Rail Companies Threaten Shutdown

The Sacramento Bee reported yesterday that railroad companies are threatening work stoppages if Congress does not grant them more time to comply with safety measures that were enacted by the government back in 2008.

Railroads essentially are blackmailing Congress, threatening to stop running freight and passenger trains as soon as next month unless they get three more years to install positive train-control systems – which can slow or stop trains in case of human error or negligence – and two years after that to test them.

On one hand my knee-jerk reaction is to be frustrated by the lack of accountability and the gall the railroad industry has towards these safety measures. On the other hand I must admit that I don’t understand their industry as well as I do the trucking industry and I have no problem rooting for grace and mercy when it comes to compliance deadlines within our industry. I do not want to be a hypocrite here.

What is the right answer? Do these safety measures deliver? Have rail companies had enough time to get them set up and installed? Should they get an extension? This will be interesting to watch.

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