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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) this month will begin installing vehicle, wayside and communication equipment for its positive train control (PTC) system, agency officials announced earlier this week. The agency is 43 percent complete with the detail design for the wayside and communications equipment system, according to the agency's March 6 PTC update.The MBTA also is 66 percent finished with the design for PTC-related equipment on its vehicles.The agency must install 180 antennas and 4,500 PTC-related transponders, along with 230 miles of fiber optical cable.The MBTA's PTC program includes a contract with Ansaldo Signalling and Transportation Systems and Keolis Commuter Services, which operates the agency's commuter-rail system.The total cost of the agency's PTC program is estimated at $459 million, according to the update.The MBTA anticipates full implementation of positive train control by 2020's end.The federal deadline for implementing the technology is 2018's end, but the Federal Railroad Administration can provide a two-year extension to railroads that meet certain criteria, including the installation of all PTC hardware by the end of 2018.The MBTA has submitted to the FRA an implementation plan that calls for installation of hardware on all commuter-rail lines by 2018's end.Several other railroads — including CN, CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway and Metra — expect to request a deadline extension to 2020, according to the FRA's August 2016 PTC status report.
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