Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3819, a short-term highway bill extension. The bill would provide for a short term patch through November 20, 2015 so that a long-term bill can be finalized between the House and Senate.
Included in this bill was a three year extension until December 31, 2018 for the railroads to be able to implement Positive Train Control technology. With the deadline looming at the end of this year, it has been clear the railroads did not have the time necessary to implement the technology. The result would have been the rails grinding to a halt, and a near certain significant recession would result. This three year extension was a common sense response to this issue.
IMA has been actively lobbying on both the highway bill and the PTC issue this fall along with a coalition of impacted associations.
The Senate should be taking action later this week to extend PTC and the highway bill, and we hope that a long term solution for the highway bill is imminent.
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