FRA publishes positive train control implementation updates for railroads

As of Sept. 30, 2020, PTC systems were in RSD or in operation on approximately 57,314 route miles

November 20, 2020 / 2 minute read
positive train control

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) yesterday released a quarterly status update on railroads’ self-reported progress, as of Sept. 30 toward fully implementing positive train control (PTC) systems by the end of the year as required by Congress.

All railroads subject to the statutory mandate are currently operating PTC systems in revenue service or in advanced field testing, known as revenue service demonstration (RSD). As of September 30, PTC technology remains to be activated on approximately 223 required route miles, based on railroads’ Third Quarter 2020 PTC Progress Reports.

“Full implementation of PTC is in sight, owing to everyone’s unparalleled cooperation and determination,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said in a statement. “I’m incredibly proud of the intensive collaborations we have forged. Once complete, railroads, rail workers, and rail passengers will all benefit from this transformational accomplishment in railroad safety.”

As of Sept. 30, 2020, PTC systems were in RSD or in operation on approximately 57,314 route miles—99.6% of the 57,537 route miles subject to the mandate. This represents a 0.8% increase since the second quarter of 2020 and indicates that PTC technology was activated on an additional 468 miles during the third quarter. 

In addition, railroads have made additional gains toward completing interoperability testing and meeting the interoperability requirements under the statute and FRA’s regulations. As of the third quarter, host railroads reported that interoperability has been achieved by 84% of the 219 applicable, host-tenant railroad relationships—an 18.6% increase since the second quarter of 2020.

Based on the criteria FRA utilizes to evaluate the risk of noncompliance, FRA currently considers one railroad, New Jersey Transit (NJT), at risk of not fully implementing PTC technology on all its required main lines by December 31, 2020. 

As the statutorily-mandated December 31st deadline for full PTC implementation approaches, FRA is highlighting its PTC-related Outreach and Communication with the Industry detailing the agency’s exhaustive stakeholder engagement since 2017. 

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SOURCE: Federal Railroad Administration

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