Information published on 16 January 2018 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 580.

United States: U.S. Department of Transportation announces intent to repeal Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brake Mandate

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In accordance with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Public Law 114-94), the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced the final updated Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) in regard to Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes on certain trains. After careful review in accordance with the Congressional mandate contained in the FAST Act, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will rescind the ECP mandate.

This determination was made with congressionally-mandated input from the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board, U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) and studies by the FRA, which found that the cost-benefit analyses are not sufficient justification for mandating ECP brakes.

The National Academy of Sciences determined it was unable to make a conclusive statement regarding the emergency performance of ECP brakes relative to other braking systems. In addition, the updated RIA incorporated recommendations from audits conducted by the U.S. General Accountability Office and updated costs and benefits of the ECP brake provision based on current economic conditions. This review demonstrated that the costs of this mandate would exceed three-fold the benefits it would produce.

(Source: US DoT)