GAO issues PTC report, urges flexibility

September 19, 2013

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) made public its report on positive train control (PTC) implementation and issued a trio of recommendations including extending the deadline, approving alternative safety technologies and granting provisional certification of PTC systems.

The report said three out of four freight railroads included in its review will not meet the Dec. 31, 2015, deadline and won’t have PTC implemented until 2017 or later. GAO interviewed representatives from Amtrak, the four largest freight railroads and seven commuter railroads, selected to represent a mix of locations, ridership levels and PTC implementation status. GAO also interviewed PTC experts and suppliers and reviewed FRA’s PTC regulatory impact analyses.

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