5 to 6 Railroads May Not Qualify for PTC Exemption

The number of railroads at risk of not qualifying for an extension of the deadline to implement positive train control has been whittled to five to six.

Federal Railroad Administration chief Ronald L. Batory gave that assessment during a conference held last week in suburban Chicago.

The number of at-risk railroads has fallen from nine that the FRA reported in late August. All of the at-risk railroads are passenger carriers.

The FRA’s next status report on PTC implementation is due in November.

Under federal law, 41 railroads are required to install a PTC system by Dec. 31 or have made enough progress to qualify for an extension of time.

The law established six criteria by which a railroad can qualify for an extension, but generally the FRA considers a carrier to be at risk of non-compliance if it has installed less than 90 percent of its PTC system hardware.

Batory emphasized that contrary to popular belief PTC is “not a safety system” but “a risk-reduction system” designed to overcome human error.

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