I have, obviously, been paying pretty close attention to the recent Congressional hearings on the status of PTC implementation as the deadline date of December 31, 2015 nears.
It seems clear from the testimony of FRA's administrator that the agency intends to assess fines against railroads that are not in compliance by that date. Indeed, I don't see how, absent Congressional action, FRA can not assess fines. FRA is an executive agency. It must enforce the law.
There are questions of legal liability regarding operating a railroad not in compliance beyond the deadline date, and once again, I'm only too happy not to be a lawyer. But...
...as an operating officer, it seemed clear to me that included in FRA's testimony was a request to Congress to grant it authority to approve alternate, interim technologies, and changes in procedure that can provide safety benefits approximating those expected to flow from the full implementation of PTC.
I have a bit of experience in this area, and think I can come up with a few suggestion that a) aren't too capital intensive b) that don't embody the very human error that is the target of remedy c) are actually doable and d)might just cause FRA to hesitate before imposing the fines.
I'm not cheap, but I'm cheaper than daily fines. If interested, call or email.
If not, good luck in the new year.
July 17, 2015
My ad here: (actual size) call 917-428-6637. Cheaper than daily fines.