May 2, 2016

Amtrak activates PTC, SEPTA not far behind

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Amtrak activated its Positive Train Control system (PTC) this past weekend from Philadelphia to Washington. SEPTA has reported they are not far behind and will have PTC online sometime in the new year. Since the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) mandated in 2008 that all railroads operating in the U.S.install PTC […]

SMART TD praises passage of FAST Act

On December 3, 2015, Congress passed H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST ACT) by overwhelming bipartisan votes of 83 to 16 and 359 to 65 in the Senate and House respectively. The legislation is the first long-term surface transportation reauthorization in a decade and provides funding and policy changes for our nation’s […]

Feinberg tells railroads: ‘No more breaks on PTC’

The nation’s rail safety chief told a group of railroad officials she expects them to complete a long-delayed collision-avoidance system by the end of 2018 and to not count on Congress to give them an additional reprieve. Recent legislation approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama gives them a three-year extension to complete positive […]

Get PTC done ASAP, FRA’s Feinberg advises

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will soon unveil its expectations for railroads to meet the newly extended Dec. 31, 2018, deadline for positive train control (PTC) implementation, FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg told members of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) last week. Feinberg urged railroads not to make the extension their primary focus, but to focus on […]

Rail industry had safety technology decades ago

WASHINGTON — In 1981, while traveling on a corporate jet, Richard M. Bressler, the chairman of the Burlington Northern Railroad, hit on an idea: What if the technology used by airlines to track the location of planes and help prevent accidents was applied to the rail industry? Mr. Bressler, an engineer by training and a […]

Senate passes PTC extension, confirms Feinberg as FRA administrator

The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a short-term surface transportation funding extension that includes a long-term extension of the positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline. The Senate’s action followed the House’s approval of the bill on Tuesday, and President Obama is expected to sign it. The legislation reauthorizes funding of transportation programs through Nov. 20, and […]

Most railroads won’t meet PTC deadline

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sent its Status of Positive Train Control Implementation report to Congress. The report is mandated by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee and shows that after seven years and significant assistance from FRA, most railroads will miss the Dec. 31, 2015 positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline that Congress established […]

Senate to debate 3-year delay for rail safety system

Washington, D.C. — Two months after the high-speed derailment of an Amtrak train killed eight people and injured hundreds more in Philadelphia, a Senate transportation bill headed for debate this week calls for a three-year delay of the deadline for installing a rail safety system that experts say would have almost certainly prevented the Pennsylvania […]

GOP bill would undermine auto, rail safety regulations

Washington, D.C. – At a time of record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, Republicans are working on legislation to roll back safety regulation of the auto and railroad industries. A bill approved this week on a party-line vote by a Senate committee brims with industry-sought provisions that would block, delay or roll back safety […]

Critics say Senate bill would weaken rail safety

Washington, D.C. — A transportation bill introduced by a Senate committee chairman would allow car rental companies to rent recalled vehicles that haven’t been repaired and eliminate any hard deadline for railroads to start using long-sought technology that automatically stops trains to prevent crashes, safety advocates say. The bill was introduced Thursday by Sen. John […]