Amtrak's president and CEO says the railroad will consider suspending service on tracks that don't have speed controls in place by Dec. 31. That could affect service in much of the United States.
Richard Anderson told a House subcommittee on Thursday that Amtrak is concerned about delays in installing GPS-based positive-train control systems on tracks it uses but doesn't own.
Railroads face a year-end deadline for installing the systems, known as PTC, but many are seeking an extension until 2020.
PTC is designed to automatically slow or stop trains that are going too fast. It can take control when an engineer is distracted or incapacitated.
It's activated on Amtrak-owned tracks from Boston to Washington, D.C., and in Michigan. Elsewhere, Amtrak operates on track owned by freight carriers and other entities.