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Union Pacific Railroad in the third quarter prepared 31 additional track segments for positive train control (PTC) operations, the Class I announced last week.Other PTC-related accomplishments in the quarter include educating more than 2,800 employees on PTC operation and increasing by 1,700 the number of route miles in PTC operations.As a result of work completed in the quarter, 73 percent of UP's track segments now are prepared for PTC operation, according to a UP press release. Those preparations included equipping the track segments with wayside signals, switches and radios; and defining the GPS coordinates, which identify thousands of precise locations for systemwide PTC coordination.About 43 percent of UP's route miles are now in PTC operation; 79 percent of locomotives and 87 percent of required radio towers are equipped with PTC technology; and 59 percent of UP employees have been trained in PTC operations.UP plans to spend about $300 million on PTC this year toward its current total estimated cost of $2.9 billion. Federal law requires Class Is, Amtrak and commuter railroads to implement PTC on their systems by Dec. 31, 2018. Some railroads under certain circumstances can apply to the Federal Railroad Administration to receive an extension to Dec. 31, 2020.
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