Thursday, February 01, 2018

House T&I subcommittee schedules hearing on PTC

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A February hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will focus on the progress made toward implementing Positive Train Control (PTC).

According to the chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee, U.S. Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA-10) and Michael Capuano (D-MA-7), several groups and organizations will address the subcommittee including Amtrak, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Railroad Administration, private rail operators, public transit officials and labor.

"PTC implementation is crucial to the safety of rail transportation for passengers, motorists and pedestrians alike. I look forward to hearing how efforts are progressing nationwide," said Rep. Denham.

"Periodic updates ensure that everyone is working towards meeting the congressionally imposed deadline for PTC. I look forward to hearing directly from those responsible for implementing PTC on their progress," said Rep. Capuano.

Earlier this month, Rep. Capuano joined House T&I Committee Ranking Member Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4) in introducing legislation that would make the Dec. 31, 2018 deadline for PTC implementation a final deadline; removing the option from current policy that allows for railroads showing a good faith effort to file an extension. The proposed legislation also includes $2.5 billion in grants to help passenger railroads meet the deadline.

The two representatives also joined forces in a letter to Amtrak in early January requesting an update to the passenger railroad's safety culture and PTC plan following several deadly derailments.