Progress on PTC implementation

Positive Train Control Across the US, the positive train control PTC systems were in revenue service demonstration on 91,000 route km (58,000 route miles) representing 98% of the 93,341-route km (58,000 route miles), as first quarter of 2020.

As of March 31, PTC systems were governing operations on all PTC-mandated main lines owned or controlled by Class I freight railways and other freight host companies subject to the mandate.

“We continue to work directly with all ‘to be complaint’ railways, providing technical support and guidance as requested, to enable them to satisfactorily meet the Congressional deadline. I’m pleased with the growing number of railways that have reached critical milestones and continue to encourage all of them to help each other overcome any remaining challenges from their respective lessons learned,” FRA Administrator Ronald Batory said.

Based on the progress reports on the implementation of positive train control PTC systems, nearly all railway companies are operating their systems in revenue service or in advanced field testing, known as revenue service demonstration (RSD), with PTC technology remaining to be activated on only 1,770 route km (1,100 route miles).

While most commuter railways’ PTC systems are in revenue service demonstration on their entire mandated networks, work remains as 63.2% of all commuter operators’ cumulative required route miles were PTC-governed as of March 31st, an 8.5% increase since last quarter. In addition, interoperability has reportedly been achieved in 48.5% of the 229 applicable, host-tenant railway relationships as of March 31, 2020, a 10% increase since the fourth quarter of 2019.

Based on self-reported progress, four railway companies are at risk of not fully implementing a PTC system on all required main lines to meet the deadline: New Jersey Transit, TEXRail, Metra, and New Mexico Rail Runner Express (Rio Metro).

By now, Federal Railroad Administration has provided a technical assistance and a financial support of USD 2.6 billion to help PTC implementation.

33 weeks remain until December 31, 2020, the final PTC implementation deadline set by the Congress.

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