In February of 2005, the Federal Railroad Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a set of new performance-based regulations governing the development and use of microprocessor-based signal and train control systems. The new standard, effective March 2005, requires that replacement systems be at least as safe as the existing condition. Among the key elements used in evaluating the compliance of products to the new performance standard are quantitative and qualitative risk assessments. This paper explains the performance standard that must be followed, the regulatory background behind it, various quantitative and qualitative risk modeling techniques that can be used to support claims of compliance, and issues associated with their implementation.

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