NJ Transit claims 'major milestones' in PTC process

News Wire Digest for July 1: Colorado DOT begins poll on passenger rail; VIA facing huge deficit
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Wednesday morning rail news in brief:

NJ Transit advances PTC process, calls it a milestone

NJ Transit says it has achieved “major PTC milestone achievements” after advancing testing to the Extended Revenue Service Demonstration phase on a 100-mile portion of two lines, and by meeting a deadline to submit a positive train control safety plan. In a press release, the agency says it completed the required 384 error-free test runs on a 17-mile section of the Morristown Line between Denville and Summit, N.J., and will expand the test to the entire Morristown Line, its Gladstone Branch, and the Montclair-Boonton Line. CEO Kevin Corbett called the beginning of the extended demonstration phase “the most significant achievement since we successfully met the December 2018 interim milestone for PTC equipment installation.” NJ.com notes, however, that the commuter agency is responsible for implementing PTC on 317 route-miles, and has just six months left to complete the job. 

Colorado DOT seeks opinions on passenger rail proposal
The Colorado Department of Transportation is seeking public opinion on a long-range plan for passenger rail service along the state’s Front Range. The agency has launched a website seeking input on a proposed 173-mile rail line from Fort Collins to Pueblo, Colo., and will be accepting responses throughout July. Respondents will be asked how often they might use the service, what is most important to influence them to use it (such as travel time or price), and see options for potential routes. The survey is available here.

VIA first-quarter revenue drops by $373,000 per day
VIA Rail Canada is facing a record deficit after revenue has dropped by an average of $373,000 a day during the first quarter of 2020. The Toronto Sun, quoting a paywalled article from the Ottawa news site Blacklock’s Reporter, says revenues for the quarter declined by 40% as the passenger railroad saw its operations severely hampered — first by First Nation blockades that hampered rail movements throughout the country, and then by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Funding levels will not be sufficient to offset the potential deficit,” according to a quarterly management report.


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