Transit Systems Scramble to Meet 2020 Positive Train Control Deadline

FRA has approved four systems, but other still have work to do

The $71-billion commuter rail industry claims to be running at full throttle to fully implement positive train control (PTC) systems by a 2020 federally mandated deadline, but while officials say all of the nation’s systems have completed hardware and software installations, they admit that many implementation challenges still exist.

PTC systems are being installed to prevent trains from collisions and excessive speeding. The National Transportation Safety Board identified the lack of such systems as a significant safety problem. NTSB blamed track owner Sound Transit for failure to implement PTC on a dangerous curve near DuPont, Wash., where a 2017 Amtrak derailment killed three passengers and injured 57 people.

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