Blumenthal Statement on GAO Positive Train Control Report

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal issued the following statement regarding the report issued by the Government Accountability Office today on Positive Train Control deadlines:

Sadly, this report reiterates the fact that few railroads will implement Positive Train Control – critical, life-saving technology – within the timeframe that Congress mandated years ago.  Some railroads can and will comply with the deadline, and a blanket extension would only undermine and disincentivize that life-saving work.  Any deadline extension must be granted based on need and upon proof that all efforts are being made to install PTC technology as quickly as possible. Many of the railroads who will not meet the deadline are now threatening to stop service and shut down the economy if the deadline isn’t pushed back—an intolerable and unacceptable position that should not be rewarded.  I intend to focus intensely on this issue at tomorrow’s hearing with the nominee to run the Federal Railroad Administration.  I’m eager to ensure we find a solution to this issue – but economic disruption and open-ended extensions aren’t the answer,” Blumenthal said.

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Elizabeth Benton