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After Washington State Derailment, Maloney, Transportation Leaders Introduce Legislation to Block Potential Delays of PTC Implementation, Provide Additional Funding to Commuter Railroads

Jan 16, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – After last month’s train derailment in Washington State killed three people and injured dozens more, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) joined other transportation leaders to introduce legislation that would speed up the implementation of life-saving positive train control (PTC) technology that could prevent deadly crashes and derailments. The Positive Train Control Implementation and Financing Act would prevent further delays of the 2018 deadline for implementing PTC and provide over $2.5 billion in funding to assist passenger railroads to implement the technology by the end of the year.

“Time’s up - no more excuses. Every day we wait, we put lives in jeopardy – that’s not an exaggeration – last month’s crash is proof of that fact,” said Rep. Maloney, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “We’ve allowed the rail lines to drag their feet on this for too long – 2018 should be a hard deadline for getting PTC up and running.”

The bill would mandate that December 31, 2018, is the final deadline for implementing PTC and prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation from granting railroads further extensions of the PTC deadline. To help passenger railroads meet the deadline, the bill includes just over $2.5 billion in grants for intercity and commuter passenger railroads to implement PTC.  In response to the recent Amtrak crash in Washington, the legislation would prohibit commuter and intercity passenger railroads from beginning new service on a route unless PTC is fully implemented and operational. It also requires Amtrak to report its progress toward installing PTC on routes that are not owned by Amtrak, but are operated by the railroad, such as the Amtrak Cascades line.