The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that PTC systems were in revenue service demonstration on 55,601 route miles representing 96.3% of the nearly 58,000 route miles.
At the end of 2019, PTC systems were governing operations on 98.7% of the Class I railways’ and 99.8% of Amtrak’s mandated main lines. Based on the fourth quarter 2019 PTC progress reports from the 42 companies statutorily required to implement the technology, most are operating their systems in revenue service, or in advanced field testing, known as revenue service demonstration.
At the same time, 54.7% of commuter operators’ PTC systems are in revenue service demonstration on their entire mandated networks. In addition, interoperability has reportedly been achieved in 38% of the 229 applicable host-tenant railway relationships as of December 31, 2019, a 13% increase since the third quarter of 2019.
“The vast majority of railways mandated to deploy and operate interoperable PTC systems have shown significant progress. I strongly urge those railways that haven’t yet commenced RSD [revenue service demonstration], conducted interoperability testing, or submitted PTC safety plans to intensify their efforts and take advantage of FRA’s technical assistance,” said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory.
Only 10 months remain until the full implementation deadline set forth by Congress. During this period, FRA continues to direct additional resources to the companies at risk of not implementing fully an FRA-certified and interoperable PTC system on their required main lines by December 31, 2020.