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Rail News: Positive Train Control

Metra starts PTC service demos on Rock Island line

PTC might be fully implemented on the Rock Island line by January.
Photo – Metra


Metra recently launched revenue service demonstrations (RSDs) of its positive train control (PTC) system on the Rock Island District Line, which runs southwest from Chicago to Joliet, Illinois.

The RSDs are the final stage before PTC is fully implemented along the route. The demonstrations involve operating some trains in regular service with PTC engaged to determine if the system is working as intended.

Metra has developed a new Rock Island District Line schedule with the expectation that the RSDs will prove successful and PTC can be fully installed on the line in January 2019, agency officials said in a press release.

“We do not anticipate any major [service] delays due to PTC while it is being demonstrated and after it is fully implemented,” they said. “But because PTC is an incredibly complex system that involves numerous components … that must constantly communicate with each other, and because it is a new system for our engineers and maintainers to learn, it would be unrealistic to promise that there will not be minor glitches and minor delays, particularly in the early days of implementation.”

Metra is installing an I-ETMS PTC system developed by Wabtec Corp. The transit agency plans to seek Federal Railroad Administration approval to gain two more years beyond 2018 to complete implementation.

For more information about Metra’s and other railroads’ efforts to adopt PTC by the federally mandated deadline, read this article from Progressive Railroading’s October issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/31/2018