Posts Tagged ‘Positive train control’

FRA Reports PTC Progress

March 20, 2017

A Federal Railroad Administration report released last week said that positive train control has been installed and is active on 16 percent of freight railroads and 24 percent of passenger railroads.

That is an increase from 16 percent on freight railroads and 23 percent of passenger railroads in the third quarter of 2016.

The FRA said that 41 percent of passenger railroad locomotives are fully equipped with PTC technology, compared with 29 percent in the third quarter.

The percentage of freight railroad locomotives equipped with PTC rose to 42 percent compared with 38 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

The railroad industry faces a Dec. 31, 2018, deadline to install and implement PTC.

Commuter Rails 23% PTC Compliant

February 23, 2017

The American Public Transportation Association said this week that U.S. commuter railroads are on schedule to meet the December 2018 deadline for implementing positive train control systems.

APTAAPTA said that at the end of 2016 that PTC had been installed on 3,150 route miles (23 percent) of commuter-rail track.

Last November APTA said 22 percent of the nation’s commuter railroad track had PTC.

Thirty percent of the locomotive and cab cars of commuter railroads had received a PTC installation and 70 percent of the radio spectrum needed for PTC had been acquired.

In a news release, APTA said that funding remains a critical concern for commuter-rail agencies because PTC installations are expected to cost $3.5 billion.

APTA said that although Congress has authorized $199 million for PTC implementation it hasn’t appropriated the funds.

FRA Says PTC Progress is Uneven

November 29, 2016

Progress toward the implementation of positive train control has been uneven, the Federal Railroad Administration said in a report based on third quarter 2016 information submitted by railroads.

FRAThe FRA said PTC is active on 12 percent of freight railroad lines, an increase from 9 percent in the second quarter.

Passenger railroads increased their percentage to 23 percent this quarter compared to 22 percent last quarter.

In a news release, the FRA said the greatest progress has occurred on the West Coast. East Coast railroads, other than SEPTA and Amtrak, have remained relatively stagnant.

APTA Says Commuter Railroads on Schedule to Meet PTC Deadline in Late 2018

November 17, 2016

The American Public Transportation Association said that commuter railroads are on schedule to meet the federally-mandated 2018 deadline to implement positive train control.

aptaAPTA said that 22 percent of the 3,150 route miles of commuter rail in the country are in service with the technology or are in full PTC demonstration and awaiting Federal Railroad Administration approval.

An APTA survey found that 27 percent of the 3,400 locomotives and cab cars have been equipped with PTC hardware, while 70 percent of the required radio spectrum has been acquired.

The railroad industry faces a deadline of the end of 2018 to install PTC on lines that handle passenger service and hazardous freight.

In a news release, APTA said that funding for PTC remains a critical concern.

PTC implementation is expected to cost the commuter-rail industry more than $3.5 billion, including more than $16 million in spectrum acquisition and $100 million annually in additional maintenance costs.

Through October, commuter railroads had spent more than $1.5 billion on the technology.

South Shore Says it Will Meet PTC Deadline

October 26, 2016

The South Shore commuter line expects to complete the installation of positive train control within two years.

South Shore logoPassenger railroads are facing a Dec. 31, 2018, deadline to have PTC installed and operational. The Federal Railroad Administration has said that deadline won’t be pushed back again as it was last year.

“Our intention is to meet that deadline,” said South Shore President Michael Noland.

Noland said the South Shore, which operates between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana, has borrowed $100 million to pay for PTC and will be paying off that debt for the next 20 years.

About $80 million of that bond issue is for a contract with Parsons Transportation Group, which also will be installing PTC on Metra trains in Chicago.

The South Shore said it will begin installing PTC equipment in its 72 power cars in an addition that it is building at its Michigan City shops.

Amtrak OIG Urges Budgeting for PTC

October 22, 2016

Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General is urging the passenger carriers to budget for the installation of positive train control.

Amtrak logoIn a report, the OIG, said that although Amtrak has has made strides in implementing automated braking technology, it still has several tasks to complete before it reaches full implementation before the end of the federally-mandated deadline of 2018

The report said Amtrak still needs to complete 33 percent of its planned trackside installations, submit a safety plan to the Federal Railroad Administration, resolve potential radio frequency spectrum issues and install onboard systems in its locomotives.

The OIG report said Amtrak has not properly accounted for the full cost of PTC technology. Those costs may be “millions more than is currently budgeted.”

Amtrak had spent about $183 million on PTC implementation through June 30 and plans to spend about another $35 million through 2018.

But those estimates are “incomplete” and don’t include other potential contingency costs, the OIG report concluded.

The OIG encouraged Amtrak to update its costs estimates in order to ensure that sufficient funds are available for the project and to enhance project schedules to better track the completion of key events and remaining tasks and clarify the roles of managers who are responsible for PTC implementation.

The report said that Amtrak management agreed with all three recommendations.

Wabtec to Provide PTC to TRRA

May 25, 2016

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec will provide its I-ETMS (Interoperable Electronic Train Management System) to the Terminal Railroad of St. Louis.

WabtecThe equipment will be installed in 17 locomotives; in wayside and communications design, construction and training; and in system integration. Installation is expected to be finished in 2018.

TRRA owns and operates about 155 miles of track, with about 45 miles of main line track on four subdivisions: Merchants, Illinois Transfer, MacArthur Bridge, and Eads. The remaining 110 miles consists of various industrial leads and yard tracks.

TRRA’s positive train control system system will be fully interoperable with the PTC system being implemented by Class I railroads and Amtrak.

The scope of our work on this project demonstrates the wide-ranging and increasing roles that Wabtec can play in the implementation of PTC for our customers,” said Wabtec President and CEO Raymond T. Betler in a statement. “We plan to continue to invest in this important segment of our business, in the U.S. and internationally.”

Wabtec To Provide PTC to South Shore

April 17, 2016

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District has reached a $30 million contract with Wabtec Corporation to provide a positive train control system for the South Shore Line between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana.

South Shore logoThe Pittsburgh area based Wabtec said that Parsons Transportation Group will serve as the system integrator.

Wabtec said the PTC installed on the South Shore, which is expected to be completed in 2018, will be fully interoperable with Metra’s PTC system.

Amtrak Turns on PTC in Pennsylvania

March 18, 2016

A positive train control system has been activated by Amtrak between Harrisburg and Parkesburg, Pennsylvania, on the Keystone Line.

Amtrak logoWorkers are expected to turn on the PTC system, known as  advanced civil speed enforcement system positive train control system, this weekend between Park and Paoli.

The ACSES system is already fully functional on the Northeast Corridor between New York and Washington.

Trains magazine reported that the PTC system is expected to be completely active on the Keystone Line to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia by late this month.

Railroads Discuss PTC Plans in Erie Region

February 8, 2016

As the conversation continues as to when railroads will finish installing and turning on positive train control, an Erie, Pennsylvania, newspaper has given a glimpse of how progress is going or not going in northwest Pennsylvania.

The Erie Times-News said Norfolk Southern plans to build 16 wireless communication towers along about 45 miles of track in Erie County that will be used to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains to avoid a collision.

PTCNS plans to build PTC towers in Erie and Girard and the townships of Springfield, Girard, Fairview, Millcreek, Lawrence Park, Harborcreek and North East

The Erie PTC tower will be constructed west of the Cascade Street and Downing Avenue intersections.

A CSX spokesman told the newspaper that his railroad has not yet determined where PTC towers will be built in the Erie region.

“We haven’t yet completed engineering studies in the Erie area to determine if we will need additional radio towers,” said Rob Doolittle. “We have some radio towers in place that we use for the PTC system, too, whenever possible.”

A Canadian National spokesman said his railroad has not proposed any local sites for PTC towers on the former Bessemer & Lake Erie.

CN, CSX and NS recently said they won’t be able to implement their PTC systems systemwide by the 2018 deadline, but indicated they expected to be finished by 2020.