October 6, 2015 / 5:11 PM / 4 years ago

Amtrak to suspend national rail service without safety extension

WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Amtrak has told U.S. lawmakers that it will suspend service on its national network in mid-December unless Congress extends a Dec. 31 deadline for implementing advanced safety technology, according to an Oct. 5 letter from Amtrak reviewed by Reuters.

The letter, addressed to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, says service would be suspended because host railroads, including major freight handlers and regional passenger railroads, are not expected to meet the deadline for operating the technology known as positive train control, or PTC.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman said in the letter that service would continue on track that Amtrak controls, including much of its Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston. The passenger services expects to begin notifying customers of possible suspensions on Dec. 1. (Reporting by David Morgan)

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