Apple Magazine - USA - Issue 406 (2019-08-09)

(Antfer) #1

crashes by automatically stopping or slowing a
train before a collision or derailment.
Congress required in 2008 that railroads adopt
PTC and gave them seven years to do the job.
When it became clear that wasn’t enough,
Congress extended the deadline through 2018
and again through Dec. 31, 2020. No more
extensions are expected.
At a hearing before the Senate Commerce,
Science and Transportation Committee, Batory
praised the railroad industry for “its significant
progress” toward fully putting PTC systems in
place nationwide, despite a series of delays that
pushed the current deadline to 12 years after
Congress initially adopted the law.
“Nonetheless, railroads must still complete
significant work to fully implement their
PTC systems by December 31, 2020,” he said,
adding that the railroad agency “will continue
to hold railroads accountable for timely
implementation of PTC systems and will
enforce the statutory mandate.”
The industry expects to spend nearly $15 billion
implementing the technology on Amtrak and
freight and commuter railroads throughout
the country. An additional $80 million to $130
million a year will be spent on maintenance and
operation, according to the American Public
Transportation Association, an industry group.
Forty-two railroads are subject to the PTC
mandate, including 30 commuter railroads,
Amtrak and 11 freight railroads. According to
the National Transportation Safety Board, 22
rail accidents it investigated since the 2008 law
could have been prevented by PTC, including
the December 2017 derailment of an Amtrak
passenger train in Washington state that killed
three passengers and injured 57 people.

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