BNSF Locomotive

Freight railroad asks Congress to fund PTC for passenger rail

A freight railroad asked Congress to fund the efforts of passenger railroads to implement positive train control.

BNSF Railway executive chairman Matthew Rose said the railroad’s safety activities will be futile unless the passenger railroads that share its tracks are not also equipped with PTC technology.

“As a freight railroad, it may sound out of line, but I actually urge Congress to fund passenger commuter rail funding for positive train control,” Rose said during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee.  “I can’t imagine a more difficult train wreck for us to have to go to where we have the positive train control on the freight rail, and the passenger or commuter train didn’t because of lack of funding.”

Congress has required freight and commuter railroads to install the safety technology.  But as railroads struggled to comply with the original 2015 deadline — in part because of the high costs — Congress has extended the deadline to at least December 31, 2018.  Link to full story in The Hill.

Photo credit: BNSF Railway

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