Federal Railroad Administration

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Federal Railroad Administration
Seal of the United States Department of Transportation.svg
Seal of the Department of Transportation
Agency overview
Formed April 1, 1967; 50 years ago (1967-04-01)
Jurisdiction United States Government
Headquarters Washington, DC
Employees 850
Annual budget $1.561 billion (2008)[1]
Agency executive
  • Sarah Feinberg, Administrator
Parent agency US Department of Transportation
Website Federal Railroad Administration

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The agency was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966.[2] The purpose of FRA is to promulgate and enforce rail safety regulations, administer railroad assistance programs, conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy, provide for the rehabilitation of Northeast Corridor rail passenger service, and consolidate government support of rail transportation activities.[3]

FRA Inspection Train in St. Johnsville, NY

The FRA is one of 10 agencies within DOT concerned with intermodal transportation. It operates through seven divisions under the offices of the Administrator and Deputy Administrator. These divisions are: Financial Management and Administration, Chief Counsel, Civil Rights, Public Affairs, Public Engagement, Railroad Policy and Development, and Safety. It has a staff of about 850.[4]


Until the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, Sarah Feinberg was the Administrator of the FRA.[5] Feinberg was the second woman to lead the agency. Her appointment was announced by United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on January 12, 2015 and confirmed on October 28, 2015.[5] Feinberg had previously served as Foxx's Chief of Staff, managing DOT's ten modal organizations, and spearheading its legislative, policy, and communications efforts.[6] Feinberg's tenure as Administrator featured a greater emphasis on the enforcement of safety rules and regulations relative to her predecessors.[7]

Patrick T. Warren, Executive Director of the FRA, is the current acting Administrator pending the appointment and confirmation of a new Administrator.

Previous FRA Administrators include:

  • Joe Szabo (2009-2014); the first FRA Administrator to be chosen from the ranks of railroad employment.[8][9][10]
  • Clifford C. Eby (Acting Administrator, December 2008-April 2009)
  • Joseph H. Boardman (2005-2008); former President and CEO of Amtrak.[11][12]

Safety Initiatives

In June 2015, the FRA announced a railway safety initiative with Google that would include the FRAs GIS data into its mapping services. The data pinpoints the location of over 250,000 rail crossings in the United States. The FRA believes that providing the location of rail crossings in maps will enhance crossing safety by people who are using navigation systems while driving.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. Department of Transportation Fiscal Year 2009 Budget In Brief". Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  2. ^ United States. Department of Transportation Act. 49 U.S.C. § 103, section 3(e)(1).
  3. ^ Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). "Federal Railroad Administration: About Us." Archived 2008-05-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Federal Railroad Administration (2010). Washington, DC."About the FRA." Archived 2010-09-14 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 2010-08-28.
  5. ^ a b Michael Laris; Ashley Halsey III (28 October 2015). "Sarah Feinberg confirmed as new head of Federal Railroad Administration". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "U.S Transportation Secretary Foxx Names Sarah Feinberg Acting Administrator of FRA". Briefing Room. Federal Railroad Administration. 2015-01-12.  Press release.
  7. ^ "Exiting rail safety chief Feinberg looks to technology to save lives". lohud.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  8. ^ Progressive Railroading (April 30, 2009). "Senate confirms Szabo's nomination as FRA administrator". Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  9. ^ "FRA's Szabo announces resignation". Metro Magazine. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Senate confirms UTU's Szabo to FRA". UTU News. United Transportation Union. April 29, 2009. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  11. ^ "FRA Acting Administrator Named", APTA:Passenger Transport Express, December 5, 2008, accessed December 8, 2008
  12. ^ "Joseph H. Boardman Begins Role as New Administrator for Federal Railroad Administration With Focus on Rail Safety and Intercity Passenger Rail Reform" (Press release). FRA. June 1, 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-10-28. Retrieved 2005-06-06. 
  13. ^ "Google, FRA team up for safety; will add rail crossing data to maps". June 29, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  14. ^ Mouawad, Jad (June 29, 2015). "Agency Taps Mapping Technology to Curb Rail Crossing Accidents". New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 

External links

  • Federal Railroad Administration
  • Records of the Federal Railroad Administration in the National Archives (Record Group 399)
  • Federal Railroad Administration in the Federal Register
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