WASHINGTON – By the end of 2012, Amtrak expects to more than triple the number of track-miles on its own railroad where Positive Train Control (PTC) safety technology is installed as part of an aggressive program begun more than two years ago.
“PTC is the most important rail safety advancement of our time and Amtrak is strongly committed to its expanded use to enhance safety for our passengers, employees and others with whom we share the tracks across our national network,” said President and CEO Joe Boardman.
PTC technology can control train movements to prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments caused by excessive speed and certain human-caused incidents such as misaligned track switches. It also can protect rail workers along the tracks by slowing or stopping trains from entering work zones.
Boardman explained that today Amtrak has a PTC system in operation on approximately 530 track-miles, including on some sections of the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor (NEC) and the entirety of its Michigan Line. By the end of 2012, Amtrak will have installed PTC on an additional 1,200 track-miles which will build-out all remaining Amtrak-owned sections of the NEC and cover the full length of its Keystone Corridor in Pennsylvania. This new territory will be fully functional when the locomotive fleet is PTC-equipped in 2013.
In addition, later this year Amtrak anticipates it will begin installing PTC components in 50 locomotives that will operate on tracks owned by other railroads for use when those railroads install and make operational their own PTC systems.
Boardman stated that Amtrak has long been a leader in the development of PTC and has successfully operated two PTC systems for years. Amtrak also was the first railroad to receive approval from the Federal Railroad Administration for its PTC Implementation Plan under a federal law requiring PTC on most main line tracks by the end of 2015.