TFI Commends Senate Approval of Rail PTC Deadline Extension, Urges President Obama to Sign Bill into Law

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October 28, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) commended members of the U.S. Senate for today’s unanimous vote for The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015 (H.R. 3819). The same legislation was passed yesterday by the House and extends the December 31, 2015, deadline for implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on our nation’s rail system until December of 2018.  

“TFI extends sincere thanks to members of the Senate and in particular to Sen. John Thune,” said TFI President Chris Jahn. “This speedy action, on the heels of yesterday’s House vote is a big step forward toward the certainty farmers deserve as they order their fertilizer.” 

PTC is a set of highly advanced technologies designed to make rail transportation even safer by automatically stopping a train before certain types of accidents occur. 

While significant progress has been made, the Association of American Railroads, the Government Accountability Office, and the Federal Railroad Administration have made it clear that the vast majority of rail carriers will not meet this deadline.  Rail carriers have indicated that, absent a PTC deadline extension, they will not ship certain materials – including anhydrous ammonia - on lines where PTC technology is not yet implemented.

“The importance of the PTC extension being finalized before October 31 cannot be overstated,” continued Jahn. “We urge President Obama to sign the bill as soon as possible.”