February 24, 2009
DOT/OIG Report on Enhancing the Federal Railroad Administration's Oversight of Track Safety Inspections
Project ID: CR-2009-038
Our report found that FRA’s safety regulations for internal rail flaw testing did not require the railroads to report the specific track locations–milepost numbers or track miles–tested during these types of inspections. We also found FRA’s inspection data system did not provide adequate information for determining the extent to which FRA’s track inspectors have reviewed the railroads’ records for internal rail flaw testing and visual track inspections to assess compliance with safety regulations. We recommended that FRA revise its track safety regulations for internal rail flaw testing to require the railroads to report all track locations (milepost numbers or track miles) covered during internal rail flaw testing. We also recommended that FRA revise its Track Safety Compliance Manual and inspection data system by including specific inspection activity codes for its track inspectors to report on whether the record reviews the inspectors conducted were for internal rail flaw testing or visual track inspections. FRA agreed with our recommendations and has either taken or planned corrective actions.