Congressman Graves issues statement on Positive Train Control extension
This is a release from Congressman Sam Graves to his constituents issued Monday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation extending the deadline for railroads to install a crucial safety device on its rails.
U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement after the House of Representatives (Monday) passed an extension of the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline. The PTC extension allows railways to stay operational as they continue working to comply with Congressional mandates.
”Missouri has the third most railway miles of any state in the country,” Rep. Graves said. “Improving safety should be a priority for everyone, but these standards need to be reasonable and realistic. So many critical sectors of our economy depend on an operational railway system, from farmers and electric utilities, to small businesses and local governments. (Monday’s) vote prevents a shutdown of the U.S. rail transportation system, and it also ensures our economy will not be shut down with it.”
PTC was developed by Congress in 2008, requiring railroads across the country to install new rail safety technology by December 31, 2015. Multiple variables, including several delays from federal agencies, have prevented railways from meeting this deadline. The Federal Railroad Administration took longer than expected to review initial development plans, and the Federal Communications Commission also stalled permits for a year as it worked to solve transmission issues.
A PTC-related rail shutdown would drain an estimated $30 billion from our economy in the first quarter of 2016 alone, killing over half a million American jobs.