FRA Consortiums

Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act

Under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, the Department of Transportation is required to implement Drug and Alcohol testing programs within various transportation industries. Drug and alcohol testing has been required by the FRA for railroad industry employees since 1986.

Covered employee

A person who performs hours of service functions at a rate sufficient to be placed into the railroad’s random testing program. Categories of personnel who normally perform these functions are locomotive engineers, trainmen, conductors, switchmen, locomotive hostlers/helpers, utility employees, signalmen, operators, and train dispatchers.

FRA 49 CFR 219-Control of Alcohol and Drug Use 

For purposes of Part 219, FRA has designated its safety-sensitive employees to be those who perform service covered under the hours of service laws (covered service) and effective on June 12, 2017, Maintenance of Way employees as defined as "Roadway Worker in Part 214.7 will also be subject to Part 219 requirements.  On June 12, 2017, the new term "regulated service" will include all hours of service employees and roadway workers, inclusive of "regulated service" contractors and also individuals who may volunteer to perform regulated service duties for a railroad.

MOW 49 CFR 214.7 Maintenence Of Way Employees 

Any person who is on or near, or who could potentially affect the railroad tracks must be tested under MOW rules and regulations.DOT states that if you perform more then one safety-sensitive position, during the time you are performing said duty, you will fall under that agency rules and regulations per post-accident, or any other situation.


Per consortium regulations, if a person performs more then one safety-sensitive duty in two different DOT Modes, they will be enrolled into the primary responsibilities agency consortium.  

FRA consortium under 49 CFR 219 stands at the DOT random selection of 25% drug and 10% breath alcohol.

The MOW division of the FRA is governed under the new implementation of 49 CFR 214.7.  MOW consortium mandated consortium pull stands at a 50% random selection for drug testing, and 25% random selection for breath alcohol testing. 

Title 49, CFR Part 40

Title 49 requires employers to have a Designated Employer
Representative (DER), defined in 40.3 as “An employee authorized by the employer to
take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, or cause
employees to be removed from these covered duties, and to make required decisions in
the testing and evaluation processes. The DER also receives test results and other
communications for the employer, consistent with the requirements of Part 40. Service
agents cannot act as DERs.”

Type Of Testing

Programs have been established on this company which requires regulated employees
to demonstrate their safety posture through complying with:
1. Urine screens to detect the presence of marijuana, cocaine, opioids, phencyclidine
and amphetamines (See 49 CFR § 40.85 and 49 CFR § 40.87);
2. Breath alcohol tests to detect the unauthorized use of alcohol; and
3. Breath, urine, blood, and tissue (fatality) testing after qualifying FRA post-
accident events.

Types of tests for drugs: Pre-employment, periodic, random, reasonable suspicion, and post serious
marine incident (SMI), return-to-duty, and follow-up.

5-panel standard DOT testing for marijuana,cocaine,amphetamines,opiates,phencyclidine (PCP). 

Types of tests for alcohol: 49 CFR Part 40 alcohol-testing requirements do not apply to the
Maritime Industry. 46 CFR Part 4.06 requires post-SMI chemical testing for alcohol use. 33
CFR Part 95.035 allows for a marine employer or a law enforcement officer to direct an
individual to undergo a chemical test for intoxicants when reasonable cause exists or a marine
casualty has occurred.

All employees governed under CFR Part 40 are required to be enrolled in a DOT regulated consortium. 

Please refer to your DER for any post-accident testing.