House Dems introduce train safety bill in response to Amtrak derailment

The bill would give railroads until the end of the year to enact Positive Train Control

January 12, 2018
train safety

House Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation meant to accelerate the implementation of a key train safety feature, a move that follows December’s deadly Amtrak derailment in Washington state.

The bill, titled the Positive Train Control Implementation and Financing Act, would give railroads until the end of the year to enact Positive Train Control (PTC), which automatically decreases the speed of a train traveling over the limit. It would also prevent the Department of Transportation from allotting extensions to railroads seeking to delay meeting the implementation deadline.

Every member of the Washington State Democratic delegation co-sponsored the legislation, a reaction to last month’s crash south of Seattle that left three dead when a speeding train derailed as it traveled across an overpass. The National Transportation Safety Board found in a preliminary report released last week that PTC would have slowed down the train, which had been traveling 78 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The legislation would provide $2.5 billion worth of grants so commuter railroads and intercity railways are able to execute PTC. Amtrak, according to the bill, must provide updates about its headway enacting PTC in its required reports.

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Source: The Hill

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