Senate Approves Stopgap Transportation Funding

The Senate on Wednesday adopted the stopgap transportation funding bill approved earlier this week by the House and with it gave the green light to a three-year extension of the positive train control deadline.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, which would mean that passenger train operations and the carriage of hazardous cargo will continue unabated in 2016.

The legislation extended federal transportation highway and transit spending authority through Nov. 20. That authority was set to expire today (Oct.  29).

Congress is expected to work out a longer term authorization of federal transportation spending before the end of this year.

Federal law has given the nation’s railroads until Dec. 31 to install PTC on lines carrying passengers and hazardous cargo.

The railroad industry had said that it will be unable to meet that deadline and threatened to embargo passenger trains and hazardous cargo rather than pay fines imposed by the Federal Railroad Administration.

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