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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

Train Crew Staffing NPRM

Train Crew Size Safety Requirements 

Proposed Rule and December 14th Public Hearing


FRA proposes regulations establishing safe minimum requirements for the size of train crews depending on the type of operation. A minimum requirement of two crewmembers is proposed for all railroad operations, with exceptions proposed for those operations that do not pose significant safety risks to railroad employees, the public, or the environment. This proposed rule would also establish minimum requirements for the location of crewmembers on a moving train and promote safe and effective teamwork. FRA also proposes a special approval procedure to allow railroads to petition FRA to continue legacy operations with one-person train crews and allow any railroad to petition FRA for approval to initiate a new train operation with fewer than two crewmembers. 

Public Hearing

FRA will conduct a public hearing to provide members of the public an opportunity to provide oral comment on the proposed rule. The hearing will be conducted both in-person and virtually to allow greater participation. 

As FRA mentioned in the hearing announcement (available here), individuals or groups of individuals wishing to speak and/or present at the hearing should register with FRA in advance in accordance with the instructions provided in the hearing announcement. Based on the number of presenters, FRA may need to limit the duration of presentations and will limit speakers who discuss topics or issues outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking. If time permits, FRA may allow additional individuals to sign up to speak and/or present on the day of the hearing and will announce instructions at the hearing when it is known whether that is an option. 

For those wishing to sign up to present, please contact Mr. Pat Hogan at

FRA is committed to providing equal access to this meeting for all participants. If you need alternative formats or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this meeting, either in-person or virtually, please contact FRA Program Analyst Mr. Kenton Kilgore via email at

For members of the press wishing to attend, please contact FRA Public Affairs at

Public Hearing Procedures

The hearing will be a non-adversarial proceeding. FRA representatives will make opening statements outlining the scope of the hearing. After all initial statements from FRA are completed, those persons wishing to present to FRA will be given the opportunity to do so. The order of presenters who have signed up in advance will be published in advance of the hearing along with it being announced at the hearing. Once all initial presentations are made, the FRA panel may ask clarifying questions; however, there will be no cross examination of persons presenting statements or offering evidence. Once complete, those wishing to make brief rebuttals may do so, time permitting, in the same order in which the initial statements were made. FRA will announce any additional procedures that are necessary to conduct the hearing, at the hearing.

FRA reserves the right to limit the duration of presentations if necessary to afford all persons with the opportunity to speak.

Further, please note that FRA will take appropriate recess breaks as needed, e.g., a lunch break or a break between presentations, and may adjourn the meeting before the scheduled 4:00 p.m. (ET) end time if it is determined that all persons wishing to present have had a reasonable opportunity to do so.