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Kansas City Southern next week plans to begin positive train control (PTC) field integration testing, a series of tests that aim to validate the safety of PTC technology and hardware prior to full implementation.The railroad's PTC team will begin the testing Feb. 29 at the New Orleans Subdivision, KCS officials said in a news release. The team is wrapping up one phase of the verification and validation (V&V) testing of the route, speed, critical feature locations and configuration of PTC wayside devices within the subdivision file by the geographic information systems and signal teams. To date, V&V testing has been conducted with hi-rail vehicles, KCS said.PTC is designed to automatically stop a train if it exceeds certain operating parameters. Congress has required that major railroads must implement the technology by the end of 2018 or, under some certain circumstances, by 2020.Railroads were required to submit their PTC implementation plans to the Federal Railroad Administration by Jan. 27. In its plan, KCS indicated that it intends to request the additional two-year extension to 2020.