Security and Safety

Railroads warn of widespread shutdowns unless PTC deadline extended

Posted on October 20, 2015

NTSB officials at the site of the Amtrak train #188, which derailed outside of Philadelphia in May 2015. Photo: NTSB/Cassandra_Johnson
NTSB officials at the site of the Amtrak train #188, which derailed outside of Philadelphia in May 2015. Photo: NTSB/Cassandra_Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Major rail companies on Monday intensified their demands that Congress give them more time to roll out positive train control technology — or warned that they could face major service shutdowns around the country, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The freight rail industry needs until the end of 2018 to install the necessary hardware and until the end of 2020 to have it fully tested and operational, said Ed Hamberger, president and CEO for the Association of American Railroads, the report said.

“There will be a transportation crisis in this country,” said Michael Melaniphy, president and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association.

According to Melaniphy, an orderly shutdown of a major rail network takes about eight weeks. Without an extension by the end of October, many freight and commuter rail companies will likely begin discussing service shutdowns, the Post-Gazette reported. For the full story, click here.

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