Trains News Wire Digest for Friday, Feb. 21

New problems for PTC on Long Island; NJ Transit employees could face subpoenas; and more
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A Long Island Rail Road train arrives at Jamaica station on Aug. 18, 2019. The LIRR's efforts to implement positive train control face a new issue involving interoperability with Amtrak trains.
TRAINS: David Lassen

A look at Friday morning rail news:

— Installation of positive train control on the Long Island Rail Road faces a new hurdle, with Amtrak software needed for PTC interoperability not expected to arrive until May 2021 — five months after the deadline for PTC implementation. News 12 Long Island reports that Patrick Foye, chairman of LIRR’s parent, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said he called it “shocking” that Amtrak had not turned to another contractor to perform the needed work. In a response, Amtrak said it is “confident that, working together, we can have an acceptable mitigation solution that will allow us to safely operate trains through Harold Interlocking and achieve FRA compliance by the deadline.”

— NJ Transit officials could face subpoenas if they fail to testify at a committee hearing scheduled to begin today, state Senate President Steve Sweeney says. Sweeney, who heads a select committee investigating problems with the transit agency, said in a letter to NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett that the legislature could serve subpoenas if all seven executives called to testify do not appear, northjersey.com reports. Corbett said he will appear, and NJ Transit answered more than 80 written questions and provided more than 1,000 documents, but said “testimony on one week’s notice is not customary.”

— Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr, led by a borrowed Siemens Charger locomotive doing long-distance testing, hit a cement truck near Sparks, Nev., on Thursday, causing significant damage to the locomotive and truck. KTVN-TV reports two crew members suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital; none of the 78 passengers on board were injured.

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