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June 12, 2014

The Honorable Tom Wheeler

Received & Inspected

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, SW

JUN 1 7 2014

. Washington, DC 20554

FCC Mail Room

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

We are writing to bring your attention to a recent letter we received from the Southern California

┬ĚRegional Rail Authority (Metrolink) and to ask for your personal attention to address the issues it

raised, relating to its efforts to obtain the radio spectrum needed to continue to operate and

implement positive train control (PTC) throughout Southern California.

As you know, the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandated the installation of PTC for

commuter and freight rail systems. This is an essential, life-saving technology necessary to

enhance the safety of our nation's railroads. Metrolink is on track to be the first commuter

railroad in the nation to implement PTC on its entire 512 mile system.

In March, 2010, Metro link sought FCC approval of the acquisition and related necessary modifications

and waivers for spectrum required to deploy its PTC system. Since that time, Metro link has filed at

least six applications and supplemental "Showings" with the FCC in an effort to navigate what has

often been a very complicated and frustrating process. Despite repeated inquiries and applications, the

situation remains unresolved.

In light of the difficulties with purchasing its own spectrum, Metro link took the precautionary step

of entering into a short -term lease of spectrum from PTC-220 LLC (an organization of freight

railroad operators) for preliminary PTC purposes. The lease was always considered a stopgap

measure to allow for continued development of PTC, but was never considered a long-term

solution. Now, as Metro link nears full implementation of its PTC system, in accordance with the

federal mandate, the insufficiencies of the lease with PTC-220 are becoming increasingly clear. We

are not alone in noting the importance of action related to the spectrum. The language in Section

9402 of the Administration's proposed GROW America Act requires cooperation between the

Department of Transportation and the FCC to develop a plan to "assess spectrum needs and

availability for implementing positive train control systems." While we are encouraged by the

inclusion of this language, we are troubled that it is necessary and we look forward to resolution

of this ongoing process.

Please note that we are not addressing the merits ofthe issues raised relative to Metrolink's

applications. We fully expect the Commission to dispose of those issues consistent with its

statutory authority and applicable administrative and judicial precedent. But we encourage and

expect the Commission to take prompt steps to act on the Metrolink applications and related



waiver requests. In response to this letter, we would appreciate an estimate of when a decision

resolving the Metrolink applications may be expected.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter. Please do not hesitate to call on us if you

have any questions or if you require additional information. Please note that a copy of this letter

is being submitted to the FCC's public docket No. 13-85.



Member of Congress


Member of Congress

Member of Congress


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Member of Congress

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