signal equipment on train tracks

Agency Sets Hearing on Positive Train Control Rule

The Federal Railroad Administration is implementing a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and will hear from stakeholders in the all-day meeting Aug. 13 in Washington, D.C.

The Federal Railroad Administration has scheduled an Aug. 13 public meeting to discuss its July 21 proposed rule implementing the requirement for positive train control systems on certain passenger and freight railroads. Those companies required to submit implementation plans by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 must have the plans reviewed and approved by FRA; railroads not covered by the law may adopt the technology voluntarily.

PTC is technology that will automatically slow or stop a train if the engineer fails to take corrective action in time, such as stopping a train before it passes a red signal. Major freight railroads and intercity and commuter rail operators must submit their plans by April, 16, 2010, and PTC systems must be fully in place by the end of 2015.

The public hearing will take place at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Anyone intending to testify in person at the hearing should provide written notice, referencing Docket No. FRA-2008-0132, to FRA Docket Clerk, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, RCC-10, Stop 10, Washington, DC 20590 or fax it to 202-493-6068.

For more information, contact Thomas McFarlin, staff director of the Signal & Train Control Division in FRA's Office of Safety Assurance and Compliance, at 202-493-6203 or Jason Schlosberg, trial attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel, at 202-493-6032.

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