The rail industry’s frenzied push to extend the Congressionally imposed deadline for implementing Positive Train Control—one of the largest unfunded mandates ever foisted upon a U.S. industry—finally came to fruition on Oct. 29, 2015.
Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015
The House of Representatives on Oct. 27, 2015 approved H.R. 3819, The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, legislation that funds and extends the authorization for federal highway and transit programs through Nov. 20, but more important, extends the deadline for implementation of Positive Train Control by at least three years. The bill now goes to the Senate, which has two days to consider it—with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) vehemently opposed.
House Republican leaders on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 unveiled a stopgap bill, H.R. 3819, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, which would extend federal transportation funding through Nov. 20 in order to prevent a Highway Trust Fund shutdown. H.R. 3819 includes language for a PTC deadline extension identical to that in H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015, passed Oct. 22 by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.