Statement by Edward R. Hamberger, President & CEO Association of American Railroads on passage of the comprehensive rail safety bill:

The railroad industry would like to commend the leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for the work they did in crafting a comprehensive and far-reaching rail safety bill.

Nothing is more important to the railroad industry than the safety of our employees and the communities we serve. Although 2007 was the industry’s safest year in history, we recognize that there is always room for improvement. Provisions of the new safety legislation will help facilitate even more improvements in safety.

The legislation sets an aggressive deadline of 2015 for implementation of positive train control (PTC) across most of the rail network. The scope of the work remaining to be accomplished presents a challenge to both the supply industry and the railroads.

Nonetheless, the freight railroad industry is committed to doing everything it can to ensure that PTC is implemented effectively and safely. We will work with the Federal Railroad Administration and our partners in the transit community, at Amtrak, our suppliers and our customers to implement the mandate.