Friday, May 27, 2011

AAR notes House move on regulation

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The White House on Thursday began unveiling what it said would be “hundreds of regulatory changes that could save businesses billions of dollars and tens of millions of hours of work.”

The proposals reduce costs while “maintaining the critical health and safety protections that Americans deserve.”

aar_logo.jpgThe White House announcement led the Association of American Railroads to issue the following statement from President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger:

“We are pleased to see the Administration continues to move forward with its review of federal regulations that stymie U.S. economic recovery and future growth. AAR has been working with the Federal Railroad Administration on its review of various rules, including implementation of positive train control (PTC) technologies as mandated by the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act.

"In March 2010, AAR on behalf of its member railroads filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to change certain aspects of the PTC regulations. On March 2, 2011 the parties asked the court to put the suit on hold while FRA agreed to undertake a review of its final rule. The D.C. Circuit granted the motion.

"A major issue is the scope of the PTC mandate. For example, while Congress clearly stipulated that PTC be installed on main lines used to transport passengers and TIH as of Dec. 31, 2015, FRA required PTC to be installed on lines used to transport passengers and TIH in 2008. This seven-year difference in implementation dates substantially affects the cost—according to AAR estimates by more than $500 million. AAR also estimates that at least 10,000 miles of track that saw TIH movements in 2008 would no longer be used for such movements by Dec. 31, 2015."