The U.S. Surface Transportation Board today adopted a final rule that will require all rail carriers that submit R-1 reports to begin breaking out expenses for positive train control, so that they can be viewed in comparison with other expenditures, starting Sept. 19.
The financial disclosure with respect to PTC will help inform the board and the public about the specific costs attributable to PTC implementation, according to STB.
PTC is an automated system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions and other accidents. According to federal legislation, rail carriers with traffic routes that carry passengers or hazardous materials must implement PTC by the end of 2015. The unfunded mandate is expected to cost the freight rail industry about $12 billion, and the Class I railroads have already spent more than $2.7 billion on PTC systems. Furthermore, some in the railroad industry do not believe that implementing the costly technology is feasible under the current deadline.