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A possible shutdown of Metra and other railroad operations nationwide was averted today after Congress approved a bill that would extend the deadline on implementation of the Positive Train Control system, according to an email notice posted Wednesday from Don Orseno, Metra CEO.

PTC is a computerized system that prevents certain types of train-to-train collisions, helps avoid derailments and other accidents caused by excessive speed and increases safety for workers, Orseno said.

The original deadline for implementing the railway safety system was Dec. 31, but railroads announced in September that they would not be able to comply. Metra said it would have to stop operations rather than violate federal law. H.R. 3819, the House Surface Transportation Extension, moves the deadline to Dec. 31, 2018.

“Today’s action by Congress will ultimately enable us to avoid a shutdown of Metra commuter rail service on Jan. 1,” Orseno said. “As always, we remain committed to implementing PTC as quickly and safely as we can.”


Related story:
Metra: Rail service shutdown possible unless railroads get extension on safety system deadline (HF Chronicle, Sept. 14, 2015)

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