WASHINGTON – In case you missed it yesterday, Senator Maggie Hassan questioned Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing about the future of the Vermonter train service. Anderson had previously testified before the House transportation committee indicating that service lines like the Vermonter could be discontinued due to the lack of a safety system known as positive train control.
Highlighting concerns about the impact that discontinuing the Vermonter could have on New Hampshire and Vermont communities, Senator Hassan asked, “is there a way that we can address safety concerns but also not take these lines which were exempted under the statute out of service? They are so critical for people in our states and businesses too.” Mr. Anderson said Amtrak is taking steps to help ensure that the Vermonter service will continue and receive safety improvements.
Click here for video from WCAX.
WASHINGTON (WCAX) Amtrak's CEO is clarifying his position about the future of train service throughout our region.
Earlier this week Amtrak officials said they were considering pulling service from the Green Mountains since the Vermonter line is not equipped with PTC or Positive Train Control, a technology that can prevent some crashes by automatically stopping trains before impact.
Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson was questioned Thursday by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan wanted to know if there was a way for the company to address safety concerns without taking the critical Vermonter line out of service. Anderson admits keeping the line is economically advantageous to the company and it's now looking at lower cost fixes.
"We have an R&D project underway at Amtrak to determine whether we can use technologies from Europe that don't require as much trackside investment but would give us speed restriction and signal location," Anderson said.
He went on to say there may also be mitigation efforts possible, like slow speeds coming up on switches as well as requiring the conductor in so-called dark areas to ride in the front of the cab.