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Rail News: Passenger Rail

NYCT implements automatic train operation on Flushing Line


MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) this week implemented automatic train operation (ATO) on the system’s Flushing Line in Queens, New York. 

ATO allows a train to be programmed to automatically provide optimal acceleration, braking and cruising speeds. This provides more regular and evenly spaced service, as well as smoother, faster trips compared to manual train operation, NYCT officials said in a press release.

Under ATO, train operators continue to instruct the train to depart a station, control emergency braking and maintain a visual on the tracks to ensure they are clear.

Communications-based train control (CBTC) was also introduce on the Flushing Line in December 2018, making the line the second in the system to include both CBTC and ATO technologies. The L line was the first. 

The combination of CBTC and ATO is expected to have a dramatic impact on the line's on-time performance, officials said.

“It’s no coincidence that the two lines with CBTC and ATO have the best performance in the system, and we’re excited about what the future may bring as we explore emerging additional technologies such as ultra-wideband communications, which could revolutionize the way we modernize the system,” said NYCT President Andy Byford.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/10/2019