Events and News

AFS Supports Legislation to Extend Deadline for Railroads to Install New Technology

October 22, 2015

Large portions of the American rail network--freight and commuter--are mandated by statute to install by December 31, 2015, new technology and equipment known as the Positive Train Control (PTC), which is a GPS-based train control system designed to prevent collisions and over-speed derailments. Most freight and commuter railroads have reported they will not be able to meet the deadline and require more time to complete implementation. In order to give the rail industry more time to comply, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently introduced the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 3

2015 (H.R. 3651), which would give railroads a three-year extension to implement the PTC. It would also provide limited authority to the secretary of transportation to further extend the deadline beyond 2018 if railroads cannot meet the mandate despite serious efforts to install PTC.

AFS, the state groups, and hundreds of associations expressed support of a PTC deadline extension in a coalition letter sent to Congress this month. An extension of the deadline will be too late if left until December. H.R. 3651 is expected to reach the House floor by the end of October. The PTC extension will likely be included in the Highway Reauthorization measure.