Blumenthal Statement on Congressional Approval of 5-Year Extension for PTC Implementation

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement after the Senate approved legislation to continue funding the nation’s infrastructure and transportation projects for three weeks and grant railroads a five-year extension to implement Positive Train Control technology:

I regret that this detrimental delay in PTC was included in the three-week extension of the Highway Trust Fund. This measure is a lose-lose, an avoidable and abysmal delay in life-saving technology for our railroads and an inadequate extension of highway and road funding. I will fight for aggressive implementation of the new deadlines for PTC to help save the costs in dollars and lives that may result from continuing collisions, derailments, and other preventable catastrophes. One expert noted that ‘PTC is the most important rail safety advancement of our time’ – and the U.S. Senate today chose to delay it by five years.

This evening, Blumenthal spoke on the Senate floor about his opposition to a five-year extension: