Regulatory Response to COVID-19

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has been active in providing a variety of support to railroads during the pandemic, in the form of guidance, and relief from certain regulations during the pandemic.

Guidance Issued

DOT Required Drug and Alcohol Testing During the Pandemic
Conducting FRA Safety Inspections During the Pandemic

Regulatory Relief

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

The FRA has provided relief from a number of regulations during the pandemic in the form of waivers. Those waivers have now expired.

If your railroad would like to continue to use one of the waivers granted on September 18, 2020, and amended on October 5, 2020, please contact the FRA directly to request an ongoing waiver.

If you have questions about this process, please reach out to JR Gelnar.

The Railroad Retirement Board

The Railroad Retirement Board has posted agency guidance to help employers and employees navigate those situations in which benefits are payable during the COVID-19 outbreak and based on the recent legislation passed by Congress.  Because these flexibilities are temporary and may change, they are not covered in the standard guidance, but in COVID-specific documents. Visit for up-to-date information.

Please direct any RRB-specific concerns to Sarah Yurasko.

The Surface Transportation Board

As of March 17, 2020, all filings and other submissions should be made electronically. All Board decisions will continue to be available on the Board’s website during this time; however, the Board’s mail room will not be accepting paper filings or providing paper copies of decisions or other materials until further notice.

As we move from containment into recovery, the Board encourages anyone with questions regarding its authority to contact its Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program, available at (866) 254-1792 (toll-free) or 202-245-0238, or by email at

Have something to add? We welcome your suggestions! Please share your COVID-19 resources with ASLRRA by emailing