(a) No changes, as defined by this section, to a PTC system, PTCIP, PTCDP, or PTCSP, shall be made unless:
(1) The railroad files a request for amendment (“RFA”) to the applicable PTCIP, PTCDP, or PTCSP with the Associate Administrator; and
(2) The Associate Administrator approves the RFA.
(b) After approval of an RFA in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the railroad shall immediately adopt and comply with the amendment.
(c) In lieu of a separate filing under part 235 of this chapter, a railroad may request approval of a discontinuance or material modification of a signal or train control system by filing an RFA to its PTCIP, PTCDP, or PTCSP with the Associate Administrator.
(d) An RFA made in accordance with this section will not be approved by FRA unless the request includes:
(2) The proposed modifications;
(3) The reasons for each modification;
(4) The changes to the PTCIP, PTCDP, or PTCSP, as applicable;
(5) Each modification's effect on PTC system safety;
(6) An approximate timetable for filing of the PTCDP, PTCSP, or both, if the amendment pertains to a PTCIP; and
(7) An explanation of whether each change to the PTCSP is planned or unplanned.
(i) Unplanned changes that affect the Type Approval's PTCDP require submission and approval in accordance with § 236.1013 of a new PTCDP, followed by submission and approval in accordance with § 236.1015 of a new PTCSP for the PTC system.
(ii) Unplanned changes that do not affect the Type Approval's PTCDP require submission and approval of a new PTCSP.
(iii) Unplanned changes are changes affecting system safety that have not been documented in the PTCSP. The impact of unplanned changes on PTC system safety has not yet been determined.
(iv) Planned changes may be implemented after they have undergone suitable regression testing to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Associate Administrator, they have been correctly implemented and their implementation does not degrade safety.
(v) Planned changes are changes affecting system safety in the PTCSP and have been included in all required analysis under § 236.1015. The impact of these changes on the PTC system's safety has been incorporated as an integral part of the approved PTCSP safety analysis.
(e) If the RFA includes a request for approval of a discontinuance or material modification of a signal or train control system, FRA will publish a notice in the Federal Register of the application and will invite public comment in accordance with part 211 of this chapter.
(f) When considering the RFA, FRA will review the issue of the discontinuance or material modification and determine whether granting the request is in the public interest and consistent with railroad safety, taking into consideration all changes in the method of operation and system functionalities, both within normal PTC system availability and in the case of a system failed state (unavailable), contemplated in conjunction with installation of the PTC system. The railroad submitting the RFA must, at FRA's request, perform field testing in accordance with § 236.1035 or engage in Verification and Validation in accordance with § 236.1017.
(g) FRA may issue at its discretion a new Type Approval number for a PTC system modified under this section.
(h) Changes requiring filing of an RFA. Except as provided by paragraph (i), an RFA shall be filed to request the following:
(1) Discontinuance of a PTC system, or other similar appliance or device;
(2) Decrease of the PTC system's limits (e.g., exclusion or removal of a PTC system on a track segment);
(3) Modification of a safety critical element of a PTC system; or
(4) Modification of a PTC system that affects the safety critical functionality of any other PTC system with which it interoperates.
(i) Discontinuances not requiring the filing of an RFA. It is not necessary to file an RFA for the following discontinuances:
(1) Removal of a PTC system from track approved for abandonment by formal proceeding;
(2) Removal of PTC devices used to provide protection against unusual contingencies such as landslide, burned bridge, high water, high and wide load, or tunnel protection when the unusual contingency no longer exists;
(3) Removal of the PTC devices that are used on a movable bridge that has been permanently closed by the formal approval of another government agency and is mechanically secured in the closed position for rail traffic; or
(4) Removal of the PTC system from service for a period not to exceed 6 months that is necessitated by catastrophic occurrence such as derailment, flood, fire, or hurricane, or earthquake.
(j) Changes not requiring the filing of an RFA. When the resultant change to the PTC system will comply with an approved PTCSP of this part, it is not necessary to file for approval to decrease the limits of a system when it involves the:
(1) Decrease of the limits of a PTC system when interlocked switches, derails, or movable-point frogs are not involved;
(2) Removal of an electric or mechanical lock, or signal used in lieu thereof, from hand-operated switch in a PTC system where train speed over such switch does not exceed 20 miles per hour, and use of those devices has not been part of the considerations for approval of a PTCSP; or
(3) Removal of an electric or mechanical lock, or signal used in lieu thereof, from a hand-operated switch in a PTC system where trains are not permitted to clear the main track at such switch and use of those devices has not been a part of the considerations for approval of a PTCSP.
(k) Modifications not requiring the filing of an RFA. When the resultant arrangement will comply with an approved PTCSP of this part, it is not necessary to file an application for approval of the following modifications:
(1) A modification that is required to comply with an order of the Federal Railroad Administration or any section of part 236 of this title;
(2) Installation of devices used to provide protection against unusual contingencies such as landslide, burned bridges, high water, high and wide loads, or dragging equipment;
(3) Elimination of existing track other than a second main track;
(4) Extension or shortening of a passing siding; or
(5) The temporary or permanent arrangement of existing systems necessitated by highway-rail grade separation construction. Temporary arrangements shall be removed within six months following completion of construction.