SD Farmers Union supports extension to protect rail delivery
October 29, 2015
HURON, S.D. – South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke commended Congressional approval for an extension of the implementation requirement for Positive Train Control (PTC).
The extension approved Oct. 28, 2015 by the U.S. Senate prevents a serious interruption of service, protecting American farmers, ranchers, and others who rely on the rail system.
"The rail industry is an integral part of agricultural operations here in South Dakota," Sombke said. "The disruptions in service, from the lack of an extension, would have left producers without the fertilizer necessary to plant the 2016 crop. And with margins already tight, a disruption of that proportion could have been catastrophic for prices."
Sombke applauded the efforts of the South Dakota delegation, including Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Committee on Transportation.
"The actions taken by our delegation on the PTC extension were crucial in protecting our farmers and ranchers from crippling losses," said Sombke. "This was a bipartisan effort and we look forward to further opportunities to work together."
The measure approved by the Senate provided the rail industry an additional three years to implement the PTC system.
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Positive Train Control is a safety system that uses technologies like GPS to track train movements and prevent collisions. The U.S. Rail Safety Improvement Act in 2008 originally set December 15, 2015 as the deadline for PTC compliance.
–South Dakota Farmers Union