APTA: US Commuter Rail Industry on Target to Meet PTC Deadline

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) says that it has evaluated the Q3 2020 reports and has found that the US commuter rail industry is on target to meet the deadline for implementing full positive train control (PTC), which is December 2020.

Positive train control is a signalling and communications technology that aims to prevent trains from colliding, enforce line speed as well as temporary speed restrictions and offer greater safety to wayside rail workers.

APTA says that on 30 September all railroads are either already PTC-certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) or they are awaiting approval based on PTC plans submitted.

Of the 23 railroads in question, seven are already certified, while 16 have submitted safety plans. A further six railroads are tenants and their hosts have had FRA approval.

Paul P. Skoutelas, President and CEO, APTA, said:

“The commuter rail industry is poised to complete full implementation of positive train control by December 2020.

“Riding commuter rail is 18 times safer than driving an auto, and as an industry, we are committed to being a leader in rider safety by implementing Positive Train Control. Our industry has devoted tremendous time and resources to ensuring the safety of riders through PTC implementation.”

28 of the 29 commuter railroads had previously completed the 2018 milestones in full: spectrum acquisition, wayside and onboard equipment installation, and back-office control system setup.

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