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

(Antfer) #1

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the committee
chairman, said after the hearing he was “mindful
there’s some challenges” in implementing PTC,
but said he was confident most or all of the
required installation would be completed ahead
of the 2020 deadline.
Officials will likely have a better handle on
progress by the end of this year, Wicker said,
adding, “I don’t know if we’re going to vaporize
people who do not comply.”
In a report last month, the NTSB’s vice chairman
blasted what he described as a “Titanic-like
complacency” among those charged with
ensuring that train operations on the new
Amtrak route from Tacoma, Washington, to
Portland, Oregon, were safe.
PTC had not been implemented on the new
bypass route when the derailment occurred,
but now is in effect on the bypass and on the
rest of the Amtrak Cascades passenger route
from the Canadian border to Eugene, Oregon,
officials said.
Bruce Landsberg, the NTSB’s vice chairman, said
the term “accident” was inappropriate “because
that implies that this (2017 derailment) was an
unforeseen and unpredictable event. It was
anything but unforeseeable.”
Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, the
committee’s top Democrat, pushed Batory and
other regulators to enforce the new deadline
for implementing PTC. Fines of up to $28,474
a day can be imposed on railroads that fail to
meet the deadline.
“It’s unacceptable that in the year 2019 we have
not fully implemented this important safety
measure,” Cantwell said.

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