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Rail News: Positive Train Control

Denton County transit agency continues to advance PTC implementation

Revenue service demonstrations with PTC have begun on the 21-mile A-Train line.
Photo – DCTA


The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) is moving closer to having a positive train control (PTC) system certified and implemented on its 21-mile A-train commuter-rail line, the agency announced yesterday.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently approved DCTA's revenue service demonstration (RSD) application and the transit agency now is operating select regularly scheduled trains equipped with PTC. DCTA is the first transit agency in Texas to advance to the RSD phase, authority officials said in a press release.

"PTC is a significant safety upgrade to our system, and we will continue to prioritize this project to ensure our A-train has the highest level of safety technology," said DCTA Chief Executive Officer Raymond Suarez.

DCTA was the first public transit agency in Texas to start PTC testing and ranks in the top third of U.S. public transit agencies in PTC implementation progress, authority officials said. The agency has installed an enhanced automatic train control (ATC) system that uses underlying ATC in conjunction with other enhanced features to achieve the core required functionalities of PTC.

As of 2018's end, DCTA had met the federally mandated deadline to start RSDs for FRA consideration of an alternate schedule request, agency officials said. The DCTA expects the FRA to certify its PTC system by June 2020.

To learn more about other passenger railroads' PTC installation challenges and progress, read this article from Progressive Railroading's October 2018 issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/24/2019