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Rail News: Positive Train Control

AAR: Class Is continue to expand PTC operations

A BNSF engineer monitors consoles linked to the Class I's I-ETMS system.
Photo – BNSF Railway Co.


At 2018's end, Class Is were operating positive train control (PTC) systems across the vast majority of required route miles, according to data released yesterday by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

As of Dec. 31, 83.2 percent of required route miles were PTC-operational, AAR officials said in a press release. The Class Is also had equipped all locomotives, installed all wayside units and radio towers, trained all affected employees and acquired all radio spectrum by that date, AAR data shows.

"With this progress, the Class Is met the 2018 statutory requirements and are well on their way to meeting the final deadline for full implementation and validation — Dec. 31, 2020," AAR officials said. "Over the next two years, the Class Is will focus on testing to ensure that PTC systems are fully interoperable and work seamlessly across operations as railroads regularly run across each other's tracks."

Class Is that met the 2018 deadline stipulations could obtain an additional 24 months from the Federal Railroad Administration to test their systems and ensure interoperability. By Dec. 31, 2018, all Class needed to complete testing and have PTC systems fully implemented across their networks.

Also as of 2018's end, the large roads had invested $10.5 billion in the development, installation and implementation of PTC, and had systems in operation across 44,695 miles of their required 53,732 miles of track, AAR data shows.

"Each day, the freight railroads expand PTC operations, further reducing the risk of accidents on the nation's rail network," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Jefferies. "The railroads' commitment to safety is unwavering, and this industry is proud of its accomplishments in this immense undertaking."

To learn more about Class Is' PTC implementation efforts, read this article from Progressive Railroading's October 2018 issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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