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Rail News: Positive Train Control

FRA issues final rule on PTC implementation


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a final rule on positive train control (PTC) systems that amends certain Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 regulations.

Published in today's Federal Register, the final rule revises and enhances regulations governing freight and passenger railroads' implementation of PTC on certain mainlines. Under federal law, the railroads are required to install PTC systems on their lines by Dec. 31, 2015.

To take effect Oct. 21, the final rule:
• revises an existing regulatory exception to the requirement to install a PTC system for
track segments carrying freight only that present a "de minimis" safety risk, meaning a general de minimis exception to the requirement to implement a PTC system on a given
track segment;
• adds a new exception for PTC-unequipped freight trains associated with certain freight yard operations to operate within PTC systems;
• revises the existing regulations related to en route failures of a PTC system;
• adds new provisions related to other failures of a PTC system;
• amends the regulations on applications for approval of certain modifications of signal and train-control systems; and
• makes technical amendments to the FRA’s other signal and train-control regulations and regulations governing grade crossing warning systems.

For more information on the final rule, follow this link to access the FRA's Federal Register posting.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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