5.1 Federal Railroad Administration User Needs (Invited Presentation)

Tuesday, 14 January 2020: 8:30 AM
205A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Sam Alibrahim, Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

Federal Railroad Administration User Needs

Sam Alibrahim, P.E.

Federal Railroad Administration

The Federal Railroad Aviation Administration (FRA) is one of ten agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation concerned with intermodal transportation. Its mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods on the nation’s rail network. FRA exercises its responsibilities for regulating the safety of the nation's railroad system and development of intercity passenger rail through several means, including:

  • Legislative Rules,
  • Non-legislative Rules (Interpretive Rules and Policy Statements), and
  • Management and Procedural Rules.

Increasingly, the US railroad industry is relying on satellite navigation and communication based train control and tracking technologies to safely guide train movements. Additionally, in electrified territories of the rail network, passenger service relies on electric power grid for traction power. These systems are vulnerable to space weather events in disrupting rail network operations. As a consumer of satellite navigation services, FRA and the railroad industry need to better understand science behind space weather and provide the space weather community an insight into railroad operations to better manage and mitigate the impact of space weather events, which will be the focus of this presentation.

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