Newhouse, Quigley Applaud Transportation Committee Bill to Extend Positive Train Control Deadline
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Dan Newhouse (WA-04), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), released the following statement applauding Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders’ introduction of H.R. 3651, Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015 to extend the upcoming deadline for implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) safety technology:
“We appreciate the Transportation Committee for taking the concerns of the more than 160 members we led to heart, and thank Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio for moving quickly to extend this deadline,” the Representatives stated. “While the current deadline to implement PTC is the end of this year, numerous passenger and freight rail services have indicated that Americans could begin to see the effects of the disruption weeks prior to the deadline with railroads, shippers, and agricultural suppliers stopping operations and closing facilities in early December or sooner due to the complex logistics. The grave economic risk this issue poses would have far reaching consequences for American commuters, businesses, and our economy. Congress should act quickly to pass this bill, which extends the PTC implementation deadline with a clear timeline that keeps railroads accountable while allowing for the responsible employment of this critical safety technology.”
The Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015 extends the deadline to fully implement the technology to the end of 2018, provides limited authority for the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary to extend the deadline beyond 2018 if railroads demonstrate they are facing continued difficulties in completing the mandate, but have made every effort to install Positive Train Control as soon as possible, and requires railroads to complete progress reports on implementation.
Yesterday, Reps. Newhouse and Quigley led a bipartisan letter to House leadership signed by over 150 Members of Congress urging Congress to act to prevent a shutdown of the nation’s passenger and freight rail system by extending the deadline.