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Rail News Home Communication and Signal

12/23/2008



Rail News: Communication and Signal

FRA on path to develop PTC rules by first part of next year


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is in the midst of developing rules to govern how railroads implement positive train control (PTC) systems.

The rules are the agency’s first step in specifying how PTC systems should function and how the FRA will assess a railroad’s implementation plan prior to a system becoming operational. The FRA already is working with its Railroad Safety Advisory Committee to identify key issues. The committee will release its recommendations to the administration by April 2009.

“We are acting quickly and without delay because railroads will need guidance on how to create plans to deploy PTC systems by the end of 2015,” said FRA Acting Administrator Clifford Eby in a prepared statement, referring to an implementation deadline mandated by the rail safety law.

By April 2010, major freight railroads, and intercity and commuter-rail operators must submit their PTC implementation plans to the FRA.

The administration also is coordinating efforts with the Federal Communications Commission to make available a sufficient amount of radio frequency spectrum for PTC systems, which send and receive a constant stream of wireless signals about freight and passenger train locations and speed. In addition, the FRA is working closely with BNSF Railway Co., Metrolink and Union Pacific Railroad to accelerate the deployment of PTC in the Los Angeles area by 2012’s end.

For more information on Class Is’ and passenger railroads’ PTC implementation efforts, see Progressive Railroading’s December issue, page 42, or click on this link.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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