APTA Reports Commuter Rail PTC Progress

The American Public Transportation Association said this week that commuter railroads are making substantial progress toward the installation and implementation of positive train control systems.

That progress comes despite technical and financial constraints, APTA said in a news release.

As of June 30, the commuter-rail industry has achieved the following:

• 91 percent of spectrum has been acquired;

• 85 percent of 13,698 pieces of onboard equipment have been installed on locomotives and cab cars;

• 79 percent of 14,083 wayside installations have been completed;

• 78 percent of back office control systems are ready for operation;

• 74 percent of 14,847 employees have been trained in PTC; and

• 34 percent of commuter railroads are in testing, revenue service demonstration, or are operating their trains with PTC.

APTA said not all U.S. commuter railroads required to implement PTC will have their systems in service by a Dec. 31 deadline set by federal law.

Those that will not are focused on meeting certain milestones necessary to qualify for a two-year extension.

The Dec. 31 deadline requires railroads to have installed all PTC hardware; acquired all necessary spectrum; completed employee training; initiated testing on at least one territory; and submitted a plan and schedule to the U.S. secretary of transportation for implementing a PTC system.

If granted an extension, railroads must implement PTC no later than Dec. 31, 2020.

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