FRA Says PTC is 87% Implemented

U.S. railroads are 87 percent of the way toward meeting a Congressional mandate to have positive train control in place and operating by Dec. 31.

The Federal Railroad Administration said that during the second quarter of this year approximately 50,300 of the nearly 58,000 route-miles had met the mandate.

That is a 4 percent increase over the first quarter of 2019.

The PTC mandate affects 42 railroads and the FRA said they “are making steady progress.”

However, the FRA said the railroad industry still must complete significant work to fully implement PTC systems, particularly with respect to activating PTC systems on the remaining required main lines and achieving the necessary interoperability with their tenant railroads.

Class I freight railroads had PTC in operation on approximately 91 percent of their required main lines as of June 2019, a 4 percent increase since the first quarter.

Amtrak said approximately 899 of the route miles it owns in the Northeast Corridor, Michigan and California are governed by a PTC system.

Of the 19,119 route miles over which Amtrak operates as a tenant, 84 percent or 16,032 miles are equipped with PTC.

Host commuter railroads reported that as of June 2019, they were operating their PTC systems in revenue service demonstration, a type of required advanced field testing, on approximately 698 route-miles and in revenue service on 443 route-miles, which, in total, is 37 percent of the host commuter railroads’ 3,111 required route-miles.

The FRA said its continues to monitor and meet with individual railroads and groups of railroads, vendors, suppliers and subject matter experts to identify potential solutions where challenges arise.

To view FRA’s infographics summarizing railroads’ progress toward fully implementing PTC systems as of June 30, 2019, visit

The public version of each railroad’s quarterly PTC report can be viewed at

Railroads PTC docket numbers are available at

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