PTC stalls Tri-Rail move to MiamiCentral station

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A Miami-bound Tri-Rail commuter train departs the Boynton Beach station in January 2017. Tri-Rail service to Virgin Train USA's MiamiCentral station is being delayed because of positive train control issues.
TRAINS: David Lassen

MIAMI — Positive train control issues will delay Miami’s Tri-Rail commuter service from starting operations at Virgin Trains USA’s MiamiCentral station before the end of the year, as had been anticipated.

Miami Today reports that Virgin Trains host and parent Florida East Coast Railway is still awaiting government certification for its PTC system, and that Tri-Rail can’t apply to become a tenant on the FEC tracks until after that certification is approved. Tri-Rail’s PTC is not compatible with the FEC system, so Tri-Rail must install compatible equipment on its locomotives and trackside.

Tri-Rail is investing $70 million to establish its service to the downtown MiamiCentral station, a project involving 26 trains and 9 miles of new infrastructure. Projections are that the service to downtown will draw an extra 1,000 passengers on the first day of service alone, Florida Today reports. Tri-Rail’s Miami terminal is currently at Miami International Airport, almost 5 miles from MiamiCentral’s downtown location.

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