Batory: Up to six railroads may not qualify for PTC extension

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CHICAGO – The head of the Federal Railroad Administration says there will likely be “five or six” railroads still at risk of of failing to qualify for an extension of the Dec. 31, 2018, deadline to implement positive train control when the next report is issued in November.

That tally would be down from the nine passenger railroads reported at risk by the FRA in its second-quarter 2018 report issued Aug. 23. By law, 41 freight and passenger railroads are required to install the system by then or qualify for an alternative schedule.

Administrator Ronald L. Batory provided the numbers in response to a question from Trains News Wire during a meeting in suburban Oak Brook of the DuPage Rail Safety Council. The official total won’t be available until November, according to the FRA.

“Some railroads are close, but close is not enough,” Batory says.

The administrator says PTC is “not a safety system,” as it has been commonly referred to in the media. “It is a risk-reduction system” that is intended to override human error, he said.

The agency considers any railroad that installed less than 90 percent of its PTC system hardware to be at risk of non-compliance. Installation of all PTC hardware is one of six statutory criteria required to qualify for an alternative schedule.

The railroads are required to file quarterly progress reports on PTC implementation. Class I railroads and others that provides intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation must fully implement a PTC system on all required route miles by Dec. 31, unless a railroad qualifies for an alternative schedule.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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