Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18) introduced the Commuter Rail Passenger Safety Act, to help commuter rail lines, such as Metro-North, fund and implement positive train control (PTC) systems.
The announcement followed Rep. Maloney’s tour of the Metro-North derailment site and National Transportation Safety Board confirmation that PTC would have prevented the crash.
“This strategic investment is critical to protecting the hundreds of thousands of riders that travel on Metro-North and systems like it every day,” said Rep. Maloney. “Installing PTC systems in our commuter rail systems is the single most important step towards reducing human error and saving lives, the safety of our neighbors and families is too important to wait.”
Specifically, Rep. Maloney’s legislation would explicitly allow commuter rail systems to apply for loans and loan guarantees to invest in PTC for existing lines through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing Program. In addition, the legislation would reauthorize the Railroad Safety Technology Grant Program and increase the total investments to half a billion dollars over the next five years. This program funds the deployment of train control technologies, electronically-controlled pneumatic brakes, rail integrity warning systems, switch position indicators and monitors and other new railroad safety technology, such as PTC. This program expired on October 1, 2013.