The Senate Transportation Committee passed legislation sponsored by Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) which encourages the federal government to assist with implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on New Jersey railways.
Sen. Gerry Cardinale’s legislation encourages the federal government to assist with implementing PTC technology on New Jersey railways. (SenateNJ.com)
“By repeatedly underfunding large scale train safety projects, Congress is placing the lives of New Jerseyans at risk,” Cardinale said. “With technological advances that remove human error, such as positive train control, we are able to safeguard passengers and our communities from future train derailments and crashes.”
Positive Train Control (PTC) is a safety system designed to automatically stop a train. It has the ability to prevent accidents like collisions and derailments by slowing the train without input from an engineer on board, removing the possible human error.
On average, 2 million passengers are transported by NJ Transit’s train and light rail systems each week.
Cardinale’s legislation, SJR-12, urges the federal government to take decisive and swift measures to assist with the implementation of positive train control technology on New Jersey railways.
Additionally, the bill requests, if necessary, to extend the deadline for the installation of positive train control technology.
As of December 31, 2017, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) noted in a letter to NJ Transit that the FRA was concerned that NJ Transit would not meet the December 31, 2018 deadline. NJ Transit has only installed required hardware on 35 of the 440 locomotives in the NJ Transit fleet and had only trained 143 of 1,100 employees on the new system.
“We pay a high price by failing to implement this lifesaving train technology, as we saw with the crash in Hoboken,” Cardinale added. “Today, we continue our efforts to encourage Congress to deliver the necessary funding to provide the safest ride possible for our commuters. ”
The legislation now heads to the full Senate for a vote.
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