Decade-Old Rail Safety Measure Will Take Longer to Implement

Most railroads plan to request a federal extension on implementing a legally required safety measure, positive train control, beyond 2018, according to a Government Accountability Office report released this week.

PTC communications systems slow or stop trains being operated recklessly to prevent collisions, excessive-speed derailments, work zone incursions, and passage through wrongly positioned switches.

Amtrak is among 40 commuter and freight railroads ordered to execute PTC by Dec. 31, but only eight railroads—all commuter—won’t require an extension, GAO reported.