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As safety deadline looms, railroads look to Congress to avert shutdown

The nation’s freight railroads, commuter lines like Metra, and Amtrak are facing a potential service crisis Dec. 31. The railroads insist they’re not to blame, but critics say the warning signals were ignored for years.

Ever since two serious Metra derailments in 2003 and 2005, the latter of which killed two passengers and cost millions in lawsuits, federal safety investigators have called for the commuter rail agency to install a high-tech safety system known as Positive Train Control.

After a 2008 California derailment that killed 25 people, Congress responded by ordering all the nation’s major passenger and freight railroads to implement PTC, and it gave them seven years to do so…Please click here to read Richard Wronski’s story in the Tribune.

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