Railroads, GOP try to delay crash prevention plan
A decades-long push to enhance train safety may get derailed in the latest congressional battle over transportation funding.
At issue lies the euphemistically named positive train control, a braking mechanism that uses GPS, sensors and other technology to prevent impending collisions. Lawmakers heralded the system after a California train catastrophe killed 25 people and injured 130 in 2008. The tragedy sparked legislation that required installation on trains that carry passengers and those lugging hazardous materials by 2015.
Times have changed.
Now the railroad industry wants a delay, saying the costs — $10 billion-plus — vastly outweigh the benefits. And they’re encouraging lawmakers to embed an extension in the final transportation bill.