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Lawmakers: Penalize late railroads

The mother of a woman killed when a speeding Amtrak train hurtled from the tracks in May 2015 told a Senate committee on Thursday that she is seething over the prospect of more delays in installing speed controls that could have prevented that wreck and dozens of others.

Technology executive Rachel Jacobs was among eight passengers killed when the Washington-to-New York train crashed in Philadelphia. Now, almost three years later, a new government study has found that most U.S. passenger railroads are still woefully behind and unlikely to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to switch on the technology known as positive train control, or PTC.

"More trains have derailed, other passengers have died, and scores of others have been injured," Rachel's mother, Gilda Jacobs, wrote in a letter read into the record. "My anger is seething."

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