The United States Senate has advanced President Trump’s pick for the number-three post at the Department of Transportation, squashing protests from three of the four Democrats representing New York and New Jersey, who want the Administration to commit to the federal share of the multi-billion-dollar Northeast Corridor Gateway Program. However, the number-one spot at the Federal Railroad Administration remains trapped in a contentious game of political maneuvering.
US Senator John Thune
The U.S. railroad industry has been scrambling since 2008 to meet the requirements of an unfunded federal government mandate—namely, having Positive Train Control installed and fully operational by Dec. 31, 2015 on 60,000 miles of track where hazmat and passenger trains operate. Parallel to the PTC initiative has been a battle waged on Capitol Hill to extend the end-of-the-year deadline. That effort may be paying off, and the railroads may one day be grateful that they have a Thune on their side.