April 19, 2014

AAR: FCC policies delaying PTC

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WASHINGTON – In a new report updating the industry’s progress on installing positive train control, the nation’s freight railroads said that a year-long moratorium on installing 20,000 communication antennas imposed by the Federal Communications Commission, followed by a lengthy federal approval process mandated by the agency, has seriously delayed the implementation of nationwide interoperable PTC. [...]

Rails tell Congress they won’t meet PTC deadline

WASHINGTON – Railroads warned Congress again Wednesday they wouldn’t meet a 2015 deadline for automatic braking on trains, but engineers and safety officials urged adoption of the technology that might have prevented the fatal Metro North crash in New York this past December. Freight railroads have spent $4 billion for braking equipment for trains to [...]

Metrolink to roll out collision avoidance system

The Metrolink passenger railroad Thursday (Feb. 20) will become the first commuter service in the nation to roll out a sophisticated collision avoidance system designed to overcome human error. Had so-called positive train control been in place five years ago, experts say, it would have prevented Metrolink’s deadly Chatsworth crash. In that accident, an engineer [...]

FCC to revive PTC effort stalled by tribal reviews

Regulators proposed a streamlined process for American Indian tribes to complete reviews that railroads have said make it difficult to meet deadlines for finishing the biggest rail-safety project in U.S. history. Tribes would get less time to review, for historic significance, proposed locations for 22,000 U.S. communications antennae and would need to accept bulk applications [...]

NTSB: We need automatic braking on all trains

Last month, a Metro-North Railroad train plunged off the track while taking a sharp curve at 82 miles per hour, killing four and seriously injuring 20. In the aftermath, some experts said the disastrous results could have been prevented by positive train control (PTC). An automatic braking system built to slow down dangerous trains, PTC [...]

AMTRAK CEO: Train safety takes money, cooperation

We talk a lot about our national debt. But the largest debt we owe is to those who will come after us in this nation. Our fulfillment of that debt should underpin the actions we take right now. Our national infrastructure forms the bedrock foundation upon which our economic future is built as America competes [...]

U.S. Rep. Maloney proposes PTC funding bill

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) has proposed the Commuter Rail Passenger Safety Act to help commuter railroads, such as MTA Metro-North Railroad, fund and implement positive train control (PTC) systems. Maloney announced he would introduce the legislation earlier this week after touring the site of Metro-North’s deadly derailment in the Bronx, N.Y. On Tuesday, [...]

Antennae on tribal lands further delays PTC

Two years probably wasn’t going to be enough time for railroads to install crash-avoidance technology on 23,000 locomotives and 60,000 miles of tracks, in the biggest rail-safety project in U.S. history. Then they encountered the Choctaw Nation, Muscogee and Navajo. In May, the railroads and their regulators learned 565 American Indian tribes had the right [...]

Railroads seek extension for installing PTC

WASHINGTON – Spurred by a deadly train crash in Los Angeles, Congress in 2008 passed with great fanfare legislation requiring the nation’s railroads to install a sophisticated collision-avoidance system by the end of 2015. Five years later, an industry move to extend the deadline to 2020 is picking up steam on Capitol Hill. Read the [...]

Train safety move delayed decades

WASHINGTON – It was an accident investigators say didn’t have to happen: Five years ago a commuter train collided head-on with a freight train near Los Angeles, killing 25 and injuring more than 100. Technology is available to prevent the most catastrophic collisions, but the railroad industry and its allies in Congress are trying to [...]