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Secretary Elaine Chao Touts Positive Train Control Installment at Summit

The U.S. Department of Transportation has recorded progress with the implementation of positive train control technology, the country’s top transportation official indicated recently.

At a summit in Washington on June 20 to reflect on the department’s safety objectives, Secretary Elaine Chao said, “In the last two years, locomotives equipped with positive train control increased from 42% to 100% for freight and from 41% to 91% for passenger rail.”

“Once it’s fully implemented, positive train control systems will govern rail operations on approximately 58,000 railroad route miles to help prevent train-to-train collisions and overspeed derailments,” she added.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, as of March 31, the automatic braking technology was in operation on about 48,050 of the nearly 58,000 route miles required by law. That amounted to a 3% increase from the previous quarter.

Forty-one railroads falling under the mandate either implemented the technology by the end of last year or qualified for a deadline extension to Dec. 31, 2020. The agency stated it is proceeding with comprehensive oversight to ensure next year’s deadline is met.

Also at the summit, the secretary said “rebuilding and refurbishing” the country’s infrastructure network was a high priority for boosting the economy.

During President Donald Trump’s tenure, congressional leaders have not agreed on a national infrastructure funding plan.

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