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Rail News: Positive Train Control

South Florida RTA to start PTC revenue service demos at Tri-Rail

Tri-Rail will test PTC on its corridor between West Palm Beach and Miami.
Photo – Tri-Rail


The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) yesterday announced the Federal Railroad Administration approved its plan to test Tri-Rail trains equipped with positive train control (PTC) during regularly scheduled revenue service.

On June 29, SFRTA plans to launch revenue service demonstrations on the entire commuter-rail corridor between West Palm Beach and Miami.

"This is a key milestone in moving closer to having PTC technology certified and implemented on the South Florida Rail Corridor," authority officials said in a press release. "Revenue trains will be incrementally added in the demonstration phase until the entire fleet is operating with PTC systems."

SFRTA officials don’t anticipate any major service delays while PTC is demonstrated or after it’s fully implemented at Tri-Rail. However, since PTC is "an incredibly complex system" that the authority's engineers and maintainers are trying to learn, the potential exists for minor glitches and minor delays, particularly in the early days of implementation, SFRTA officials said.

"PTC is a significant safety upgrade to our system, and we will continue to prioritize this project to ensure our train operations have the highest level of safety technology,” said Executive Director Steven Abrams.

For more information about PTC implementation at Tri-Rail, as well as the rapid growth of passenger-rail services in Florida, read the cover story in Progressive Railroading's June issue.