FRA Reports Railroads Making PTC Progress

A recent report issued by the Federal Railroad Administration concluded that the nation’s railroads made significant progress in toward the goal of full implementation of positive train control in the first quarter of 2019.

The FRA said that during that period PTC systems were in operation on almost 48,050 of the nearly 58,000 route miles required to have it. That was a 3 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2018.

Field testing was conducted on an additional 341 route miles in early 2019.

Railroads are facing a Dec. 31, 2020, deadline to finish installing and implementing their PTC systems.

Forty-one railroads required by law to have PTC had either complied with the law by last Dec. 2018, by fully implementing a PTC system or demonstrating enough progress to qualify for FRA approval of an alternative schedule that allows them up to two additional years to finish fully implementing PTC systems on all their required main lines.

Four railroads of those railroads had fully installed PTC while the other 37 met or exceeded the six statutory criteria necessary to qualify for an extension.

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