President Obama signs H.R. 3819; PTC extension now officialWritten by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
President Barack Obama signed H.R. 3819 the "Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015" on Oct. 29.
The legislation’s main goal is to extend the authority and funding of surface transportation programs through Nov. 20, giving elected officials additional time to work on a longer-term solution. It also gives U.S. railroad operators additional time to install Positive Train Control (PTC).
The president’s signature was the last official action needed to extend the compliance deadline for PTC from Dec. 31, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2018. The House of Representatives passed the legislation on Oct. 27 with the Senate voting to approve it on Oct. 28.
In addition to the blanket three-year extension, railroads have an option to apply for a waiver that would grant an additional two years to the deadline.