Amtrak is partnering with BNSF Railway Co to deploy its Positive Train Control (PTC) system on several BNSF-owned subdivisions, marking the first activation on host-owned territory used by Amtrak.

The subdivisions serving Amtrak’s Southwest Chief and California Zephyr will initially introduce the new technology, while full activation on BNSF routes is scheduled to happen by the end of August this year.

Operating under the name Amtrak, The National Railroad Passenger Corporation is a passenger railroad service that offers medium and long-distance intercity service in the US and to three Canadian cities.

BNSF network control systems assistant vice president Chris Matthews said: “This is a great step for Amtrak. We have the infrastructure in place that allows them to operate on our network.

“We have partnered with them on the federal mandate and in some cases beyond the federal mandate to install PTC on subdivisions not required of BNSF. We look forward to continuing that partnership as they roll-out PTC along our routes.”

“We have partnered with them on the federal mandate and in some cases beyond the federal mandate to install PTC on subdivisions not required of BNSF.”

Amtrak said it is working to achieve the installation and operation of PTC across the network it controls by the end of this year. The company is collaborating with partners throughout the industry to advance this system on host infrastructure.

All carriers will legally qualify for an alternative PTC implementation schedule where PTC is not implemented and operational.

Amtrak is performing risk analyses and developing strategies for the carriers and routes that are operating under an extension or under an FRA-approved exemption. It will enable the company to improve safety on a route-by-route basis and ensure that there is a single level of safety across the Amtrak network by 1 January 2019.

In the case of some limited routes, where a host may not be able to achieve another schedule by the end of the year, Amtrak said it will postpone service and try to find alternative modes of service until such routes come into compliance.

Amtrak is also collaborating with tenant railroads that operate over its infrastructure to ensure that they have sufficient PTC-commissioned rolling stock to operate normal services.