tv Train Safety CSPAN February 16, 2018 10:00am-12:07pm EST
c-span radio app. tomorrow night on c-span, another former republican presidential candidate, jeb bush spoke at the american enterprise institute here in washington about alternatives to traditional public schools and education savings accounts that can be used to pay for private schools. you can see that saturday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. q&a, michaelht on back." his book "crash andhere is public shaming chinese lost a lot of face and that is hard for westerners to get an idea what that means to the asian culture. they start -- after that set off on this mindset, we will build up our navy and our missile defense forces in such a way
that we are never -- never lose face like this again. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q & a. announcer: house transportation and infrastructure subcommittee on railroads held a meeting yesterday on recent train crashes and positive train control, which automatically stops trains in dangerous situations grade we hear from witnesses from the federal railroad administration, the natural transportation safety board -- national transportation safety board, and amtrak. >> without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. i ask unanimous consent -- ask questions without objection so ordered. good morning and welcome to the subcommittee on railroads, pipelines, and hazardous materials. before we proceed, i would like to extend our deepest sympathies to those impacted by the recent rail accidents across the united states. today's hearing focuses on the
of limitation of positive train control across the united states and as we have seen, we are in need of an update. ptc is a complex system with a challenging implementation process. despite these challenges, safety is always a top priority and we must investigate and find solutions to implementation obstacles and that is the purpose of this hearing today. i look forward to hearing from witnesses today regarding implementation status of ptc across the united states. i would like to recognize .ichael cap 10 -- capuano ask consent to include the committee democratic staff in the hearing record. >> without objection, so ordered. >> i generally keep opening remarks brief because we need today to catch up on ptc to see how it has impacted people and
to hear from the industry on where they are advancing it. with all the problems we have in this issue, we are making progress. many of us would like that progress to be faster and cleaner and quicker, but at least we are doing something. at the same time, i do not think it should go unsaid today that this congress has taken absolutely no action whatsoever to even try to address gun violence in this country, the tragedy we suffered yesterday in this country is unspeakable, it should be unacceptable to every single american and for us to do nothing, nothing should be angering as far as i am concerned. at least on this issue with ptc, we are doing something. nothing is not an answer and with that, i yield back the remainder of my time. >> i would now like to recognize the chairman of the full committee, mr. shuster. >> thank you very much --
[indiscernible] >> thank you, very much. you ranking member cap one over holding this meeting today and thanks to the members showing interest of the tragedy that occurred in your states and other places across the country. safety is the number one priority of this committee and the most important task of the department of transportation. this committee and the department of transportation have remained focused on efforts to increase -- increase rail safety. as 2012, -- were reporting railroads would not make 2010 deadlines. 2015 congress pass the partisan
service transportation extension act. in 2015, which extended the deadline to december 31 of 2018. industry,rt from government, and labor. --were hopeful this would today i look forward to getting -- an update on the status of ptc implement -- implementation and learn what the other challenges are. when congress extended the deadline, we were informed on issues the railroads faced and throughout the of limitation process, railroads have faced a complicated, complex set of challenges. one of the biggest issues is the ability to obtain spectrum. reports articulating the other obstacles such as integration of field testing of ptc components, the development of the technology, issues with the availability of suppliers of technology, radio interference and interoperability.
we are here to say if those issues still linger for the railroads. hearing fromd to colleagues, but also folks that represent the government -- who represents a government and industry to give us a view of what is happening out there and with that, i yield back. >> i would like to recognize the ranking member of the committee, mr. defazio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let's dial back to 2005, southern freight train in south carolina which diverted onto an adjacent track and hit a parked train. nine people were killed, 6 workers at the plant, 500 people injured, 5500 -- 5400 evacuated. this was preventable with ptc. the committee held a hearing on this crash in 2007 prior to passing of i started -- bipartisan bill 10 years ago to mandate the tcf limitation.
granted, the bill is eerily similar to the one we just heard in carolina, us which left in the wrong position and the trained eye boarded onto the wrong track and hit a parked train. again, no signals indicating the switch position was open and, again, totally preventable with ptc. with the amtrak accident in washington, we had ptc on the train, on the track, but it was not yet operable. i have introduced legislation and will say no new section of track can be utilized by amtrak until the ptc is operable. that is after the fact, unfortunately. that, again, totally preventable. for 50 years now, half a century , ntsb has issued one recommendation after another for
the fra to require ptc. over those 50 years, 153 accident preventable with ptc. they resulted in 300 81 fatalities, 6700 injuries, and yet, we are not there yet. last time we held a hearing on this was 2015. we have a law that goes back to 2008, but we are not fully implemented. i hear a lot about the cause of the complexity. -- cost and complexity. let's talk about the lives that have been lost and could be lost in the future because of a lack of ptc. s andnumber of our class 1' freight and commuter railroads embraced ptc early on and made progress and i congratulate those who will make the deadline. aren'tare close, some
very far along. some commuter railroads, i understand new jersey has not even started, they will not qualify under any conditions, even with the most lacks administrator in history, we do not have an administrator, to meet the minimum requirements to get an extension beyond 2018. i have heard some are inquiring as to whether or not congress might extend the deadline beyond 2020. we are going to kill more people because you are not doing your job. no. we are not going to extend ptc -- again if i have anything to say about it. it is complicated, but, again, 50 years ago, this is when it was first recommended. a year later we landed a man on the moon. look at where we are now with all sorts of advances in technology. yet, we do not have ptc.
i have recommended to the administration that they include grant funding to help some of the commuter railroads and others who are nonprofits, having problems meeting deadlines, although, there have been no allocations and no accidents, i do not know, also, how we can get a budget out of the administration where it actually cuts funding for fra's oversight and enforcement of ptc by 50%. is cut and already, that hopefully that cut is going nowhere in the united dates congress or the omnibus negotiations. safety and operations got cut by 30% per -- cut to automated track in inspection. it doesn't seem this administration is serious about safety despite the lives lost
recently. i hope this committee and hearing today can refocus the urgency of this matter, focus the administration on this and we will see full implementation by the end of 2018. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. back the balance of my time. >> are now welcome the first panel the distinguished colleagues from the state of washington please proceed with your statement i ask in animus consent the full statement is included in the record after receiving testimony from the first panel we will proceed to the second panel for testimony without objection so ordered. >> thank you mr. chairman for holding this hearing today and your assistance in the wake of this tragedy striking in my district on the morning of december 18 a quiet monday morning when amtrak derailed
approaching the bridge and dupont washington locomotive and passenger cars were sent down onto the interstate at 80 miles per hour into the path of motorist going about their morning commute. three people were killed. three passengers on the train jim, zach and mitch. jim and back for my constituents also fierce advocates, that is why they were on the train which was the inaugural service on the new bypass as a retired civil engineer while zach worked for transit now as a board member of the rail passenger association jim actually visited me in washington d.c. at my office to advocate for expanding passenger train service the entire south puget
sound continues to mourn the loss of these individuals but they were not the only victims. seventy passengers and motorist were injured and by the way including a delightful young woman named mattie who happens to be the niece of one of my staff members. only thanks to those aerobic workout first responders and bystanders and doctors the injured are with us today and i want to commend the active duty service members and civilians that the nearby base who rushed to help and we are here today because we know this tragedy could have been avoided if positive train control was active. the ntsb has recommended railroads install ptc over 50 years and i am glad we have the chairman with us today and think you for your assistance but despite these warnings there has been an absolute
failure to heed them and it is a collective failure on the part of phil federal railroad administration and congress that has failed to find ptc implementation and enforce deadlines. there are no excuses to be made. dm track crash was preventable as were over 150 other rail accidents that were investigate investigated. that's why support legislation from ranking members to provide the funding railroads across the country need to complete ptc on the routes i net on monday with a head of the washington state department of transportation and i was glad to hear the amtrak route is on schedule to have ptc implementation by the current deadline of december 2018 and the same goes for the freight railroads but that isn't the case for many across
the country. that's why most importantly the bill and to pass this legislation would pass a clear message to have this conversation again no delays or excuses and with benjamin graham to ask this committee and congress to act to prevent a crash from ever happening in this country again. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you and ranking member for holding this hearing and providing me to testify. i have taken the bed i back from washington and do -- d.c. i got a call from a member of my team when the cascade
express had derailed from the overpass over interstate five at one of the busiest sections of the state at rush hour. the worst-case scenario with footage news helicopters was harrowing people were stopping on the highway jumping into train cars to offer their help and i immediately thought of my family who works for the state of washington and regularly goes to bf. was she safe? was she on the highway days earlier i cut the ribbon into, to serve the train on this route and it felt like a bad dream so many families had that same dream too many of loved ones who were hurt three families never saw their sons again and their lives could have been saved by positive train control i went to the site you still see the marks in the track and the
fingerprints of the train cars traveling way too fast hitting the metal as they left the track ntsb said positive train control could have prevented this and in 2018 no american should die in a preventable train accident december 31 to pass the deadline with a life-saving technology the country has 319 days as the committee knows working since 2008 and railroads have shown it is possible to meet the deadline. one of the largest billet operators has installed ptc on all 11570 miles of the track they are responsible for and operable on all law -- locomotives to show with the right investments this can be done.
but the country will not get there if this body does not take that seriously so thank you for taking up the request to hold this hearing and also for their leadership on the bill to provide $2.5 billion $5 billion of grants to help the railroads put ptc on the tracks. i hope the committee will act soon. that is just one part of the solution also the federal rail administration to step up to make sure they are making progress but i have serious concerns of their capacity to do so given the recent resignation of their administrator. we wrote a letter last time asking for an update on the status of ptc nationwide and the steps he would take to make sure they are all on track and we are still waiting for that response so i hope today's hearing will provide those answers because of that conversation doesn't happen i am afraid this will get done if americans deserve to know
the trains they are taking to work are safe and then to work with each other to make this happen so thank you for starting that work today. >> thank you for your testimony your comments have been helpful and thought-provoking and thank you mr. heck in particular to recount the issues of those lives that were lost on that tragic day. we welcome the second panel. mr. chairman can i have unanimous consent to speak out of order? >> i have had a tough week as you know from looking at me and now we do finally have an individual with experience i
welcome him there he has a tough job ahead of him but i hope the committee as soon as he can get settled in that we can discuss this along with other issues. >> now we welcome the second panel of witnesses chairman of the ntsb and the chief counsel of the federal railroad administration and richard anderson, c eo amtrak and president and chief executive officer american association of railroads and president chief executive officer and vice president from the brotherhood of local motive engineers asking animus consent the full statement is included in the record since written testimony is a part of
the record we request you limit oral testimony to five minutes giving us more time for questions. you may proceed. >> good morning mr. chairman and ranking member and members of the subcommittee thank you for having us. since the enactment of the rail safety improvement act of 2008 the ntsb has completed investigations of 22 accidents that could have been prevented by ptc and together they have resulted in 23 deaths, 300 injuries $126 million of property damage. of course we are currently investigating two additional actions that could have been prevented by ptc two months ago december 18 amtrak train 501 derailed onto interstate i
5 near dupont washington traveling 70 miles an hour around a curve where the speed limit was 30 miles an hour the investigation is ongoing however this is precisely the type of accident that ptc is intended to prevent. if operational it would have detected the overspeed and had taken action to stop the train before the accident. most recently early last week a southbound amtrak train unexpectedly entered in south carolina collided with a freight train investigators found the track switch was locked in a position to divert the southbound train investigation will focus on why it was locked rather than intended a fully operational
ptc system is designed to prevent action when switches are left in the wrong position and at the time of the accident train signals that govern movement were out of service due to signal upgrades in this morning the ntsb issued the emergency safety recommendation and we are calling for the fra to issue an emergency alert to put in place procedures to mitigate hazards when trains are operating during signal suspension and i will be happy to discuss this further with questions. a decade ago congress called for ptc to be installed by the end of 2015 but the railroads indicate they could not meet that deadline so congress extended the deadline for the end of this year. now data provided by railroads indicate many of the nation's
railroad will not meet that deadline for fully operational ptc resulting in two years of additional delays. for nearly half a century ntsb has investigated numerous collisions and derailments caused by human failures and these accidents could have been prevented by ptc. therefore the ntsb is extremely concerned about any further delays to this life-saving technology. quite simply for each day that passes we are at continued risk for preventable ptc accidents. so from a safety perspective from the ntsb and a safety perspective, that risk is unacceptable. thank you for your time i will be glad to answer questions.
>> thank you. >> you may proceed. >> chairman and ranking member and members of the subcommittee things for inviting me to discuss the federal railroad administration positive train control in light of the recent accident much of the nation's time and attention is ensuring all critical safety measures are in place with our rail system as a top priority under the leadership the fra to develop the safety regulations to conduct research and development but ptc is an advanced safety system to prevent certain types of accidents for example preventing a train from passing a stopped or the
recruiting the it is imperative the railroads and suppliers focused their attention on meeting congressional deadline. thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to testify. i am happy to answer any questions. thank you. members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss positive train control and the process -- progress on
implementation of that technology. i want to reaffirm the rail industry's commitment to implementing ptc, which we ptc,n all agree will add an important layer of safety. my focus is on the ptc progress to date and how they are working to get it right, and when we are going to complete the job. on all fronts, the class when railroads have made tremendous progress. by the end of 2017, the vast majority of the installation was complete. 78% of locomotives were installed. 97% of radio towers installed. 87% of required employee training done. at the end of 2017, the class one railroads already had in
operation more than 30,000 miles, 56% of the required ptc network. as the law clearly states, by 2018, each class one railroad is required to complete the installation of all wayside, hardware, each class one railroad is required to miles.% of ptc on its all class when railroads will meet or exceed this statutory requirement. not only do you have to install it, you have to make sure it works. ptc development has been immensely complex from day one. railroads have focused on developing and testing technology that would meet the requirements, especially nationwide interoperability.
regress testing is the only way to ensure this system works as intended. in addition to initial testing testing the simulated load laboratory requirement they must be exposed to day-to-day operations to verify each individual part of the system as a whole will function properly. as the subcommittee knows, we gotate not in a laboratory -- but we operate in various climates and weather conditions outside across the country. when there is a failure of even a single ptc component trains are not able to work and tell that they are alert is correct. the situation railroads are facing is ptc is rolled out to the railroads are working hard to limit impacts on their customers but this unfortunately will be a fact of life particularly until the system fully matures. additionally it is common for one railroad locomotives operate on another railroad tracks and ptc systems must be fully interoperable across all the
nation's railroads including passenger and freight. this adds another layer of complexity to the testing. ensuring this interoperability is no easy task and all railroads will continue to resolve challenges that will , which congress anticipated and provided for in its 2015 law. ince the passage of the 2015 law to adjust for the fact that different row roads will need full of presentation at different times. after all the intent of the adopted provision was to encourage each railroad to achieve full implementation as soon as practicable. so what can we expect in the future to complete the job? by the end of 2018 each class 1 railroad will have completed ptc installation. 100% of back-office and locomotive hardware installed
100% of required training complete. when it comes to operations approximately 80% for over 40,000 miles 80% of all required network monitor -- miles will be in operation by the end of this year. while several class 1 railroad plants will be fully implemented by the end of 2018 all class 1 railroad's will be 100% implemented no later than 2020. the bottom line is each day the ptc foot print is expanding meaning each day the risks are being reduced on the nation's rail network and i look forward to answering any questions. >> thank you mr. hamberger. >> thank you mr. tramon and members of the committee for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today. my name is richard anderson i started on january 1 at amtrak as president and ceo following
my tenure as co-ceo since last july under wetmore. previously i served over 17 years as the ceo of delta airlines, the ceo of northwest airlines and the chief operating officer of northwest airlines. previously i also served as the president of commercial businesses unitedhealth group and i would note i started as a felony prosecutor in houston texas. after 45 days on the job is the only amtrak ceo without it background with rail i have a perspective. while many may have doubted in 71 as i look at the history of amtrak there would be a growing business and passenger rail today it is and as congestion grows in major metropolitan areas in a generation millennials prefer a ridesharing to car ownership amtrak services and our infrastructure support
hundreds of millions of rail transportation trips a year. but it's clear that during our 47 year history we have under invested in rail especially in aspects of the safety systems of passenger rail at amtrak has operated essentially carrying passengers rather than a world-class passenger transportation company. our freight partners have done an incredibly good job significantly improving safety across all the class 1 railroad's and records show that. >> mr. anderson can you speak more directly into the mic? >> sure. >> that helps. >> repeat the part about the freight roads. >> passenger rail must adhere to a much higher standard because our trains will carry over 300 human angst so we have to as an industry for passenger rail
establish a much higher level of care and standard of care. with passenger rail now a significant component of the transportation system we must increase our level of sophistication and we have begun this process on amtrak and we are going to bring the safety culture and the safety operations of aviation to passenger a in america. the recent incidents 501 in dupont virginia trained 91 in kc have conclusively demonstrated that prescient need for an sms system at amtrak. toward that end we hired a new executive vice president and chief safety the officer kim highlander reporting to me. he implemented airlines to implement our sms program as recommended by chairman sumwalt in an ntsb report.
that is a proactive management system that has been the foundation of the tremendous safety progress and aviation. this is a -- we have to take their experience and data tools and capabilities from aviation and apply them to passenger railroad. additionally amtrak continues to work on implementing many new specific safety measures which i cover in written testimony, the most important ptc. these two start we believe ptc should ultimately be in place for all amtrak routes and as a matter of u.s. policy ptcs should be required for all passenger rail trips in america. without ptc the system is too formal for a two single points of failure many of which are dependent upon the memory of a single human being interacting with a big complicated system.
crews must memorize routes, signals, landmarks and other in tissue of the external world when i qualify on a route. when an engineer loses situational awareness or forgets a rule we have no systems to assist them and help them prevent that error. we both thought the systems and aviation. we haven't no common passenger rail soap ptc is the fundamental doping block. amtrak has long been a leader in ptc. we installed -- it is installed in nearly all of the northeast corridor today the busiest railway in america. we are set to complete ptc installation on the tracks and equipment we own or control by december 31, 2018 the federal deadline. we have great cooperation with our partners and partner host railroad's especially for class 1 reference. for those areas of her network where we rely on others we have
to mostly cooperate with them because the host railroad amtrak and the manufactures of the equipment all have to cooperate to get the systems installed, tested and working properly. it's an enormous and complicated undertaking for the industry of suppliers that we all share a sense of urgency. having said that it's now clear that amtrak congress and the various railroads are likely to confront scenarios where ptc is not yet operational. first many routes outside the -- where the host railroad will apply for an alternative ptc implementation schedule. amtrak that question raises for us whether even if that alternative is approved whether we will need to operate. second, there are host railroad to the parent might do to achieve sufficient progress to apply the alternative ptc
implementation schedule and for those segments of amtrak will suspend operations. third, a small portion of services operated on routes that have received at right mainline solutions which exempt them from a ptc requirement we are newly reviewing underwear sms program our policies regarding these exclusions and for those instances where we will not have ptc even after the 12-31 deadline because it's not required by statute we have a question about whether we are going to operated at all and i doubt we will. lastly there may be railroads that operate over her ptc tracks which may not have sufficient ptc commission rolling stock to operate normal services by the end of the year. under the present rules we cannot permit noncompliant equipped amount of railroad and we are working with these railroads and the fra to determine the path for. fortunately rob victoria's,
chairman of the fra and the administrator of the fra and he is doing a good job leading an effort to coordinate the work of half of all the reverence in america to get the impediments out of the way so we get as much done as we can. taken together i believe historic strides are being made and everybody is working as hard as they can. i have great confidence in amtrak's work worse. there are a lot of hard-working people at amtrak to what to do right and i see across our company to desire to become the safest passenger railroad operation in the world. we owe our customers nothing less. thank you. >> thank you mr. anderson. mr. skoutelas you may proceed. >> members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i am ceo of the american public
transportation system could have submitted a detailed written statement but what to highlight a few key points are the bitter want to reiterate after an unequivocal commitment to safety including positive train control installation the safety is the number one priority. as a former agency ceo i know but safety is more than operating principle in the promise to our writers. it's a core value of every public transportation professional. we are an industry recognized standard development organization but we created the audit program in 1989 was all commuter rail agency's program plans are based upon. as the association publicly supported the concept of ptc before the rail saved the improvement act of 2008 was enacted. we have brought together a few stakeholders through ptc technical summits user groups and other programming with meetings and conferences. in an effort to tackle the complex -- complexity. these efforts have helped
facilitate the implementation by sharing information and coordinating efforts to solve the issues as they arise to commuter rosewicz have faced and continue to face a variety of complex challenges in installing ptc systems. it was still being developed in 2015 and only after the technology was available we began installing and testing the systems while concurrently providing service to millions of americans. a one-size-fits-all approach to implementation does not exist when it comes to ptc installation. this means each passenger rail system needs to build its own unique ptc solution which has created challenges and delays. many commuter railroad's have done a commendable job overcoming significant hurdles including unique skill professionals and suppliers nationwide. complex operating environments
and that horse tight budgets. so many agencies implementing at the same time the lack of expertise and resources has limited the ability to expedite implementation at each stage of the process. today the full cost of implementation is estimated to be approximately $4 billion for railroad agencies. this does not take into account future operating and maintenance costs which apparently estimates from 80 million to 130 million annually. nor does it include the $90 billion in repair backlog facing the public transportation system today. this is a staggering number for publicly under the agencies that rely on federal state and local funding as well as passenger fares to operate their services. request congress and the administration consider these costs and provide additional funding to the public transportation industry is concerned that fra may not have enough highly-skilled staff to respond to the magnitude of documentation required for approval especially as we approach the end of 2018. we urge congress to make sure
far as the technical staff of available. we continue its active role in support of ptc installation implementation. commit to becoming a safer industry everyday. pursuit of this goal we will continue the technical user group meetings and hosting various forms which have proven to be indispensable to the industry through these sessions have brought a focus on lessons learned from those who are further along in implementation and work to establish common formats for actions which will facilitate a faster review process by fra. after will continue making ptc implementation a key topic at its major meetings throughout the year. close by saying that public transportation industry relies on public support. a transit systems recognize the muster enough support and trust every day. public transportation generally commuter and passenger rail
specifically are among the safest modes of transport. public transportation passengers are generally 40 to 70 times less likely to be in an accident that drivers and passengers in private automobiles. as an industry will contain the sun safety and continue to improve it every day. apta is grateful for the work the committee is done to enhance our nation's roadways and we applaud your efforts. we look forward to continuing to work with you and your staff on the critical ptc issues and other issues facing the public transportation agencies. thank you. >> thank you mr. skoutelas. mr. telman. >> members of the committee appreciate the opportunity to testify today. as i sit here today i am embarrassed, i am hurt and frustrated and nearly distraught that we are here once again to discuss a major safety issue
that was recommended a long, long time ago. i grew up in the railroad industry and i truly am anguished when i hear again and again of an accident that could have been prevented by ptc. i was here in 2008 when you passed the rail safety improvement act critic testified in front of this committee on behalf of the membership. one of our members parents was here trying to educate congress in hopes that they are 28-year-old son would not die in vain on january 6, 2005. he lost his life in an accident very similar to the recent accidents in south carolina where the anti-sp said could have been prevented by ptc. you know there's something in this room that we all can agree on without a doubt.
nobody, nobody should ever, ever go to work and not come home. it's our duty in this room from this day forward to make sure to work tirelessly to get this thing done. the ntsb told the industry as far back as 1968 to implement some form of technology accident preventive technology. that was 50 years ago. it took us less than nine years to put a person on the moon and the industry can't get this done done. in fact anti-sp said in may of 200240 to 60 accidents each year could be prevented by ptc. 40 to 60 each year. the ntsb noted that from 2015 to 1968 ptc could have prevented
145 major accidents that killed 288 people and injured 6574 when the agency first recommended this technology. official damages have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars not counting the economic and emotional burden borne by the victims and their families. these numbers do not include the recent actions outside of tacoma washington that claimed three lives and injured 70 people or south carolina collision that killed a locomotive engineer michael kemp age 54, one of our members and conductor michael so why age 36, a smart member and injured 116 people. while the ntsb is still investigating these tragedies ptc could have "prevented those
of these tragedies. some might say that i am not eating fair because grove roads are going to get this done by 2018 and i sincerely applaud those who do but there are several others that won't get this done by the deadline. mr. chairman if i'm a taken up her tendency to mention a few other safety issues that the industry has not addressed and the number one issue is fatigue. this issue is as old as everybody in this room. the rail safety improvement act amended u.s. code title xlix by section 20156 titled the railroad safety risk reduction program mandating that the fra require the railroad to develop jointly with labor and updated
at least every two years of fatigue management plan for safety critical railroad employees to reduce the likelihood of accident injuries and fatalities caused by fatigue fatigue. to date this process remains stalled and we need to treat sleep apnea is like the industry is treating a symptom and not the disease. another issue i would like to mention is the safer oil act which would require freight rail have to separate crews on all freight trains just like congress mandated the airline industry do. the conductor works to support the engineer and the safety of operating the train observing all train and track conditions, having two federally certified people in the locomotive gap is not a waste of money for an
outdated practice even with sophisticated technology. nothing can currently compare to having a trained human being who can react to and manage potential dangerous situations onboard. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. tolman but i will begin questioning and we will limit questions to five minutes. i wanted to ask the panel in your view what are the single biggest obstacles we have two implementing this as a technology. is that money? is that the timeline that authority been extended perhaps starting with mr. reyes. the public is definitely perplexed at this question.
>> as i stated in my opening on december 27 -- sent a letter expressing her concern the implementation of ptc and the urgency that a get done. we met with 41 railroad's, 30 commuters, seven class 1 railroad's and as well as and track and what we are finding is that the issues are that there's a limited number of suppliers and vendors and class 1 and many of the commuter railroad san vendors. there are also issues with liability and the railroads are installing 100% of their equipment as they are doing
revenue service demonstrations. they are finding it takes a while to work out the problems with the software. that is a problem. there has not been, there have not been many commuter railroad's where money is really the issue. my agency, fra and the federal transit administration have issued about $2.3 billion in loans and grants for the railroad's to implement. it seems to have more to do with technical issues as well as negotiating for the contracts because a lot of the road road started earlier and other railroad start catching up and they are having trouble getting the resources they need to get it done.
>> mr. hamberger in addition to those challenges the single biggest challenge is interoperability. we throw that word around but what do i mean by that? chicago is the biggest example but it occurs wherever more than one railroad is operating. you have one locomotive operating on railroad to track on a server owned by railroad three and each class 1 railroad over the years has developed its own dispatch system to its own i.t. for warm so all of those communications have to occur so that locomotive knows whether or not it's exceeding its authority and so it's that kind of melding together of all of the various railroad technologies. that is the single biggest challenge. that's why we are talking about interoperability testing with
amtrak. that is beginning i believe in march. the goal being that the railroads and amtrak have worked through that so that by the end of the year hopefully everything has been worked through so amtrak is operating. >> in the minute i have left, because you are operating on other people's tracks predominantly the hudson valley line that i'm the most familiar with can you discuss the interoperability issue in terms of how amtrak is trying to relate to this and we saw the metro north accident that we have on the line which you operated. talk to us about the difficulty of operating on a track that someone else owns. >> amtrak must have interoperability with 15 and we operate three different ptc systems depending upon where we
are so in michigan we have one system. we operate on a class 1 train. we have two federate with 15 different host servers to make it interoperable. and so it's in coordination with all of them and there are pieces of the corridor that you are talking about there are also hosted by metro, north metro. it depends upon who the host is that we have to be able to do so with each one of them. i can tell you in all of the amtrak control pieces of the network we will be ready. d constraint. >> be quick. >> labtec rothwell collins,
everybody needs all those vendors to produce software, hardware get it tested and get it ready to be installed quickly quickly. see nick thank you. mr. capuano. >> please inserted record the statement of -- she was detained in another meeting. >> without objection so ordered. >> with that i'm going to reserve my time. >> thanks michael. i appreciate it. the ntsb this morning i understand issued an urgent recommendation regarding what actions road road should take during a single suspension. csx says we had to shut down the signal because we were installing a new system. i question whether that is true and if they are shutting down my understanding is it required
signal, it is required that slackers ---- that flaggers and other people be out there. tell me what's going on there. will congressman defazio thank you very much. of course we are -- >> once signal suspension is in effect, and a switch has been reported to be real lined to the , we track, as was the case want the first train that goes .hrough that switch to operate that way, it is at a much reduced speed. switch, if itthe visually is not aligning properly before they even encounter it. having verified that the switch
is properly lined, normal speed transit can resume. >> my question is, when one switches from existing technology to the new technology , is it inevitable that the old technology can no longer function or the signal lights won't function? if so, it seems like we need to have some sort of a rule with what's going to happen there. >> i would ask you to defer to the railroad experts to be able to determine that. >> any ideas on that since we are switching over a lot of systems in the next year and a half or a year. >> we were discussing this this request this morning and this is something that does make sense
. we will implement whatever needs to be done. >> thanks. there is a dark territory which is of concern . in congress required regulations 2008, and development of safety technology in our territory such as the switch position monitoring devices as indicators. makes up a lot of the rail network. have we made progress? >> we did issue that recommendation and closed the recommendation, closed, unacceptable action. >> how come there was no action , mr. reyes? >> at this point when there are safety issues we believe ptc is helpful in many situations.
>> we are talking about dark territory are you talking about . we are talking about something that will prevent train collisions, problems in work zones or switch problems, these are the areas where ptc would help. i believe it is helpful through many situations. in, positiveump train control in dark territory switch indicators are being installed and will be part. >> it will show up on the screen. exactly the technical way it is working, but it is designed to achieve what you want. that is to not give the train authority if the switch is in the wrong alignment.
>> if i may speak to that. switch boarding indicators could be radio transmitted to a dispatcher that would tell the switch is open and improperly aligned. that could have happened when they took that track out of service. they could have had a switch point indicator there and and told them the switch is not properly aligned. >> does this technology exist today? >> it has been studied since 2004. i believe it is ready, willing, and able to be implemented. >> it is being implemented as positive train control. >> i'm over my time but we will need to get into it a little more because this is a major issue, particularly for amtrak.
>> the gentleman from texas mr. weber. controld positive train -- last week, there was a collision and the ptc identified vehicles coming into the intersection. is there any thought about that? >> that is certainly i assume once ptc system is installed i think railroads will be taking a look at additional ptc 2.0 and what additional things can be done. safety is something that we will have to look at. >> it was mentioned earlier and i forget which one said it there are a -- limited number of a limited number of suppliers
for this technology, and the choices are few. how do you get to the point where -- you mentioned different i.t. platforms. how do you get to the point where you have interoperability where you get the same system. what does that look like? platforms,as three and there is nothing preventsically that the three platforms from interoperability, or for us to be able to operate our railroad with three separate ptc platforms. we are going to have to have locomotives that are double equipped so they have the hardware in the cab of the locomotives, for michigan service and the service that we operate over the class 1 host . it is what it is and it can be
made to work fine. >> i believe the word federated is what technical folks use what the technical folks used to describe the communication between the backlog server and the locomotives. that has to be established basically on a bilateral basis between every railroad operating on your track. railroads operating in the northeast corridor have to be duly equipped. system -- therak commuter railroads operate in a collective operating environment. for the most part, many of them operate with freight railroads
. the ptc solution has to be one of interoperability. maybe they can operate with a different, more simplistic ptc solution. but there is so much diversity in where they operate, the layouts of their tracking. it takes a unique ptc solution for each one. >> the thing about amtrak is looking through the percentages , most of the other rail lines math, butt do all the they talk about the training, the length of tracks and so forth. percentages were higher for the , and amtrak was probably two thirds of that kind of progress. yet you run on most other people's tracks. is that right? >> that is correct. >> why the difference? why are they so far ahead in implementation? >> it depends on where you're looking.
in the northeast corridor we are , in great shape and we have the ptc in the northeast corridor in good shape for a long time. in the route from michigan, we have ptc in place. and a number of the other locations, it is .ependent upon the location since there is antennas and so the train can signal its position and speed and location. >> i have one minute left. are there going to be calculations and this is getting into the weeds on two fronts. if you have carrying hazardous materials versus the train carrying people, are the reaction times increased? you hear about airplanes, some
that fly into mountains, and the voice saying pull up, pull up. they shut it off thinking something is wrong with it, and they crash into a mountain. much time -- does it very for people? >> you have gotten into a technical area which we call breaking algorithms. smart take a look at cars, they can stop a lot faster than an 80,000 pound truck. similarly, a passenger train can stop a lot faster than a fully loaded -- >> it has to be taken into account when you have to when to hit the brakes. >> the gentleman from missouri you are recognized for five , minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for holding this
hearing. we recently had an accident in hoboken, new jersey. it would have -- it could have been prevented or helped if we had ptc. it is a miracle that only one person died. if they had tested the engineers, it would have helped. my question to you, administrator. be aersey transit used to great transit system. in the last two years, it really has lost all of its staff. i was just wondering -- you met with new jersey transit. have they given you the fourth-quarter report on what they are doing with ptcs? us -- they aree
required to give us their update annually, but they have been doing it quarterly, as all the other railroads have. we have the information submitted before january 31. >> what i want to know was what progress have we made? i think i know. >> having looked at the data i , know they have made some progress. and with ptc. however -- >> you can say none. railroadswith these for 2.5 hours, new jersey train being one of them. >> did you expect them to ask for an extension? >> they said they would be able to make the deadline for the requirements by december 30 1, 2018. we are going to keep working
with them, whatever we have to do. money andthey have no have few loan options. but we provided $68 million in railroad safety improvement grants. the fra has not issued a notice of availability for these grants . do you intend to do that soon? >> those are being released today. i believe they are being released today. they will be available for ptc funding. >> i'm glad we are having this hearing, because we are finding out -- >> i guess i have a question regarding this technology because i'm not all that well-versed in technology. you keep telling me there are two or
three different types of technologies to coordinate this. is there a possibility that in the future we can come to one technology? what is stopping us from doing that? >> congressman, one issue is that they are talking about not having enough resources. you know, in 1996, i was operating amtrak and the northeast corridor with ptc. that was a few years ago. if was -- it was in a 50 year window. , there is no reason this shouldn't be done. i don't get it. hobokenhe accident in was an extreme tragedy -- no accident should ever happen.
sleep apnea was found to be the cause of two recent accidents , but you know the number one issue in the railroad industry, the issue is fatigue and that encompasses everything around that. it would have -- if we had addressed that with the rail 08, weimprovement act in would have addressed sleep apnea as a whole part of the issue. i'm going off on a tangent. >> i am concerned about the public having the confidence to ride safely on the transit system because it's from import -- it is important in my district to get people off the roads. accidents, youse think the public is losing -- how can i say, their reliance on safety and the transit system? >> i think all of us as stated earlier are committed to get a
-- committed to the most safety that we can get. railommuter rail passenger system is a safe system. when an accident happens, it is a tragedy. we feel for the victims and know we need to continue to work toward a safer system. i don't think the public necessarily feels they are not, but we need to provide them the best service and safety we can. >> my time is up. thank you. >> mr. mast you are recognized for five minutes. you for letting me join your subcommittee. i thank you all for being here to discuss this very important rail safety issue and positive train control. in south florida, the palm beaches, treasure coast. nearly every crossing we have in our area is at grade, the same
level as the cars, walkers, bicycles. we are familiar with freight traffic, but we have also had commuter rail. it is known as the tri-rail. recently, we have the bright toe rail line, running at 70 110 miles per hour throughout the stretch. in the bright lines first week of operation alone, the first week, three people were struck. since then, since it began in january, there have been four fatalities since january. numerous nonfatal accidents, and there was one more last night which we are still gathering details on. mr. reyes you are the chief counsel for the federal railroad administration, whose mission is the rail safety movement. mr.
sumwalt you are the chair of the national transportation safety board. i would like to know, are the ntsb and fra aware of these incidents? >> thank you congressman. this is an issue that we are very concerned about at fra to make sure people that are trespassing are aware. >> you are aware of the incidents? >> we are. >> does the bright line currently implement ptc rail safety measures? >> yes. could i just check with my safety advisor? this might be a different version of what we are talking about. it is called the atc system.
one second. so, they have a system called atc. they are doing some testing, and it will be fully implemented once testing is finished. is there currently an investigation as to why the atc has not been effective in preventing --? beeven full ptc would not effective when people are ,rossing at grade crossings against the flashing lights and the gates being down. what it does do is stop train to train collisions. it stops trains that are in over speed situations, going way too fast. if there is a designated area where there is a work crew, it slow downrogrammed to
or stop before that area. also if there is a misaligned switch. in break crossing, ptc is not mandated to address that situation. that type of situation could be improved by improving grade crossings, maybe moving them further away. that wouldnology issue an alert on cars or cell phones before they hit the grade crossing. the thing that is most helpful is awareness. to let people know the dangers of crossing -- trespassing on the track. you, mr. ray's.
mr. anderson, you said "passenger rail must have a much higher standard." you are the chairman of amtrak. you know about passenger rail. there was one i mentioned to you -- do you believe there is more of an impetus for safety with each mile per hour that we are going faster? the data would show that the number one issue we have with rail safety is grade crossings. we have about 2000 incidents a year in our country. it is probably the single in terms of safety of people. there are far more people hurt or injured or killed in grade crossings than anything else on railroads.
frauld note that administrators have a program every year for states. about $230sting million a year in grade crossing grant programs to states and local minister palette is -- and local municipalities to rectify grade crossing. >> mr. larson you're recognized for five minutes. >> i would like my statement submitted for the record. >> without objection. i want to go back to washington state. and the dupont tragedy. sound transit reported that the ptc system was online and operational at the time of the accident. could you elaborate on the latest findings regarding ptc in
this instance? >> congressman larson, thank you. as you point out the investigation is ongoing. we are trying to untangle all of the aspects of that accident. there are no current updates available. for dot's proposed budget 2019 says your agency will continue to target resources, including the implementation of ptc. toas wondering how you plan meet those objectives with just half of the federal funding you received previously. nothe proposed budget does significantly change our funding for our safety programs. , there was a new look at funding for long-distance rail and amtrak.
that is where the money is coming from. we will continue on the same level with the same staff and same programs. you sayglad to hear safety is the number one priority. proposal, i'm scratching my head about whether you will be able to accomplish that. notified the you state department of transportation for washington state of your midterm and long-term operations underway for the amtrak cascades corridor. how will the budget impact your ability to execute those measures? >> we have not done those measures specifically, but if you take the normal amtrak grant billion, authorized under the fast act, it is tough.
won't do anything unsafe. we will just stop operating. the company has challenges if that happens. suppose you would have a 100% safety record if you did not operate at all. >> well, that is not a very good answer. good answer.a i'm saying you are stuck with its proposed budget that -- apparently cuts amtrak to fund the fra. >> i don't want you to think we would do anything unsafe as a result. the airline industry went through bankruptcies, but we never compromised safety. the bottom line is that the proposed budget makes amtrak viability difficult going forward. the fullsk for fastback funding and congress has been supportive of amtrak, for which we are appreciated. january 10, i joined several
members of congress in sending a ,etter to secretary chao requesting the status of amtrak's action plan. we have yet to receive a response from the secretary. do you have the status of the department review? >> i would be happy to check with my staff to see the status of the review. please allow me time to get back to you. >> mr. tolman can you describe the role that your members are playing in the investigation and the amtrak cascades 501 tragedy? >> we have the bl et and the smart track station union, and any other issue that is maintenance related.
if it is a signal problem, they are involved. we work side-by-side with the ntsb, and have been doing so for 20 years. we have a complete party status to the investigation, and our duty has been to find out what happened and fix it, and prevented. to note -- ike will be submitting some qs ours as well -- yielding some qfr's as well and i yield back. >> thank you, mr. larson. i recognize myself for five minutes. mr. sumwalt first specifically on the end of year deadline to -- the deadline that we have before us, i've heard from railroads across the country about the relationship between a
host and a railroad, and how they will be treated at the end of the year. a my district, we have trained in the valley and on san joaquin, both running on the upu line and south train track. cases, across the country, you will have the host fully implemented with ptc, but the tenant railroad is not, or vice versa. in those cases, how was fra going to treat those cases -- i'm sorry, how is fra going to treat those cases at the end of the year when it comes to fines or extensions if they apply? >> thank you for your question. point, we have met with 41 railroads in the past 45 days. of expressed instruction
secretary chao -- working with every railroad so they can meet all requirements for the december 31 deadline. theireed to purchase spectrums, do employee training, have revenue service demonstrations. we are not ready to give up on any railroad at this time. we will provide frequent technical assistance. companyerstand the line. we all want to have them fully implemented. this is great technology, but as we have seen, there are some that have put ptc in place quickly. there are others that have not even started. if they have not started, to this point, we are well aware that there are some that will never get there by the end of the year. the question is are we going to , penalize the hosts who may be fully implemented for the tenent -- implemented, or the tenant?
who do we give extensions to? >> we are ready to use anything we can to push these railroads to comply with the december 31 deadline. we are meeting with them and giving them technical advice. we are going to do everything possible. no one has come in to ask for an extension. >> that is the problem that the ranking member and i have. we are well aware of some that are far behind or have not started, and they have not asked for an extension or a grant. they are only waiting to see the deadline get there. let me ask you this. when our plans scheduled to provide guidance for tenant railroads? >> right now, all railroads are required to submit their plans. we will be reviewing those plans, and if we have comments
on them, we will issue comments on the plans as they come in. >> thank you. my time is limited on this round , but i do want to get one thing out there. mr. capuano added bill h.r. 4766. i agree with the premise of the bill. i agree that the final deadline should be 2018. this has gone on for 10 years now. it has got to be obvious what needs to be done and how this should be implemented. there areon i have -- so many different entities out there that either have not filed for an extension, not made it aware to us where they are at in the timeline, or three, they have not come and ask for
grants. there is a number of railroads i have reached out to ask, what do you need? let me help you get to this grant process. they told us, no, we are fine. i think we are wondering here, on the ranking member's bill, i have concerns and questions about the $2.5 million in the new grant program, when there's $31 billion out there available today. rippedme, we allowed loans to be used for ptc, which amtrak should have utilized to a greater fashion. there are a lot of opportunities out there for grant programs that should be utilized, and some that have utilized grant programs but failed to implement. so, there are a number of other questions. i will address some of this in my closing.
i agree with the ranking member , that this 2018 deadline is a real deadline. what we have got to address -- safety is first in all of our transportation. but lately, there have been too many accidents. people thought bipartisanship was dead. it's not. this is a classic example. the chairman and i have talked many times about this. we are on the same page. unreasonable -- we are trying to be reasonable. unreasonable people would have said 2015, which was impossible. but 2018 is real. there's not a single person on this side of the table who is going to sit here and quietly accept the next accident after that deadline. the blame will be laid on the people who deserve the plane --
deserve the blame. want to publicly thank you and the agency for keeping the fire on this issue for so many years. i know it's not pleasant that i -- i know you don't enjoy it. bests got to be one of the agencies we have. doing it professionally and consistently is, i think, it has really been helpful. i want to specifically talk about interoperability. , but i have an iphone and my wife has a samsung. we can still talk to each other and see each other if we want to. interoperability may not be for a person like me, but there are plenty of kids in this country who can do whatever is needed to get it interoperable.
bump in the road, i'm sure it is a small one. when it comes to interoperability, i appreciate the fact that you have authorities speaking on it. i appreciate the money you are putting out to help this. -- requiring certain interoperability. you can't just say, do it. somebody has to be responsible to make sure the one system talks to another. my expectation is that the fra is that agency. >> absolutely. .e oversee the railroads one of the requirements is interoperability. the ptc system must be completely interoperable in order to have a safe system. we are reviewing safety plans, that is a requirement. we are pushing the railroads to
have complete interoperability. i knew the answer, but i needed to go on the record. i would like to ask a simple question. anderson, i think your initial testimony was pretty clear, but i want to draw a bold line under it. maybe people don't understand, ptc is a technology that requires software and hardware on the tracks and in the railcars. operate onll sizes somebody else's track. the average person may not know that. they may think you own the track , or the government does. that is where the interoperability is about. , am a recovering lawyer practicing politics, i guess. i don't know which is worse.
somebody else can decide that. , one ofovering attorney the things i worried about with my clients was liability. if my clients had done nothing wrong, they were probably not actions that may happen in the very near future. there will be situations, where for the sake of the discussion, a stretch of track has perfectly somebodying ptc and else does not have ptc on their engines. or vice versa. none of you run exclusively on your own track or trains. i'm hoping and wondering, have you spoken to your attorneys or your insurers as to what will happen come in january next year , if you have done what you are tracks, to do on your
and somebody else wants to run a train that has not done anything? >> we will go right down the line. >> not surprisingly the chairman and the ranking member have put their finger on what is in fact the biggest policy , as opposed tong the technical issue of interoperability. one of the things i was pleased pagee, the testimony on five. he talks about having all of the options on the table when it comes to how to implement the 2015 act, which was designed -- -- willdoes not allow you allow other people to use your tracks, if you have done your job and they have not? >> the answer is somewhat varied in the question of what the fra is going to say in response to
the chairman's question. what will the guidance be coming out of fra. if our members feel they can ,ontinue -- if the ptc is there it is still a safe operation. >> i get that. >> from a legal, liability standpoint, for the lawyers to the policy at -- question is, can you shut down commerce? >> i don't mean to be disrespectful. it is not a policy question. if i were advising you as an attorney, i would say you were nuts if you did the right thing and someone else hasn't. but that is me, talking as your attorney. >> i'm sure those discussions are ongoing. >> a quick response from each. it is going to be difficult for us to allow anybody to operate on the railroads we own
without ptc. >> fra guidance has been mentioned, and frankly, the various entities that work well together in terms of exchanging thereation -- and i hope will be continuing dialogue around these issues, so final judgments can be made. >> mr. smucker is recognized for five minutes. >> a question for mr. anderson. we -- there has been a lot of talk around ptc and major accidents in philadelphia, washington, somewhat similar. ptc preventable, but could likely have also been prevented by better training of crew members and engineers. i would like to hear what your response has been in regards to the training of your employees after those accidents. >> i have to emphasize that
while training and professionalism are very important, you really have to have failsafe systems like ttc. in aviation.at when you leave it to a single person to remember everything , no matter how well, sometimes you will have human error. int said, we are standing up an estimation system today in amtrak, making whatever investments are necessary in standards, training. we need to move to full simulation instead of training people on the railroads to move to the aviation model. basically, operate the way an airline operates, with a standardized quality assurance and standards organization. a lot of progress has been made since 188. a lot of progress has been made
in centralized training and bringing resources on board. we obviously owe you and our customers a better result. >> another question. theuld like to understand legal impact of an accident similar to the one which recently occurred, in terms of liability. there is an ap article recently that i think you are probably aware of, where a previous amtrak executive was quoted as talking about no-fault contracts. you enter contracts with the freight railroads to use their lines. is thatcle's premise all of the liability comes back to amtrak, which pushes a publicly financed railroad. the premise is there are -- that
is not potentially providing -- i'll quote from the article. freight railroads -- and i'm not passing judgment here -- they don't have an iron in the fire when it comes to making safety improvements necessary. so, who is liable? host and is,both a itself, in the quarter. but it also hosts -- it also operates on host railroads. in theates on practice railroad industries since one of the members mentioned. operates onad someone else's railroad at some point in the course of the journey. there has to be an apportionment of responsibility. that apportionment is the user of the railroad indemnifies the host. when amtrak has users of its are fullywe
indemnified. we operate on other hosts. we indemnify those hosts. i think it has been that way in the railroad industry for a hundred years. from a taxpayer standpoint, we carry general indemnity insurance. we have a $20 million deductible. the rest is covered with a normal sort of lloyd slipped. then we have a statutory cap on damages. >> can you specifically address the south carolina incident, were at least "from -- least, a quote from amtrak is that it was the fault of the switch that had been improperly -- i don't know the term for that. but it would be -- who would be liable in a case like that? check, buthave to essentially, we will be
responsible for everyone on the train. so, we will be responsible for all of the amtrak-related train passengers and employees of the host railroad. i have to defer to bob on the cause of the -- >> i am out of time. is this something you would be willing to provide additional written information, perhaps to the chair of the committee? longer have a valid law license, so i should do it in writing. thank you for holding the hearings. i am proud to be back on the subcommittee, and i'm glad my first year is on the important issue of train control. to union pacific
railroad. corridor on --rolink's commuter system in many instances, these trends operate on the same track. hope there freight partners and amtrak will be fully interoperable by the deadline. is, what is the status of union station implementation of ptc in southern california, and will you have full participation by the deadline? the unicef and union pacific are fully implemented on the rail lines in southern california. the south has completed its interoperability testing with metrolink, and they are also operating under ttc. you may be able to test with metrolink as we speak, and moved
to ptc operations, certainly by the end of the year, before that. they are in interoperability testing between themselves and -- as for amtrak, i don't know where they are. amtrak will be in compliance by the year end. we actually provide that tnd crews a metro lane. next question is for mr. anderson. what is the status of amtrak's -- in southern california? will you have full implementation in southern that you use by the deadline, or what is the schedule for implementation? >> we will be fully implemented by the deadline. mr. anderson, you have
repeatedly said you will not allow a non-ptc trained to operate. the concern in california is that amtrak will not be in right away. how are you addressing this concern? >> could you repeat the question? would not allow a non-ptc trained to operate on your railway. amtrak willis that not be in compliance on local and slate railways. as toanswer is the same your earlier question. we will be in compliance by the deadline. >> you will be? concern.-- i have a the ability of the trains to stop effectively -- will this affect long trains in any way? it is a great question,
because it is a concern that continues to increase. trains are now average, somewhere around two to three miles. the longer the train, the more difficult it is to control. guards are big. as one of the congressman mentioned, if something goes at a public way crossing, of which there are thousands -- it forl comes into play two or three mile train is involved in it. a collision with a bottom -- with an automobile is going to delay anyone who wants to get through public crossing. routes.express the fra is as concerned as we are. it is a major issue we need to address, sort of inlaid before something seriously goes wrong. the issue of the length of a
train and safety. >> we do not have a position on elective trains. >> are you considering looking at it? results find a problem from one of our actions, we will address it. we have been concerned about this issue. waiting and watching this issue. it is not an issue that directly relates to btc. >> indirectly? >> it is more of a block, grade crossing type of issue. >> would you discuss with the community any of your findings? >> it would be my pleasure. there is no regulation currently on the size or length of the train and the needs of it
. that would address the issue. the fact of the matter is, there is no data between safety and length of train. -- would go back to the issue of what is breaking out. that is taking into account whether it is a short passenger train, a green train, or a longer freight train. there is no impact on the ability of that train to stop before it runs a red light, no matter how long it is. >> i would also like to point if someone like him were to get a fax room, there are now three -- there are 300 grade crossing dusts per year. the biggest safety problem we have is what we call trespassers , people cutting across to get
to their favorite fishing hole or are not even at the grade crossing. our studies with the american suicide allergy association indicates that as many 40% to 50% of those are suicides. challenge ofnation not just grade crossings, but what we call trespassing debts. >> votes have been called. members that have questions or comments to submit for the record, we will recognize those at this time. >> i know that votes have been called. my question is involving cyber security issues and positive train control. there is an article published last november in the wall street "surveillanced
cameras made by china are hanging all over the united states." i ask to enter this article into the record. >> would that be a question for the record? i sure would like to be able to respond to that in writing for the record. >> are you familiar? >> i am familiar with cyber security and ptc. >> if you have ever read this article here, it is quite chilling. >> and we have security standards we would like to implement in the plan. malone.ions for mr. >> i particularly appreciate the reference you made to the commuter rail passenger safety act, which makes it clear that roof funding, 35 billion dollars of it is available to commuter railroads. did you say earlier that new jersey transit is going to beat the 2018 deadline? >> we have met with them as we
have met with all the other community -- other commuter railroads in the country. they believe they can meet the 2018 deadline. the deadline. >> have they accessed the refinancing? >> i don't believe they have. have they? jersey transit access any relevant rehabilitation proven fund advancing to accomplish pvc implementation? i am told the new transit has applied and obtained funds. -- not particular to new jersey transit. of longis the status island railroad and metro-north? mta, long island metro-north,
$967 million. diligently, and came in as new jersey transit came in. they have not stated -- they have not asked for any extension. the railroads and commuters were having them come back, even though we were seeing them in the first place because we were working with them every month. sometimes, we would have two or three railroads come in a day to meet for two hours or more. >> are they going to meet the deadline or not? >> this is february 2018. right now, we are presenting a plan that they will be able to make the deadline. >> do you believe the plan? >> i'm not willing to get up on any railroad. >> you are not willing to give
up? >> all of the railroads that has come to meet with us have said they are looking to meet the deadline. >> next time you have one of those meetings, mention jimmy lovell. byis the guy who got killed a spike in iowa. he got on a train in new york that morning. i know that because his wife worked for me for years. his wife, jack, hudson, and finn. he doesn't go to work anymore. that was 4.5 years ago? take this seriously. we've represent people who are losing their lives. 3600 injuries? sir, it is your job to make sure these deadlines -- these railroads meet these deadlines.
we are counting on you not to not give up to them -- to hold their feet to the fire. year fines the first were assessed against the railroad, their first shot across the bow. that's why it is a great challenge. -- issued letters saying we are very serious about this, that it needs to happen. that is why we have met with every single railroad, 41 railroads in 45 days. >> i would appreciate your diligence. the subject of accidents came up -- it is interesting to me that there is no -- that conversation of motion activated cameras are sensors. is, it isnt as ptc not going to do anything about a grade crossing accident. my colleagues and i saw a
horrific accident a few days ago. a vehicle on the tracks. is there any reason we don't use trains could havers of an app on their phone. it is a free app you can access on the phone, the cameras are inexpensive, so why on earth -- with conjunction with weather stations -- why not have digital camera technology linked to motion detection, which you can put into your home for $100, or why not givel, operators the ability to on their own phones access that video as a way to see what is ahead of them on the tracks so they can stop in time? has anybody talked about that? mr.'s could tell us -- >> i have not heard that discussion at all.
gates, toay crossing try to avert that kind of damage, an accident that you're describing, i have not heard of that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. maloney. obviously there are a number of other questions left on both sides of the aisle. as he can see, there is a great deal of frustration about the current implementation, as well as -- i would say the thing that is most concerning is not just where were your at on implementing, but the question each -- eachre different post, where each different rail is on their requests. if you have a timeline, we want to see that timeline. if you have questions or concerns or impediments we want to know what those are.
if you have not received funding, maybe you should request funding. but certainly ignoring a congressional mandate again will not be tolerated by either side of the aisle. mr. anderson, i will not hold you accountable to your predecessor's comments, but i will tell you that when we visited philadelphia, that it implemented on the northeast corridor. several committed to that. the previous two ceos committed in 2015 that it would be implemented. today, it is still not 100% compliant. so i would like to see a from amtrak'sonly perspective on a national level, but certainly on the northeast corridor where your predecessors have committed.
icondly, as i stated before, am in alignment on their bill as well. at least on the implementation piece of this. i have concerns on the grants because we have so much grant money available right now that has not been requested. specifically, massachusetts bay transportation authority has already received $400 million, ptc.fically for illinois dot, $234 million. new york metro, $973 million. both for ptc. i think the american public is tired of excuses. this is amazing technology that will continue to improve the safety of our rails across the country. but we would expect better communication on what the needs are before we come up against another deadline.
closing, are hearing today focused on the implementation of positive train control. across the entire united states, it is an important issue. lifesaving technology and we understand it is very complex. we want to get it done quickly, we want to get it done by this deadline, but we also want to get it done right. i know that the safety in the rail industry is top of mind with the recent accidents we just saw. deadly accidents. in addition, my district over the weekend we saw a 32 card derailment in houston, california. i want to offer condolences on both of these accidents, and those over the last several years. there have been too many deaths. and ptc could have prevented a number of them.
it is not going to solve all of our challenges, but as all in the industry have agreed to move the industry forward to the next level. ask before i close out the hearing, do you have any closing statements? expressedbut you just them all perfectly and i would like to associate myself with everything you just said. >> thank you. consent that the record of the hearing remains open for some time so that witnesses have provided answers to questions in writing. this remains open for 15 days for comments for witnesses to be included in the record of today's hearing. without objection, so ordered. i would like to thank our witnesses for their testimony today and if no members have anything else to submit we stand adjourned. pounds]
[chatter] [indiscernible] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: mitt romney today announced that he is running for the senate seat held by orrin hatch, who is retiring after 42 years. mitt romney will be speaking at the utah county republican
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politics. money. give me something that it is a proposition before any tribunal that is not involve money. announcer: sunday at 10:00 a.m. from the west point center for oral history, henry hanks thomas , a combat medic during the vietnam war. >> my grandfather served in world war i, my father served in world war ii. louise for a black man, whatever you served, it was your military service that you hoped would confirm you as a first-class, red-blooded american citizen in title too. announcer: at 4:00 p.m., with the cpac conference next week, we look back to 1988, when president reagan spoke at a cpac dinner. >>
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