Amtrak to equip 310 locomotives with PTC technology


US-based passenger railroad service provider Amtrak is set to install positive train control (PTC) technology on-board nearly 310 locomotives before the federal deadline for the requirement on 31 December next year.

The PTC technology will be installed on Amtrak-owned diesel locomotives operating on the national Amtrak network and state-sponsored routes across the country's East and Midwest regions.

The technology is effective in preventing train-to-train collisions and excessive speed, as well as other human-errors such as misaligned track switches.

Amtrak Positive Train Control senior manager George Hartman said: “PTC is a set of highly advanced technologies designed to enhance rail transportation safety by automatically stopping a train before certain types of incidents occur.

“We are dedicated to ensuring our locomotives are enabled with this important safety technology.”

Amtrak has also entered an agreement with Rockwell Collins to implement its ARINC RailwayNet service, which is a hosted network, messaging and application platform.

"PTC is a set of highly advanced technologies designed to enhance rail transportation safety by automatically stopping a train before certain types of incidents occur."

The ARINC RailwayNet service has been designed to fulfil the PTC requirements and will enable the Amtrak fleet to interface with other railroads' PTC systems when operating on their tracks.

Rockwell Collins will initialise the Amtrak fleet for operation on 19 railroads as part of the agreement.

Amtrak previously installed the PTC solution on the New York and Washington DC route in December 2015, which represented the completion the technology's installation on most of the Amtrak-owned infrastructure on the Northeast Corridor.

The company also activated PTC on its 104mi Harrisburg Line last year.

Additionally, Amtrak has announced the completion of the infrastructure renewal work at New York Penn Station, which began in July.

The work included the installation of ‘A Interlocking’, the critical sorting mechanism that routes the station's incoming and outgoing trains from the Hudson River tunnel and the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) West Side Yard.