Should the PTC deadline be extended?

Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward Hamberger's recent testimony before a Senate Commerce Committee panel prompted this week's poll question on ProgressiveRailroading.com: Do you support the railroad industry's request that Congress extend the positive train control implementation deadline by at least three years?

Hamberger testified that freight railroads' massive investments on safety-enhancing infrastructure and maintenance have helped make railroads the safest they've been in their history. Included in those investments is $2.8 billion spent since 2008 to implement PTC technology. Despite their efforts, freight railroads have determined that having a fully interoperable PTC system up and running by the federal deadline of December 2015 time isn't possible due to technological and non-technological challenges, said Hamberger.

The deadline should be extended by at least three years, to Dec. 31, 2018, with flexibility given to the U.S. transportation secretary to consider additional extensions if necessary, he told the panel.

Please consider offering your opinion on the question of whether the PTC deadline should be extended. You can answer the poll by clicking on the question or by offering a comment in response to this blog.

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