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2/4/2016 12:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Norfolk Southern, CSX Say They Won't Make 2018 Deadline for Train-Control Safety System

Schumer by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News
CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. told the Federal Railroad Administration they won't make the 2018 deadline for full implementation of positive train control.

Congress last fall extended the original deadline for installing the safety equipment from Dec. 31, 2015, to the end of 2018. Railroads that don't make the 2018 deadline can apply for a two-year extension. CSX and Norfolk Southern said they expect to have their systems in place and operating by the end of 2020.

PTC systems slow or stop a train if an engineer runs a stop signal or the train approaches a curve at excessive speed. They also are designed to brake trains so that they won't collide.

"Positive train control is life-saving," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "It's been my view that we should have implemented it as soon as possible."

He added, "It's unacceptable that some railroads now say they need five years. Railroads should move as soon as possible to get this life-saving technology in place."

LARGER VIEW: FRA deadline chart

PTC systems likely would have prevented the derailment of a Metro-North commuter train in December 2013 that killed four, as well as last May's derailment of an Amtrak train on the Northeast corridor that killed eight in Philadelphia.

It also could have prevented the collision of two CSX freight trains in Fonda, N.Y., in June 2013. That accident occurred after one train ran a stop signal.

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By Eric Anderson
Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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