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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

Hazardous Materials

HazMat Tanks on a Railroad Track

New Information: The Federal Register recently published a final rule, Hazardous Materials: Real-Time Train Consist Information, issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration. The rule amends the Hazardous Materials Regulations to require railroads that carry hazardous materials to generate in electronic form, maintain, and provide to first responders, emergency response officials, and law enforcement personnel, certain information regarding hazardous materials in rail transportation to enhance emergency response and investigative efforts. 

The compliance date for Class I railroads is June 24, 2025, and for Class II and III railroads is June 24, 2026.

The final rule may be viewed on the Federal Register’s website:

FRA administers a safety program that oversees the movement of hazardous materials throughout the Nation’s rail transportation system, including international shipments transported to and from the United States. The terms “hazardous materials” and “dangerous goods” include energy products, chemicals, hazardous wastes, and radioactive materials. FRA also oversees the movement of packages marked to indicate compliance with a Federal or international hazardous materials standard, even if the packages do not contain a hazardous material. 

FRA’s safety program includes the following activities: 

  • Providing direction and guidance regarding hazardous materials safety and security enforcement, including inspections and audits.  
  • Coordinating efforts with industry to eliminate non-accident releases of hazardous materials in rail transportation.
  • Coordinating hazardous materials safety and security programs with other DOT operating administrations, state and local organizations, and industry stakeholder groups.
  • Participating with industry and professional organizations to establish voluntary standards related to the reliability, safety, and serviceability of bulk packages used for the transportation of hazardous materials by rail.