November 26, 2015

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 [...]

Amtrak, SEPTA on schedule for PTC


PHILADELPHIA — Of the 41 railroads required to meet a federal mandate for implementing Positive Train Control (PTC), SEPTA and Amtrak are among the 11 expected to complete the project by the end of this year. According to a report from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) required by Congress, safety advocates started calling for the nation-wide implementation seven [...]

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 votes to delay speed control system


Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to delay a year-end deadline for railroads to install automatic speed control equipment that would have averted a fatal Amtrak crash several months ago.  The Senate passed $350 billion legislation to renew federal highway and rail programs for six years, 65-34, but the measure gives railroads another three years [...]

Rail safety upgrades stalled on Capitol Hill


Two months after a deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia thrust the issue back into the spotlight, frustrated legislators in the Northeast are seemingly no closer to getting the rail-safety upgrades they want. The transportation measure sitting on the floor of the Senate would seem the best vehicle for them, even as it faces an [...]

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 [...]