Committee Announces Hearing to Examine Positive Train Control

February 22, 2018

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled, “Implementation of Positive Train Control,” at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The hearing will focus on the implementation of the safety technology known as positive train control (PTC), amid concerns that some passenger railroads could fall short of meeting legal safety obligations, as well as actions or steps that could be taken to ensure compliance with the statutory deadline of December 31, 2018.

“Railroad passengers expect railroads to follow safety laws and implement the necessary technology to do so, including positive train control,” said Thune. “After troubling reports that some commuter railroads are falling behind on implementation, this hearing will examine what needs to get done and what railroads need to do to meet their obligations.”

Earlier in the year, Chairman Thune sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an evaluation of PTC implementation among passenger railroads. The GAO will testify about the results ofits study at the hearing. Chairman Thune also asked the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (DOT OIG) to track Federal government funding and financing support for PTC, and spending among recipient railroads, and the DOT OIG will also testify about its findings. The hearing will also include testimony from Amtrak and the nation’s largest commuter rail agency, Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


  • Ms. Susan Fleming, Director of Physical Infrastructure, Government Accountability Office
  • Mr. Barry J. DeWeese, Assistant Inspector General, Department of Transportation OIG
  • Mr. David L. Mayer, Chief Safety Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Mr. Richard Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak

Hearing Details:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

10:15 a.m.

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on

NOTE: Date and time changed on 02/27/2018.