A total of 97 percent of commuter rail was either Positive Train Control (PTC) certified, field testing, or conducting revenue service demonstrations as of Dec. 31, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Revenue service demonstration is what the Federal Railroad Administration calls advanced testing on the general rail system.
PTC is a signaling and communications technology designed to increase safety, but most of the components are new and need to be integrated into existing railway systems.
“Safety is a fundamental operating principle and a promise to our riders,” APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said. “For APTA and commuter rail operators, safety is a core value. Riding commuter rail is 18 times safer than driving an auto, and as an industry, we are committed to continuing to be a leader in rider safety by implementing positive train control and making commuter rail even safer.”
Of the 97 percent of railways, 57 percent were PTC certified by Federal Railroad Administration or operating with PTC, 8.4 percent more than during the third quarter of 2019.
An additional 30 percent were in revenue service demonstration, 10 percent were in field testing, and 3 percent were preparing for field testing.
The deadline for full implementing PTC control is December 2020.