March 30, 2015

Bill to delay PTC deadline marked up by committee

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Members of the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday voted to approve the markup of a bill that would extend the deadline for affected rail companies to implement positive-train-control (PTC) technology until Dec. 31, 2020, instead of the current deadline that would require implementation by the end of this year. In addition to the five-year extension, the [...]

Bill to extend PTC implementation delays safety

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The SMART Transportation Division, in conjunction with Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, issued the following statement on the U.S. Senate markup of a Positive Train Control (PTC) extension bill: “A five-year extension of the deadline by which Positive Train Control (PTC) technology must be implemented cannot be considered in a vacuum or in isolation. Rail employees, [...]

Senators seek to extend PTC deadline to 2020′s end

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) yesterday introduced a bill (S. 650) that proposes to extend the federally mandated deadline for positive train control (PTC) implementation by five years from 2015′s end to Dec. 31, 2020. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, [...]

Foxx says PTC deadline will not be extended

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A Dec. 31 deadline for railroads to equip all trains with crash-avoidance technology known as “positive train controls” won’t be extended, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Feb. 11. Testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Foxx said his department is “continuing to hold the industry’s feet to the fire in getting PTC done as [...]

Safety mandate raises passenger rail concerns in Mo.

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ST. LOUIS – The expense of installing mandated train collision avoidance technology is putting passenger service in Missouri at risk, according to the state Department of Transportation. The equipment, which is designed to override human error, is supposed to be in place by Dec. 31, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Read the complete story at the [...]

Committee holds hearing on freight rail challenges

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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today held his second hearing as chairman entitled, “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce.” The hearing focused on challenges facing our nation’s freight rail network created by higher demand, pending and proposed rules and regulations, and infrastructure needs. [...]

NTSB increases pressure for automatic train braking

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The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday issued its annual tally of Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements, adding to the list for the first time the issue of the safety of railroad tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol. The safety board also urged the railroad industry to adopt a technology known as “Positive Train [...]

KCSR starts training, data surveying of PTC

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Kansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR) has begun employee training and data surveying as part of its effort to implement positive train control (PTC) by year’s end. Last week, employees began to receive training on PTC track and wayside data management at KCSR’s TEaM Training Center in Shreveport, La. About 160 workers were trained and [...]

Blumenthal wants to convene Senate PTC hearing

WASHINGTON – A group of Connecticut lawmakers is calling for action on rail-safety technology that could prevent future train collisions like the fatal “deadman’s curve” crash late last year in the Bronx. The Positive Train Control technology, or PTC would override human error by automatically slowing or stopping trains that are speeding, entering work zones [...]

FCC, rails deal addresses tribal PTC concerns

The railroad industry took a step toward resolving a dispute with American Indian tribes that has stalled the biggest rail-safety project in U.S. history. The $13.2 billion build-out of networks of sensors, which automatically slow or stop trains if a crash seems probable, has been held up as some tribes exercised their rights to review [...]