the term "railroad" does not include logging and industrial railroads, or street railways operating within the limits of any incorporated city or town.

"Railroad company" means every corporation, company, partnership, association, joint stock association, or person, their lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court, and any common carrier owning, operating, controlling or managing any railroad or any cars or other equipment used on, or in connection with the railroad within this state.

"Railroad police officer" means a peace officer who is commissioned in his or her state of legal residence or state of employment by a railroad company to enforce state laws for the protection of railroad property, personnel, passengers and/or cargo.

"Remote-control area" means any place remote-control operations are conducted on a railroad.

"Remote-control operations" means the use of a radio transmitter and receiver system that can be operated by a person not physically located at the controls within the confines of a locomotive cab.

"Remote-control zone" means a designated area where access is restricted in which remote-control operations may occur under alternative point protection procedures.

"State" means the state of Washington.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 81.04.160, 81.24.010, 81.28.010, 81.28.290, 81.40.110, 81.44.010, 81.44.020, 81.44.101-81.44.105, and chapters 81.48, 81.53, 81.54, 81.60, and 81.61 RCW. 01-04-026 (Docket No. TR-981102, General Order No. R-477), 480-62-125, filed 1/30/01, effective 3/2/01.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Docket No. TR-981102, General Order No. R-477, filed 1/30/01, effective 3/2/01)

WAC 480-62-320   Remote controlled operations.   (1) Railroad companies, including logging and industrial railroad companies, must report to the commission their intention to ((use remote control devices to operate trains)) create or enlarge a remote-control area at least thirty days before operations begin. ((The)) Reports must include:

(a) The name of the railroad company;

(b) The approximate date when operations will start; and

(c) The location of ((the)) operations((; and)). Railroads should provide sufficient information to allow the commission to determine what road crossings at grade are included within the remote-control area.

(((d) Whether trains with locomotives operated by remote control will travel over at-grade pedestrian or vehicular crossings.))

(2) ((If remote controlled trains will be operated over crossings, the railroad company must list the affected crossings)) Railroad companies must report to the commission their intention to create or enlarge a remote-control zone at least thirty days before operations begin. Reports must include:

(a) The name of the railroad company;

(b) The approximate date when operations will start; and

(c) The remote-control area within which the zone will be created.

(3) ((Each railroad company using remote control devices on the effective date of this rule must submit the report within thirty days after the effective date.)) Railroads must report to the commission their intention to use cameras for point protection at crossings at least thirty days prior to the intended implementation date.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 81.04.160, 81.24.010, 81.28.010, 81.28.290, 81.40.110, 81.44.010, 81.44.020, 81.44.101-81.44.105, and chapters 81.48, 81.53, 81.54, 81.60, and 81.61 RCW. 01-04-026 (Docket No. TR-981102, General Order No. R-477), 480-62-320, filed 1/30/01, effective 3/2/01.]

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