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Essential Pittsburgh: Senator Bob Casey Calls On Congress To Fund Positive Train Control

Following a deadly derailment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania legislators are taking a serious look at modifications that could improve the safety of passenger trains.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Positive Train Control could have prevented the derailment of Amtrak 188 that derailed in Philadelphia earlier this month. Eight people died and more than 200 people were injured. Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey is leading a group of Senators who have sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee calling on Congress to increase funding. It has been reported that it will take $2 billion to fully implement this technology. Senator Casey joins us by phone.

Casey explains that many transit agencies across the nation are in favor of updating train safety, but with so many other areas of the country's infrastructure in need of repair, allocating the funding to trains is a difficult task:

"What the Congress should do, if we're doing the right thing, is to not put Amtrak or any transit agency in the position of having to choose between safety technology like Positive Train Control on the one hand versus fixing crumbling bridges or other parts of the aging infrastructure." - Senator Bob Casey

Also today, Historic Harmony looks for support in protecting the ground George Washington walked on, and former Steelers linebacker Andy Russell welcomes Western PA's six Pro-Hall of Fame quarterbacks to the steel city for the Gridiron Gold. 

Historic Harmony Fighting Destructive Development

The historic field George Washington walked on in Harmony, PA is being threatened by a developer who wants to flatten a nearby hill and deposit the fill onto the historic land. Fighting to preserve the flood plain and the historic significance of the area, is Historic Harmony, the non-profit that operates the Harmony Museum. Joining us in studio is John Ruch, president of Historic Harmony.  

Gridiron Gold

The six native western Pennsylvanians who are Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks will be honored at Gridiron Gold in Pittsburgh on June 6. The legendary quarterbacks attending the event include Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Joe Namath. One of the organizers for the event, former Steelers All-Pro linebacker Andy Russell joins us in studio.  

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here

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