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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Railroad Safety Specialist - GS - 2121 -13 (Open to U.S. Citizens ) - BP
Department:  Department Of Transportation
Agency:  Federal Railroad Administration
Job Announcement Number:  FRA.R6-2013-0022

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$81,823.00 to $106,369.00 / Per Year
Friday, April 12, 2013 to Thursday, May 02, 2013
Full Time (TELEWORK) - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location(s):
Council Bluffs, IA, USView Map
Omaha, NE, USView Map

Applications will be accepted from any U.S. Citizen.

This job is also being advertised for applicants eligible for status consideration.  Current and former status employees and veterans who qualify under VEOA are encouraged to also apply to announcement: FRA.R6-2013-0021.


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for ensuring safety of the Nation's passenger and freight rail operations and infrastructure by promoting safe, efficient and accessible rail transportation. The mission and focus of FRA has grown to include the design and management of an unprecedented investment in the creation of a nationwide passenger rail network. FRA is providing leadership for the creation of a more balanced transportation system, transforming the way Americans travel.

This position serves as an integral member of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Office of Safety's Regional organizational structure, and as a Railroad Safety Specialist within the region. You will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing regional safety programs.  You will also advise the Regional Administrator and Deputy Regional Administrator(s) on rail related issues to facilitate communications and enhance management awareness and oversight capabilities.  You will act as a coordinator/team leader to facilitate accomplishment of special and/or specific tasks.  This position requires you to represent FRA, as appropriate, in interagency, intergovernmental, and intra-departmental matters in order to foster a cooperative understanding of FRA’s safety goals and objectives, as well as strengthen relationships with governmental entities and industry stakeholders.  You will also recommend and provide assistance to Regional management and office staff on a myriad of regional matters in order to improve the overall efficiency of regional operations.

The Ideal Candidate for this position is an experienced professional who is a technical expert in at least one of the five railroad safety disciplines (i.e., hazardous materials, operating practices, motive power and equipment, track, signal and train control). Experience as a technical expert who has conducted analytical investigations and special studies and made recommendations to improve railroad safety is preferred. 

PLEASE NOTE: This position is a full-time telework position that will be filled in in the Council Bluff or Omaha Metropolitan Area.

The geographical location will be subject to approval by FRA management. Railroad Safety Specialists serving a probationary period will not be approved for full-time telework without the expressed authorization of management. The duty station for full-time teleworkers is the residence or other approved telework site.  Salary will be adjusted based on the duty location.     


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen and meet specialized experience to qualify.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • Provide all required documents by closing date.
  • Position is telework eligible.
  • The announcement is also advertised merit promotion: FRA.R6-2013-0021.
  • Announcement may be used to fill similar positions within 30 days.


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As a Railroad Safety Specialist, you will:

  • Be responsible for the development and oversight of the Regional short-line operational plans. Responsible for the development and management of an electronic or manual directory of the short line railroads located within the boundaries of their resident Regions.
  • Work with regional Railroad Safety Specialists regarding technical issues which may arise within area of expertise. As an experienced railroad safety practitioner, you will provide advice and assistance actively processing any railroad accident or incident or special project to which assigned, within or outside Regional boundaries.
  • Fulfill the responsibilities of the FRA liaison representative with other individuals and organizations that have a participatory role in railroad accident investigations, e.g., fire departments, police departments, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Federal, State and local government agencies, public officials, media and labor organizations.
  • Prepare and ensure that the required reports are prepared in an appropriate, cohesive, complete and correct fashion. Represents the FRA in contacts with the rail-related community, public officials, news media, other Government agencies, Native American tribes, labor unions, civic and private interest groups on various Department programs, functions and policies. In addition, serves as the FRA representative in a variety of activities addressing inter-modal issues.


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To be qualified for a Railroad Safety Specialist, the Qualifications Standard state you MUST have demonstrated knowledge in the following areas:

  • Knowledge of the railroad industry, including economic and operating considerations and equipment.
  • Knowledge of the general safety and health principles and practices applicable to the railroad industry;
  • Knowledge of railroad accident investigation techniques; and
  • Skill in written and oral communication.
LEVEL To qualify, your experience should include all of the above plus at least one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the following:
  • Experience monitoring and guiding short-line inspection programs pertaining to a broad range of railroad issues. Railroad Safety Specialists travel frequently, which requires being away from the official duty station for several consecutive nights.
  • Experience performing analytical investigations and special studies and making recommendations to improve railroad safety in the region.
  • Experience providing advice and guidance as a technical expert to inspectors, railroad officials, shippers, State and local government, emergency personnel and other Federal agencies.
Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



  • UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP IS REQUIRED. Proof of citizenship will be required to be shown upon appointment.
  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • INTERVIEW: Applicants may be required to demonstrate in a pre-employment interview that they possess the personal characteristics necessary for Railroad Safety work.
  • DECLARATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT: The selectees for this position (or railroad safety positions) will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
  • DRUG TEST: Railroad Safety Specialists have been determined to be a critical safety/security position as defined in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Order, DOT 3910.1D entitled "Drug and Alcohol-Free Departmental Workplace."  Therefore, if selected for the position you will be required to submit to a pre-employment/pre-appointment drug test, you will also be subject to Random Drug Testing.
  • TRAVEL: This position requires extensive travel.  The travel is a condition of employment. 
  • DRIVER'S LICENSE: Railroad Safety Specialists travel frequently, which requires being away from the official duty station for several consecutive nights. All specialists are required to possess a valid state driver’s license at all times while employed by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) in order to perform the duties of their positions.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD REQUIREMENT: You must be able to obtain and retain a Government contractor-issued travel card to be used for official business as a condition of employment. If unable to obtain and/or retain a card, you may be subject to removal. Those who fail to meet this condition of employment will have our offer of employment rescinded.
  • TRAVEL EXPENSES: Travel and transportation expenses will be paid if the selection results in a promotion OR for a geographical reassignment if the FRA selectee occupies a position at the same grade level that has significantly different duties from that of this position vacancy. Travel and transportation expenses will not be paid if a candidate outside the FRA is selected OR a FRA employee accepts a change to the lower grade that results in a geographical reassignment for this position vacancy.
  • SENIORITY RIGHTS - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - RE-EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS: The FRA has determined that seniority rights, leaves of absence, and reemployment rights from prior railroad employment generally constitute an actual or an appearance of a conflict of interest. New employees may be required to divest themselves of such rights immediately upon hire if these rights are determined to constitute an actual or appearance of a conflict of interest. If new employees are permitted to retain such rights, which is generally the case for Railroad Safety positions, the rights must be divested at the end of the one year probationary period which begins with the date of appointment. Divestiture is a requisite to continued employment with the Federal Railroad Administration.  No waivers will be granted of the divestiture requirement. Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Parts 2635.403 and 6001.104, all FRA employees (or spouses or minor children of FRA employees) are specifically prohibited from holding railroad stock (including shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. which owns 100% of BNSF), whether held outright, in an IRA, or in a 401(k) or other plan. (Employees may hold a mutual fund which invests in railroad stocks, so long as the mutual fund does not invest more than 30% of its assets in such prohibited investments.) Employees having a prohibited financial interest must divest themselves of railroad stock within 90 days after their appointment to their positions.  Neither the rule against holding railroad stock, nor the divestiture period, is in any way affected by the existence of re-employment rights which employees might have with railroad companies.  Nor is there any monetary threshold for applicability of the rule against ownership of railroad stock; all dollar amounts are prohibited. If selected, you will be subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct applicable to all executive branch employees. Selectees will be required to complete a new entrant confidential financial disclosure report (Office of Government Ethics Form 450) within 30 days of hire (except if hired between Nov.15 and Dec.31). Thereafter, selectees will be required to annually file a confidential financial disclosure report by Feb.15 of each year, pursuant to instructions issued in early January.
  • DEU REQUIREMENTS: Applicants selected under delegated examining procedures may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).  


If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be placed in one of four categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, which is based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference that have provided supporting documents will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. If your resume does not support the specialized experience or if your application does not support your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions, your final rating may be modified and/or you may be disqualified from consideration.

To preview questions please click here.


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Benefits include health and life insurance, annual and sick leave, and retirement benefits. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal Employees here. This is a full-time telework position.


Displaced employees may be eligible for CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition.


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You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
  • To begin, click the Apply Online button on the job announcement.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
  • You may review your saved application(s) at
If you are having difficulty applying online, send an email to or call us at (202)366-1298.


The following documents must be provided by the closing date:
  • RESUME - Showing relevant experience and education and fully supporting the required specialized experience.
  • VETERANS: In order to be considered as preference eligible, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD214. Your DD-214 must show the type of discharge and dates of active duty.  If you are claiming compensably disabled preference eligible, you must submit a copy of your DD214; an Application for 10-point Veteran's Preference,  SF15; and the proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference.  Additional information on veterans' preference is available in the Vet's Guide at:
  • SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS: If requesting concurrent consideration for: Noncompetitive  Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility, (e.g. military spouse or persons with disabilities), you must provide appropriate supporting documentation such as PCS orders describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability, etc.  For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or" Persons with Disabilities NC appointments. Documents are only required if requesting non-competitive consideration.
  • DISPLACED EMPLOYEE PLACEMENT DOCUMENTS: - Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP/ICTAP</A>.  You must submit ALL of the FOLLOWING: your most recent performance appraisal, the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency and your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade.  To receive priority consideration, you MUST be deemed well qualified for this vacancy (falling in the Gold Category).

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position.


Automated Staffing Office
Phone: 202-366-1298
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
Submit Application and Documents Online
1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR - 50
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


You may check your application status by logging into your USAJOBS account. Within two weeks of the closing date, your application will be reviewed and rated. Ratings will be determined based on the documents and information received by the closing date. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. If you are selected for an interview, the hiring manager will contact you directly. Once a hiring decision is made, we will notify all applicants of their final status.

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