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Rail News: Positive Train Control

New STB rule requires Class Is to separately provide PTC expenses in annual reports


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) yesterday issued a decision that amends board rules to require railroads that submit "R-1" reports on capital and operating expenditures to separately provide positive train control (PTC) expenses.

The final rule will allow PTC costs to be viewed both as component parts of, as well as separately from, other capital investments and expenses, STB members said in the decision. The expenses include the costs to install, operate and maintain PTC systems.

Pursuant to a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register in October 2011, the board is adopting supplemental schedules to the R-1 to require the PTC financial disclosures. The final rule takes effect on Sept. 19.

In October 2010, Union Pacific Railroad filed a petition requesting that the STB institute a rulemaking to adopt supplemental schedules that would require Class Is to separately identify PTC expenditures in annual R-1 reports to the board. Various parties later filed comments supporting or opposing UP's petition, and that input was considered while the final rule was developed, STB members said.