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500 Water Street, 15th Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32202
CSX Transportation, Inc.
500 Water Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Dear valued customers and partners:
CSX and other Class I freight railroads, commuter railroads and Amtrak are required by the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008 to deploy Positive Train Control (PTC) systems by December 31, 2015. The system is required on any tracks that are used for regular passenger service and certain tracks that are used to transport toxic by inhalation (TIH) chemicals.
As we have told Congress and our regulators for several years, CSX cannot meet the current deadline due to challenges we’ve encountered in technology development, limited supplier capacity, and construction delays associated with federal reviews of PTC implementations, among others. Nonetheless, we continue to work diligently to safely implement PTC as quickly as possible. To this end, CSX recently began the first live operation of PTC on revenue trains on its first subdivision. However, significant work remains to install and implement PTC on the approximately 15,000 track miles where PTC is required. A seamless and safe deployment is imperative to maintain rail fluidity and prevent adverse impacts to customers, employees, passengers, and the communities where we operate.
We have advocated before Congress for a reasonable extension of the December 31 deadline to allow sufficient time for technology deployment and testing. As part of that work, CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward recently detailed the potential implications of CSX’s inability to meet the year-end 2015 deadline in a letter to U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota, who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Read that letter here (PDF).
The letter contains important information about potential actions CSX may need to take if the deadline is not extended. CSX is committed to balancing the safe operation of our network, adherence to federal laws and regulations, and commitments to our customers and passengers who rely on our network.
Regrettably, the spectrum of actions we are considering could include cessation of shipments of TIH chemicals and of passenger operations over CSX if Congress does not act. We encourage you to review the letter to enhance your understanding of the consequences of a failure by Congress to extend the current PTC deadline. We appreciate those of you who have already shared concerns with your representatives in Congress. If you have not yet, you may wish to share this letter and any concerns you have with your representatives in Congress, to encourage them to support passage of an extension.
Thank you for your consideration and your business. We will continue to inform you about developments on this important issue. Please don’t hesitate to contact your CSX representative if you have any questions.