49 U.S.C. § 20702 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 49. Transportation § 20702. Inspections, repairs, and inspection and repair reports

(a) General. --The Secretary of Transportation shall--

(1)  become familiar, so far as practicable, with the condition of every locomotive and tender and its parts and appurtenances;

(2)  inspect every locomotive and tender and its parts and appurtenances as necessary to carry out this chapter, but not necessarily at stated times or at regular intervals;  and

(3)  ensure that every railroad carrier makes inspections of locomotives and tenders and their parts and appurtenances as required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary and repairs every defect that is disclosed by an inspection before a defective locomotive, tender, part, or appurtenance is used again.

(b) Noncomplying locomotives, tenders, and parts.--(1)  When the Secretary finds that a locomotive, tender, or locomotive or tender part or appurtenance owned or operated by a railroad carrier does not comply with this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter, the Secretary shall give the carrier written notice describing any defect resulting in noncompliance.  Not later than 5 days after receiving the notice of noncompliance, the carrier may submit a written request for a reinspection.  On receiving the request, the Secretary shall provide for the reinspection by an officer or employee of the Department of Transportation who did not make the original inspection.  The reinspection shall be made not later than 15 days after the date the Secretary gives the notice of noncompliance.

(2)  Immediately after the reinspection is completed, the Secretary shall give written notice to the railroad carrier stating whether the locomotive, tender, part, or appurtenance is in compliance.  If the original finding of noncompliance is sustained, the carrier has 30 days after receipt of the notice to file an appeal with the Secretary.  If the carrier files an appeal, the Secretary, after providing an opportunity for a proceeding, may revise or set aside the finding of noncompliance.

(3)  A locomotive, tender, part, or appurtenance found not in compliance under this subsection may be used only after it is--

(A)  repaired to comply with this chapter and regulations prescribed under this chapter;  or

(B)  found on reinspection or appeal to be in compliance.

(c) Reports. --A railroad carrier shall make and keep, in the way the Secretary prescribes by regulation, a report of every--

(1)  inspection made under regulations prescribed by the Secretary;  and

(2)  repair made of a defect disclosed by such an inspection.

(d) Changes in inspection procedures. --A railroad carrier may change a rule or instruction of the carrier governing the inspection by the carrier of the locomotives and tenders and locomotive and tender parts and appurtenances of the carrier when the Secretary approves a request filed by the carrier to make the change.


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