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Maloney’s Legislation To Help Railroads Invest in PTC Passes Committee

Sep 17, 2014
Press Release
Invests $7 Billion in Amtrak Rail Lines in Northeast Corridor

Washington – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced that his bipartisan bill to help commuter rail lines like Metro-North fund and implement positive train control (PTC) systems passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as part of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act (PRRIA). Originally authored following the tragic Metro-North derailment in December 2013, Rep. Maloney’s Commuter Rail Passenger Safety Act would help finance positive train control systems for commuter rail systems. Passed in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure by voice vote, this legislation would make all positive train control installations "priority projects" as part of the $35 billion Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program that currently provides loans and loan guarantees to railroads.

“Implementing positive train control on commuter rails like Metro-North is the single most important thing we can do to prevent accidents and save lives,” said Rep. Maloney. “This legislation is a critical investment in our transportation systems that prioritizes the safety of the thousands of my neighbors who ride Metro-North every day.”   

In addition, PRRIA reauthorizes Amtrak and provides a total of $7 billion over four years to help bring the Northeast Corridor (NEC) to a state-of-good repair, cover capital and operating expenses of the National Network, and encourage the development of new and improved intercity passenger rail service.

In 2008, Congress passed a law mandating positive train control systems for commuter and freight railroads, however there have been difficulties meeting this deadline due in part to funding issues. Since 2005, the NTSB has investigated 15 accidents in which 50 people were killed and 942 people were injured. In each of these accidents, the NTSB concluded that PTC would have provided critical redundancy that would have prevented the accident. Following the fatal Metro-North Derailment in December 2013, NTSB announced that PTC could have prevented the accident. Year after year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has named PTC as one of its "most-wanted" initiatives for national transportation safety.