July 7, 2015

Senate Commerce Committee approves rail reforms

Senate Commerce Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation June 25, on a voice vote, approved the bipartisan “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act,” sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), with seven amendments. The measure improves rail safety, reauthorizes Amtrak services and improves existing passenger rail infrastructure. It [...]

BLET/SMART TD statement on Positive Train Control, crew size following fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia

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(The following is a joint statement by Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and John Previsich, President, SMART Transportation Division, regarding questions that have arisen since the fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015.) CLEVELAND, May 19 — Members of BLET’s Safety Task Force and SMART [...]

PTC coming to Metro North and LIRR

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HARTFORD, Conn. - Federal transportation officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Agency have agreed on a nearly $1 billion federal loan to install technology that could slow trains when necessary on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Railroad. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Wednesday the Federal Railroad Administration and Metropolitan Transit Authority agreed on a $967 million loan [...]

FRA approves $1B loan to N.Y. MTA for PTC system

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced April 24 that the Federal Railroad Administration has approved a loan of $967.1 million to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the improvement of the safety of the signal systems used by the MTA’s two commuter railroads, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. The loan, which is the largest [...]

N.Y. MTA seeks $1B loan for PTC system

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The MTA is close to securing final federal approval of a nearly $1 billion loan to install technology on its commuter trains that could have prevented the 2013 Metro-North derailment in the Bronx in which four people died. Positive train control technology provides a new layer of protection in case of human error, since it [...]

Metra to spend $80 million to launch PTC system

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Metra’s board on Wednesday approved two large contracts, including one for $80 million to help implement a high-tech safety system that federal officials said would have prevented two Chicago derailments that killed two people and injured scores of passengers. The other contract, for $707,000, was awarded to a consulting firm that will advise Metra on [...]

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 [...]