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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Training Standards Rule

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) required that the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (Secretary or DOT) establish minimum training standards for all safety-related railroad employees. See Title 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) Sec. 20162. To comply with that statutory mandate, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a final rule on November 7, 2014, establishing Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 243, Training, Qualifications, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees, which requires each railroad or contractor that employs one or more safety-related railroad employees to develop and submit a training program to FRA for approval and to designate the minimum training qualifications for each occupational category of employee. The rule also requires most employers to conduct periodic oversight of their employees and develop annual written reviews of their training programs to close performance gaps.

In the near future there will be a link to the Stakeholder Training Matrix that has been developed to help those affected by the Training Standards regulation understand what type of items will require OJT.  Additionally, there is a link below to register for account access to submit training programs for approval. 

Have questions?  Contact our Safety Partnerships Division for any questions or concerns about the Training Standards Rule at 

ASLRRA Q&A Document

Click here for ASLRRA Q&A

Railroad Safety Portal (RRSP) - New Account Request Form

NEW AND UPDATED -Upcoming Implementation Dates as of December 30, 2019

Click here for the Federal Register notice


Each Class I railroad, and each intercity or commuter passenger railroad with 400k or more total employee work hours annually All other railroads All railroad contractors 
Roadway Maintenance Machines




Submit Programs




Designate Existing
Employees (Grandfathering)




Start Refresher




Complete Refresher




  • Training organizations and learning institutions (TO/LI) that have provided training to safety-related railroad employees prior to 1/1/2019 may continue without FRA approval until 1/1/2020.

  • TO/LI need approval no later than 01/01/2020 to continue (extensions may be granted with sufficient facts)

Model Programs

The regulation permits organizations, businesses, or associations to develop training programs that could be used by multiple employers.  FRA encourages a modular approach to model program development to allow for easy customization by employers:

  • Model programs submitted to FRA prior to May 1, 2019 are considered approved and may be implemented 180 days after date of submission, unless the FRA notifies the organization that developed and submitted the program that it (the program), contains deficiencies.
  • An employer that uses a model program approved by FRA only needs to submit the unique identifier and any additional information that is specific to that employer or deviated from the model program

Training Rule Resource Documents

Last updated: Thursday, March 3, 2022