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Rail | Federal agencies

GAO: Rail safety technology may not be installed by 2015

June 27, 2013

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Washington – U.S. railroads may not be able to fully implement a new rail safety technology by the deadline set by the Rail Safety Improvement Act, according to a Government Accountability Office report released June 19.

RSIA requires railroads to install positive train control technology on safety-sensitive rail lines, including passenger lines and certain lines transporting hazardous materials, by 2015. The GAO report noted that implementation has been delayed because of the amount of time required for the Federal Railroad Administration to finish developing the technology and for railroads to install PTC and test its functionality in the field.

The report also stated that installing PTC by the deadline without an adequate field testing could result in system malfunctions.

In a press release, GAO stated that it plans to release additional reports on rail safety and the railroad industry’s implementation of PTC this fall.