Positive train control technology installed on 90% of tracks where required

The technology is in operation on more than 50,000 route miles of the nearly 58,000 miles where it is mandated

August 06, 2019
railroad positive train control implementation; Federal Railroad Administration

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently announced that positive train control (PTC) has been installed on 90% of tracks where its implementation is mandated.

According to a report from Associated Press, FRA Chief Ronald Batory told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that PTC is in operation on more than 50,000 route miles of the nearly 58,000 miles where the technology is required.

The GPS-based technology is designed to prevent deadly crashes by automatically stopping or slowing down a train before collision or derailment. Just this year, PTC was installed along the Amtrak Cascades corridor in Washington State, the same site where a train derailed over I-5 in DuPont and killed three people in a December 2017 accident.

At the end of 2018, only four of the 41 rail systems in the nation required to implement PTC met the end-of-the-year deadline. The deadline has been extended for all rail systems to implement the technology by the end of 2020.

Over the past few years, the FRA and the Federal Transit Administration have awarded grants to multiple rail systems to install PTC technology. According to AP, the industry expects to spend nearly $15 billion implementing PTC on Amtrak, freight, and commuter railroads across the country.

Forty-two railroads are subject to the PTC requirement, including 30 commuter railroads, Amtrak, and 11 freight railroads.


SOURCE: Associated Press (AP)