Progressive Railroading

Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Positive Train Control


Rail News: Positive Train Control

Metrolink launches PTC system on BNSF track


Metrolink launched its positive train control (PTC) system in a revenue service demonstration yesterday under the authority of BNSF Railway Co.

Metrolink now has become the first U.S. commuter railroad to implement the I-ETMS® interoperable predictive collision-avoidance technology, Metrolink officials said in a press release.

Among those attending the demonstration at Los Angeles' Union Station were U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), California State Transportation Agency Deputy Secretary Chad Edison, California High Speed Rail Authority Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morales, Metrolink Chairman Pat Morris and former Metrolink Chair Richard Katz, along with representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and BNSF.

Metrolink now has the ability to implement PTC on specific trains, agency officials said. The FRA has authorized Metrolink to operate PTC RSD on BNSF territory using Wabtec's Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS). Wabtec's system was selected by four Class Is and by Amtrak outside of the Northeast Corridor, as well as Metra and Coaster, Metrolink officials said.

I-ETMS will be implemented on select trains on the Metrolink 91 Line between Riverside-Downtown and just east of Union Station; Orange County Line between Fullerton and just east of Union Station; and Inland Empire-Orange County Line between San Bernardino and just east of Anaheim Canyon.

PTC is one of the National Transportation Safety Board's top 10 most-wanted transportation safety improvements. It involves a GPS-based technology capable of preventing train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, unauthorized incursion into work zones and train movement through switches left in the wrong position.

Yesterday, Metrolink operated PTC RSD on Orange County Line train 686, while the first revenue service train to tap the technology was 91 Line train 700 on Monday morning. Metrolink will implement additional trains into PTC RSD in the coming weeks and months, agency officials said.

As part of its 512-mile system, Metrolink also operates on track owned and dispatched by Union Pacific Railroad and the North County Transportation District (NCTD). Metrolink, BNSF, UP and NCTD and Amtrak will need to install and implement an interoperable system for PTC to operate in the region.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/21/2014