More on Obsolete FRA Regs

November 15, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Car Stop 

In a previous Car Stop [“Another Way Government Boosts the Cost of Rail Transit”] posted on this website in October, I discussed how FRA buffer strength requirements unnecessarily raise the cost of commuter rail cars and some other rail vehicles. In effect, those regs force manufacturers to design and build special equipment for the U.S. market. Because we are a small market, the unit cost rises substantially.

The FRA replies, “Safety.” But it now appears the cars that meet the FRA’s expensive requirements are less safe than modern European equipment, not more. In effect we are paying more to get less (why is it not hard to guess a federal agency is involved with that?).

On November 7, Stephen Smith posted a blog on the Forbes Business website that references a video you may want to watch. The blog says of the video, “(it) shows FRA compliant rail passenger coaches failing miserably while foreign-built passenger equipment (non-FRA compliant) survive (sic) almost intact.”

Take a look at the video and see for yourself. Then read Mr. Smith’s blog: It isn’t only this website that wonders why the FRA makes transit properties pay more to get less. Perhaps it’s time we took the differences out of FRA’s budget. Think the buffer strength requirements would change then?