FRA’s Dirty Dozen

By STEPHANIE BEASLEY, With help from Tanya Snyder, Lauren Gardner and Brianna Gurciullo, Politico Morning Transportation; May 17, 2018

DIRTY DOZEN: FRA believes 12 railroads are at risk of blowing an end-of-year deadline for installing positive train control and probably won’t even meet the criteria for an extension, our Lauren Gardner writes. Administrator Ron Batory disclosed that assessment, based on railroads’ first-quarter progress reports, to the leaders of the Senate’s DOT spending panel at a Wednesday hearing about rail safety. If you take a gander at FRA’s chart detailing which railroads have made the most progress toward qualifying for extensions, the dozen in question have 80 percent or less hardware installed, the primary indicator of whether a carrier has made substantial progress on PTC. Batory said 15 railroads were recently warned of their status (Caltrain recently made changes to its PTC system and has thus slipped down FRA’s list) based on data through the end of 2017; the three railroads now considered in the clear are Metro-North, Florida East Coast Railway and Conrail, per a spokesman.

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