The Federal Railroad Administration Fourth Quarter 2019 PTC Progress Report on railroads’ self-reported progress toward fully implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) by the Dec. 31, 2020 statutory deadline shows that, of the 42 railroads required to implement PTC, most are operating their systems in revenue service, or in advanced field testing known as revenue service demonstration (RSD).
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has approved New Jersey Transit to begin Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) of its Positive Train Control (PTC) system, “moving NJT one step closer to meeting the federally mandated deadline of PTC certification by Dec. 31, 2020,” the agency announced Feb. 18.
Union Pacific recently completed Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation, activating its final track segment. The technology is now implemented on all the company’s federally mandated rail lines, including required passenger train routes. Union Pacific will continue working with partner railroads on their interoperability efforts, ensuring seamless operation onto the company’s tracks.
Based on self-reported Third Quarter 2019 (Q3) PTC (Positive Train Control) Progress Reports, which were due to the Federal Railroad Administration by Oct. 31, 2019, the majority of the 42 railroads subject to the statutory implementation requirement are operating PTC systems in revenue service or in advanced field testing known as a revenue service demonstration (RSD).
Thirteen months ahead of the December 2020 deadline, CN has successfully met the federal requirement to operate Positive Train Control (PTC) on all 35 of its U.S. subdivisions required to be equipped with PTC.
Three Norfolk Southern freight trains were involved in a Nov. 8 derailment in Hempfield, Pa., about three miles east of Greensburg, Pa. (near Pittsburgh), on the high-density Pittsburgh-Philadelphia double-track main line. There were no injuries and no hazmat spills. NS restored service on both main tracks early Nov. 10. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.
Illinois Railway, LLC (IR), operated by OmniTRAX, Inc., has become one of the first short line railroads to implement fully functional positive train control (PTC) and enable state-of-the-art safety on its trains.
Tech Mahindra will launch a subscription-based Positive Train Control (PTC) digital training program customized for employees of short line railroads in the U.S. for American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) members.
Editor’s Note: At an Oct. 8, 2019 presentation before the W.A.R.E.S. (Washington Area Railway Engineering Society) Annual Conference, Steve Ditmeyer, Principal of Transportation Technology and Economics, presented his vision of what he calls “NextGen Train Control,” or “What comes next after Positive Train Control.” Following are excerpts from his talk. The entire presentation can be downloaded from the link following this story. – William C. Vantuono
Wabtec has partnered with Septentrio, a Belgian manufacturer of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) equipment, to supply GPS receivers for its GoLINC™ Edge locomotive onboard mobile data center platform, “providing positioning, connectivity and data storage, and enhancing Positive Train Control (PTC) with the adoption of even higher-precision positioning technology.”