White House Endorses PTC Deadline

Published: June 12, 2015

The White House on Thursday, June 4, endorsed a requirement that U.S. railroads install new safety equipment (Positive Train Control – PTC) by the end of 2015, despite bipartisan efforts in Congress to give passenger and freight rail companies extra time to comply.

Administration support for the deadline could lead to a showdown with lawmakers in Congress over the safety equipment known as positive train control, or PTC, which federal officials say would have prevented the deadly May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

Republicans and Democrats have introduced different pieces of legislation to extend the deadline. A measure giving railroads until the end of 2020 to comply with the safety requirement was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee in March and moved to the Senate floor for a vote.