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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) yesterday released a status report on freight and passenger railroads' targeted timelines for full implementation of positive train control (PTC) technology.The timeframe extends from 2016 through 2020. Late last year, Congress extended its original deadline from Dec. 31, 2015, to the end of 2018 to implement PTC safety technology. Under certain circumstances, railroads will be given until 2020 to comply. Railroads were required to report to the FRA of their PTC plans last week. According to the FRA, three Class Is and four passenger railroads indicated they won't have their PTC systems fully deployed and operating until after 2018. Those Class Is are CN, CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway, which indicated they will complete full PTC implementation in 2020. The four passenger railroads are Trinity Railway Express, with full implementation anticipated in 2019; and Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, Metra in Chicago and Central Florida Rail Corridor (SunRail), all in 2020.The Association of American Railroads (AAR) declined to comment on individual implementation plans of individual railroads, but issued a statement that said deploying PTC technology will be a critical focus for the rail industry this year."The freight rail industry continues to work all out on PTC testing and installation and to move this complex safety system from concept to nationwide reality on roughly 60,000 miles of track as quickly as possible," said AAR spokesman Ed Greenberg. "The PTC technology being installed is revolutionary and is a full-time focus of the nation’s freight railroads, their employees, manufacturers, software designers and safety experts.”
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