The Transportation Communications Union/IAM applauds the bipartisan efforts of House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-IL) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) in introducing an extension of the deadline to install Positive Train Control (PTC) on our nation’s railways. Their proposed legislation contrasts with the Senate’s proposal by including reporting requirements and an enforceable deadline as part of a three-year extension.
TCU has long awaited the implementation of PTC since it was first required by Congress in 2008. Due to a number of delays both in and outside the control of the railroads, it is clear that PTC will not be ready by the end of the year.
“We can point fingers at who’s to blame, but one thing is for sure: if the deadline is kept, many railroads have threatened to either shutter or cancel service due to the fines that would be imposed. And since TCU members work on these railroads, it is in their best interests to call for an extension of the deadline,” said TCU National Vice President and Legislative Director Ron Kloos.
TCU believes railroads should – and can – do more to expedite the process of installing PTC, but we do not accept a blanket extension for railroads to simply “kick the can.”
The Shuster-DeFazio proposal includes various provisions to ensure railroads are making good faith efforts to install PTC as quickly as possible. By requiring full implementation by the end of 2018, new proposed plans, and by giving the Secretary of Transportation the option to extend further, the bill provides new incentives for railroads to work hard to comply and meet the deadline.
Click here to read the release from TTD.
Click here to read the House T&I release on the extension.