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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

Civil Penalties Schedules & Guidelines

Current as of March 8, 2023

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is authorized as the delegate of the Secretary of Transportation to enforce the Federal railroad safety and hazardous materials transportation statutes, regulations, and orders, including the civil penalty provisions codified primarily at 49 U.S.C. chs. 51 and 213. See 49 U.S.C. 103 and 49 CFR 1.89; 49 U.S.C. chs. 51, 201-213.

FRA currently has safety regulations in 36 parts of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that contain provisions establishing the agency’s authority to impose civil penalties if a person violates any requirement in the pertinent portion of a statute, regulation, or order. Out of those 36 CFR parts, 32 contained civil penalties schedules or guidelines constituting a statement of agency policy. These civil penalties schedules and guidelines were historically issued as an appendix to the relevant part of the CFR. On May 23, 2019, FRA relocated the existing civil penalties schedules and guidelines from the CFR to FRA’s website.  See 84 FR 23730.

To access FRA’s current civil penalties schedules and guidelines in either PDF or Excel format:

The civil penalties and guidelines have been updated to: 

  • Reflect new inflation-adjusted statutory minimum and maximum civil penalties (See 88 FR 1114 (Jan. 6, 2023)); 
     
  • Update the penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 223 (Glazing) to account for Final Rule amendments (See 87 FR 68913 (Nov. 17, 2022)); and
     
  • Update the civil penalty guidelines for Parts 213, 214, 215, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 270, 271, 272, 299 to increase guideline penalty dollar amounts to account for inflation (See 88 FR 15116 (Mar. 10, 2023)).

*Note that, beginning in 2024, FRA will annually update all of its civil penalties schedules and guidelines for inflation. 

To access FRA’s archived civil penalties schedules and guidelines in either PDF or Excel format:

March 2022

The March 2022 tables:   

  • Reflected new inflation-adjusted statutory minimum and maximum civil penalties (See 87 FR 15839 (Mar. 21, 2022)). 

July 2021

The July 2021 tables:

  • Reflected new inflation-adjusted statutory minimum and maximum civil penalties (See 86 FR 23241 (May 3, 2021));
  • Updated the hazardous materials civil penalty guidelines to add civil penalties for Hazardous Materials Regulations sections that were added or revised since the last update (See 49 CFR Part 209). FRA made clarifying revisions to existing civil penalty descriptions for further transparency to the regulated community, and adjusted penalty dollar amounts. Of particular note, FRA added new civil penalty guidelines pertaining to international harmonization, oil spill prevention and response plans, and qualification and maintenance of tank cars;
  • Updated the penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 213 (Track Safety Standards) to account for Final Rule amendments (See 85 FR 63389, Oct. 7, 2020); 
  • Updated the penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 232 (Brake System Safety Standards for Freight and Other Non-Passenger Trains and Equipment; End-of-Train Devices) to account for Final Rule amendments (See 85 FR 80544, Dec. 11, 2020);
  • Updated the penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 240 (Qualification and Certification of Locomotive Engineers) to account for Final Rule amendments (See 85 FR 81290, Dec. 15, 2020). FRA made clarifying revisions to existing civil penalty descriptions for further transparency to the regulated community, and adjusted penalty dollar amounts; 
  • Updated the penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 242 (Qualification and Certification of Conductors) to account for Final Rule amendments (See 85 FR 81290, Dec. 15, 2020);
  • Updated the penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 270 (System Safety Program) to account for Final Rule amendments (See 85 FR 12826 (Mar. 4, 2020)); 
  • Incorporated a penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 271 (Risk Reduction Program) (See 85 FR 9262 (Feb. 18, 2020)); and
  • Incorporated a penalty schedule for 49 CFR Part 299 (Texas Central Railroad High-Speed Rail Safety Standards) (See 85 FR 69731, Nov. 3, 2020).

July 2019

The July 2019 tables:

  • Reflected new inflation-adjusted statutory minimum and maximum civil penalties (See 84 FR 37059 (July 31, 2019)).

May 2019