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Lipinski Announces $2 Million Federal Grant for Metra Train Safety

WASHINGTON--Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) today announced that Metra will receive more $2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation for implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) safety technology.  PTC is a federally mandated computerized system that prevents certain types of train-to-train collisions, helps avoid derailments and other accidents caused by excessive speed, and increases safety for rail workers. 

“This funding is good news for Metra users and every commuter in the Chicago area,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “Representing a district with a large number of rail lines, I have always made safety a top priority on the Railroad Subcommittee. In 2008, I included language in a bill to create the Rail Safety Technology Grant program to help railroads install life-saving PTC more quickly.  Last Congress, I joined with Rep. Quigley on a bill to reauthorize the grant program so that Metra could get federal help to install this critical technology.”

The grant will support Metra’s purchase of onboard PTC equipment for recently purchased locomotives. At Congressman Lipinski’s meeting with Metra and BNSF earlier this month, Metra CEO Jim Derwinski said some of the delays on the BNSF and other lines could be attributed to the need to update PTC equipment.

“I’m hopeful this grant money will help alleviate some of the delays and other problems with Metra trains,” Lipinski said. “I will continue to push my colleagues in Congress to consider a comprehensive infrastructure bill before the end of the year that includes additional dollars to help expedite the implementation of PTC both in the region and across the country.”