FRA data show railroads' mixed progress in PTC implementation

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A screen image capture of a Federal Railroad Administration positive train control progress chart.
Federal Railroad Administration website
WASHINGTON — Freight railroads have 45 percent of their route miles under positive train control, while passenger lines have 24 percent of the route miles they own with PTC in operation, according to new data released by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The data come from the latest update of FRA's “dashboard” that tallies railroads' progress through Sept. 30. The agency reported that eight of 37 railroads required to implement PTC by Dec. 31, 2018, have received conditional certification. A total of 41 railroads must meet the deadline that was established by Congress in 2015.

Among the other data points:
•Freight lines have 59 percent of their track segments with PTC installed, compared with 25 percent of passenger railroads.
•68 percent of the freight and 50 percent of the passenger locomotive fleets have been equipped with PTC controls.
•82 percent of freight and 66 percent of passenger railroad employees have been PTC-trained.

BNSF Railway remains a leader among freight railroads in PTC implementation. All employees have been trained, 97 percent of locomotives are PTC-equipped, and PTC is in operation on 89 percent of its route miles.

Among transit systems, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority reports it is 100 percent ready, except its safety plan only has conditional approval.

The FRA reports no progress for some systems, including the Florida East Coast Railway and New Mexico Rail Runner in New Mexico.

The complete dashboard data may be found online.
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