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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

Safety Partnerships Division

The Safety Partnerships Division (SPD) manages a portfolio of railroad safety partnership programs designed to increase organizational resilience in the railroad industry. SPD manages and coordinates nationwide voluntary programs including Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-Way Employees and Signalmen (FAMES), Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA), Railroad Information Sharing Environment (RISE), Electric Traction (ET), and Behavior Based Safety (BBS). Stakeholders include railroads, railroad labor, railroad associations, the Volpe Center, academia, and FRA.  SPD coordinates and manages interests and experience between cross-functional stakeholders to improve railroad safety, protecting the lives of railroad employees and the public.

SPD is responsible for overall management and oversight of the Minimum Training Standards Regulation for safety-related railroad employees. Management of voluntary programs as well as regulatory programs impact all railroads (freight and passenger/commuter) nationwide. Minimum Training Program oversight responsibilities entail legislatively mandated review and approval of training programs developed by railroads, railroad contractors, training organizations, learning institutions, and associations used to qualify and train safety-related railroad employees on Federal laws, regulations, and orders.  

SPD maintains lines of communication and working partnerships with the scientific and academic communities regarding human and organizational behavior and adult learning techniques. SPD also coordinates with FRA's Office of Research and Development and the Volpe Center on applying research theory to complex issues with the goal of recommending practical solutions to the railroad industry.