TTD: PTC rail-safety measures should not be delayed

The Transportation Trades Department said Congress shouldn't grant a five-year delay on implementation of Positive Train Control rail-safety measures. | Contributed photo
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), said on Wednesday that it would be wrong for Congress to extend the deadline for railroad companies to implement new safety requirements.

Edward Wytkind, president of the department, said a five-year delay in implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) bill requirements shouldn't “be considered in a vacuum or isolation.”

“Rail employees, first-responders and communities have witnessed too many deadly freight and passenger rail accidents in recent years, including those involving the transport of crude oil and other hazardous materials,” Wytkind said. “While the causes of these accidents vary, we know that passing long-overdue safety reforms – not just simply delaying implementation of PTC – will make rail transportation safer.”

Wytkind said the TTD released a plan that outlined different measures Congress could take to improve freight and passenger-rail safety. Some of the steps include mandating that at least two qualified crew members are on every train, taking steps to address “chronic fatigue” faced by rail employees and implementing “common-sense technology," such as shunting and alerters.

“A blanket five-year extension of PTC is the wrong approach,” Wytkind said. “We understand that some of the reasons for delay in implementing PTC are outside the control of the railroads, but these companies could have done more to meet this mandate. Any extension should be of shorter duration and considered on a case-by-case basis while requiring carriers to submit a plan for how they will meet an extended deadline.”

Organizations in this story

Transportation Trades Department 815 16th St NW Washington, DC - 20006

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