Rail

Changes to PTC regs expected to enhance safety, cut costs

Posted on August 23, 2011

Proposed changes to regulations governing the installation of positive train control (PTC) systems will provide greater flexibility to railroads and the the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) in assessing the need for PTC without adversely affecting the safety of America’s rail lines, according to federal officials.     

Positive train control is currently required on routes carrying poison inhalation hazard (PIH) materials or providing intercity and commuter passenger service. If a railroad opts to reroute the shipment of PIH hazardous materials off such a rail line and chooses to not install PTC there, the company must currently request FRA approval and conduct a complex set of analyses. 

The amendments proposed would eliminate the need to perform those analyses, but do not impact the existing requirements to install PTC on lines used to provide passenger rail service.    

“We believe that the proposal provides a balance of safety regulation and cost to the industry,” said FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “We look forward to working together with the railroads as they concentrate on areas where positive train control is much-needed.”

Affected railroads are expected to realize an estimated cost savings of $340 million in the first several years, with total savings of up to $1 billion over 20 years, by not installing PTC systems on as much as 14,000 miles of track. The lines impacted by this proposal have significantly less accident exposure because they do not carry passenger trains or PIH hazardous materials.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires certain passenger and freight railroads to install PTC systems on lines meeting certain thresholds. Nationwide deployment of PTC is expected to eventually yield substantial benefits from the use of advanced train control technology for safety and business purposes.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will be published in the Federal Register. The FRA invites comments on all aspects of the proposal. Interested parties are invited to submit comments by Oct. 24, 2011. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent possible without incurring additional expenses or delays. Click here to view the NPRM.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FTA delays decision on $650M Caltrain electrification project

In a letter sent Friday, the same day a decision was due, the agency said it was deferring a ruling so the project could be considered as part of President Donald Trump’s budget. No timeline was given in the letter.

Amtrak CEO calls for new era of infrastructure investment

Moorman outlined projects that warrant significant investment including construction of the Portal North Bridge and new Hudson Tunnels in New Jersey.

Bill introduced requiring greater transparency about train safety audits

The measure was unveiled by two House Representatives from New Jersey, where it was found after a deadly crash in September that NJ Transit was the subject of a deep federal audit.

City to sue Sound Transit, WSDOT over light rail expansion plans

Mercer Island residents — even when driving solo — have had access to I-90's high-occupancy vehicle lanes, however later this year when construction gets underway to add light rail across the I-90 express lanes, that access will go away.

Wash. state Governor budgets $1M to study high-speed rail

The study would come at a time when transit agencies and departments of transportation around the U.S. are watching President Donald Trump for signs of what they can expect in terms of federal funding in the next four years.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close