Rail safety upgrades stalled on Capitol Hill

Published: July 30, 2015

safety_signTwo months after a deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia thrust the issue back into the spotlight, frustrated legislators in the Northeast are seemingly no closer to getting the rail-safety upgrades they want.

The transportation measure sitting on the floor of the Senate would seem the best vehicle for them, even as it faces an uncertain future given the plan for both chambers to move a three-month highway-bill extension and revisit the issue in the fall—meaning more delays for what supporters say is an essential pot of money for rail safety.

Northeastern Democrats were disappointed by a lack of funding for safety upgrades in the bill that appeared on the Senate floor and have threatened their support for the final product unless more substantial changes are made. Even a late addition of more funding for a safety system known as Positive Train Control doesn’t seem to have met their demands.

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