Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific join UP, BNSF, warning Congress if PTC deadline not extended, passenger trains will not operate on their tracks

September 9, 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major U.S. and Canadian railroads stepped up pressure on Congress to extend a Dec. 31 deadline for new safety technology on Wednesday, warning that failure to act would lead to crippling disruptions across the national freight and passenger rail system.

In separate Sept. 9-dated letters sent to the Senate Commerce Committee, BNSF Railway Co, Norfolk Southern Corp and Canadian Pacific Railway Co [CPCPR.UL] said service disruptions could affect shippers across a number of industries as well as passenger and commuter rail service to major cities from Seattle to Washington, D.C.Website Insert State Supported Passenger Trains copy

At issue is a congressionally mandated deadline for railroads to implement positive train control, or PTC, an advanced safety technology that can prevent major accidents.

A six-year transportation bill approved by the Senate last month would allow the Obama administration to extend the deadline for up to three years. But the Senate measure is not expected to be taken up by the House of Representatives.

The three railroads have concluded they will not meet the deadline and may have to suspend service from Jan. 1 to avoid liabilities for operating outside federal law.

Read Reuters reporter David Morgan’s full story on Yahoo! News by clicking here.


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