Positive Train Control (PTC) is a GPS safety system designed to prevent collisions and derailments on our nation’s railroads. In 2008, Congress mandated that all rail lines that carry substances that are ‘toxic by inhalation’ must have PTC in place by the end of 2015 or face significant fines.
Railroads have been telling Congress that they will not meet this deadline for the last couple of years and have requested an extension on implementing PTC. The Association of American Railroads, Government Accounting Office (GAO), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have unequivocally confirmed that PTC will not be implemented by the deadline.
Recently, railroads have indicated that rail traffic will cease January 1 on lines required to have PTC in place if the deadline is not extended. The Senate passed a Highway bill that included a PTC deadline extension until 2018, but the House has only passed a short term transportation funding extension as yet. Congress will have to come up with some deadline extension plan for PTC or there will be serious service interruptions (freight and passenger) beginning in 2016.
Below is a one pager put out by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) about PTC and links to a couple of recent press articles on the issue.
If you want to participate in a grassroots effort to extend the PTC deadline, you can do so here: http://www.impactchemistry.com/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=401