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House and Senate Reach Deal on Rail Safety Bill

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Photo by SeRVe61 via Flickr

The Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R. 2095) passed out of the differences committee (that's where senators and representatives work out differences in the versions of the bill each chamber approved and before it goes to the President) tonight in Washington D.C. "House and Senate negotiators have reached a deal on a major railroad safety reform bill that will require new technology to prevent crashes and limit hours engineers can work," the Associated Press reported.

The bill originally "required rail lines to install positive train control systems, which automatically bring trains to a stop if engineers do not comply with signals, no later than Dec. 31, 2018," as the Daily News put it last week. But the negotiations led to moving that date up to 2015 disappointing California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "No question it's good that there's a deal, and I hope that it can be passed before this Congress comes to a close. Yet, I'm very disappointed about the deadline," Feinstein told the AP.

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Along with fellow Sen. Barbara Boxer, Feinstein is also pushing for a new and different bill that would hurry-up the installation deadline to 2014 with high-risk lines finished by 2012.