The Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee hearing on September 13, 2018, was attended by BRS Representatives. Legislative Representative Leonard Parker was accompanied by current BRS President Floyd Mason. Following the hearing, President Mason had some concerns with the railroad’s and Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) comments concerning the Positive Train Control (PTC) training provided to railroad employees, specifically Signalmen. One of the criterion to be met in order to qualify for an alternative schedule from the FRA is “sufficient training” for persons who install, maintain, repair, modify, inspect, and test the PTC system. President Mason wrote a letter to Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio of the T&I Committee, raising concerns of the alleged “sufficient training” that the railroads were claiming to have provided to Signalmen. The letter draws questions about how the FRA is confirming the training occurred and how it is to be deemed sufficient. We have concerns on the level of training that BRS members are receiving and believe that some railroads may be rushing the process to “check the box” of training requirements to acquire an alternative schedule for PTC implementation. The intent is to ensure that BRS members are receiving the training and knowledge necessary for us to be able to safely and efficiently continue to maintain the complex and ever-changing signal systems of our nation’s railroads.
Statement from the BRS President on PTC Training