Blumenthal Statement on Opposition to Extending Deadline for Implementation of Life-Saving, Rail Safety Technology

(Washington, DC) - Yesterday, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, voted against moving the Railroad Safety and Positive Train Control Extension Act out of the committee and to the Senate floor. The legislation would provide a five-year extension to the deadline for installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) – critical, life-saving technology on our country’s railroads and trains.

This lengthy delay is dangerously lenient and fails to address other major rail safety issues. I appreciate that the Committee leadership will work with me on improvements before this measure reaches the floor and already incorporated an important reform I put forward during yesterday's markup.

“PTC technology would have prevented devastating deaths, injuries, and damage at incidents like Spuyten Duyvil in 2013 – and further delays could result in more crashes and rail catastrophes around the country. The argument is not whether but when PTC should be implemented – and I say, urgently, unless railroads prove it is necessary for more time through compelling, factual evidence.”