Positive Train Control

Congress to Vote to Delay January 1 Deadline That Could Halt Rail Traffic

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On October 2, FASA/Gemini joined the U.S. business community in urging Congress delay the January 1, 2016 deadline for railroads to install Positive Train Control (PTC). The U.S. House of Representatives could vote on legislation as early as this week. The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandates certain railroads implement PTCs by December 31, 2015, or cease operations until such time PTCs can be installed. A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that “Most railroads in GAO’s review (20 of 29) estimate that they will implement positive train control (PTC)—a communications-based system designed to prevent certain types of train accidents—1 to 5 years after the statutory deadline of December 31, 2015.” As a result, if Congress does not extend the deadline, a significant portion of the nation’s rail system could shut down on January 1.