Lawmakers Call for PTC Delay

A bipartisan group of transportation and infrastructure leaders in Congress today introduced a measure to extend the deadline for U.S. railroads to implement Positive Train Control technology.

Congress mandated that freight railroad lines carrying certain toxic materials, passenger railroads, and commuter railroads implement Positive Train Control technology by December 31, 2015.  However, most freight and commuter railroads have reported that they will not be able to meet the deadline, and require more time to complete implementation, officials say.

And a rece t Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the issue confirmed railroads have faced a number of challenges in implementing the complex technology. Most will not be able to meet the deadline, the report concluded.

“Completion of the Positive Train Control mandate by the end of the year is not achievable, and extending the deadline is essential to preventing significant disruptions of both passenger and freight rail service across the country,” Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Penn., said in a statement. “Railroads must implement this important but complicated safety technology in a responsible manner, and we need to give them the necessary time to do so.”

Shuster is a sponsor of the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015 (H.R. 3651).