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BLET to testify at Feb. 15 House hearing on Positive Train Control

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, February 14 — On February 15, Vice President and National Legislative Representative John P. Tolman will testify on behalf of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and its 57,000 members before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials at a hearing titled “Oversight of Positive Train Control Implementation in the United States.”

The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern) and will be made available for public viewing via a live stream on the U.S. House of Representatives website.

Additional witnesses will include: Richard Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak; Juan D. Reyes III, Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad Administration; Robert Sumwalt, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board; Edward Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of American Railroads; and Paul Skoutelas, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Public Transportation Association.

Congress mandated the implementation of PTC nationwide by the end of 2015, then extended that deadline until the end of 2018, but many railroads are lagging.

“Periodic updates ensure that everyone is working towards meeting the Congressionally imposed deadline for PTC,” said Committee Ranking Member Michael Capuano (D-MA). “I look forward to hearing directly from those responsible for implementing PTC on their progress.”

The February 15 hearing comes in the wake of two high-profile accidents. In its preliminary investigations, the National Transportation Safety Board publicly stated that PTC would have prevented the accidents from happening in each case — the Dec. 18, 2017 derailment in DuPont, Wash., and the Feb. 4, 2018 collision in Cayce, S.C., which killed Amtrak engineer and BLET member Michael Kempf, 54, and Amtrak conductor Michael Cella, 36.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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