Audit Reports

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FRA Oversight of Use of Slow Orders and Track Reclassification

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Our newly released audit report regarding FRA’s oversight of railroad slow orders and track reclassification found that FRA has no recordkeeping and reporting requirements governing slow orders, and neither FRA nor two of the three railroads we visited maintain detailed historical records of slow orders. As a result, we could not determine whether slow orders affected track safety or caused the increasing number of train delays. We also found that the largest railroads have steadily increased their rail roadway investment since 1980. We recommended that FRA review CSX Transportation’s replacement practices for ballast—material placed on the roadbed to anchor track—and monitor railroad annual “R-1” reports to the Surface Transportation Board to identify potential problems in roadway investments. FRA concurred with our recommendations.