CSX, other Class 1 railroads, and PTC

October 22, 2015

CSX mulls partial operations shutdown as federal railroad safety deadline draws near

CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) and other Class 1 railroads are preparing to shut down many of their operations on Dec. 31 unless Congress agrees to extend a deadline for installing new safety features on rail networks.Website Insert Our Name Tells Our Story copy

Because it won’t be able to meet the deadline for the $1.9 billion project, CSX said it could begin shutting down the shipment of some hazard chemicals as soon as Nov. 1.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires a safety system called Positive Train Control, or PTC, be installed on rail lines that carry passengers or chemical products classified as toxic inhalation hazards.

While CSX CEO Michael Ward said the company has been committed to implementing PTC on its rail network, in a letter to John Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, he said the railroad wouldn’t meet the deadline.

Despite its investment of $1.3 billion so far, Ward said 2018 is the earliest date the hardware systems could be installed.

The result: Unless an extension to the mandate is approved, CSX will have to stop passenger railroads like Amtrak from using its track and cease hauling hazardous chemicals.

Reporter Jensen Werley of the Jacksonville Business Journal has the full story by clicking here.

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