Amtrak: Positive Train Control Fully Operational on Northeast Corridor by End of Year Deadline

Member Robert Sumwalt on the scene of the Amtrak Train #188 Derailment in Philadelphia.
Member Robert Sumwalt on the scene of the Amtrak Train #188 Derailment in Philadelphia. (NTSB Photo)

Positive Train Control (PTC) will be fully operational on the Northeast Corridor by the end of the year, Amtrak re-affirmed today.

Amtrak’s PTC system is currently operational between New Haven, Conn., and Boston, and at points between Washington and New York. PTC has been installed on the rest of the Amtrak owned and operated Northeast Corridor and is scheduled to be operational by the Federal deadline of Dec. 31, Amtrak said.

“Safety must continue to be our highest priority,” Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman said today in his submitted testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Boardman’s testimony comes nearly a month after New York-bound Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 crashed in Philadelphia, killing eight passengers and injuring dozens.

“In no other place is a comparable volume of traffic moved with such a solid record,” Boardman said. “In addition to a thorough training, oversight and coaching system for our crews, we have a layered signal system that provides trains with multiple levels of protection.”

Amtrak last month said it would install inward-facing cameras on its fleet of ACS-64 locomotives in use on the Northeast Corridor.

“This accident once again highlighted the central role the Northeast Corridor plays in moving people along the East Coast,” U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Penn., said in a statement. “The NEC represents just 2 percent of the Nation’s land mass, but 18 percent of the population and 20 percent of GDP.

“Hundreds of thousands of people use the corridor daily to get to work, or travel between some of our largest cities,” said Shuster, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “When the corridor is out for just several days, there is a real and significant impact on people’s lives and the economy.”

Todd DeFeo
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Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.