Most Railroads Nearing Positive Train Control Implementation

An automatic braking system for railroads is either in advanced field testing or operational on 98% of the required route miles mandated by Congress, according to a recent assessment by federal regulators.

The Federal Railroad Administration announced May 15 that positive train control technology is on 56,541 route miles of the nearly 58,000 route miles mandated by Congress.

Based on data compiled as of March 31 by FRA, the technology had yet to be activated on about 1,100 route miles. Congress directed railroads to fully implement PTC systems by Dec. 31, a two-year extension of an initial deadline.

Notably, the technology governed operations on the required lines either owned or controlled by freight railroads and other freight host railroads, according to the agency.