The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in the US has secured approval for its application to extend the deadline for Positive Train Control (PTC) system implementation.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has extended the deadline to December 2020, which will enable the agency to complete the pending works.

In September last year, MBTA formally submitted an application seeking an extension to implement the PTC system across its network. The agency also submitted a revised schedule and sequence for implementation in November 2018.

PTC technology is a federally mandated safety control system that reduces train speed during potential hazards, as well as helping to prevent train collisions and human error.

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“The alternative schedule is a major milestone that will ensure we can continue building on the progress we’ve made to implement PTC.”

Currently, PTC implementation works across the MBTA Commuter Rail network and is in various stages of completion.

MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said: “Positive Train Control is without question the most significant investment we are making to upgrade the safety of our Commuter Rail system.

“Thanks to our partners at the FRA, the alternative schedule is a major milestone that will ensure we can continue building on the progress we’ve made to implement PTC.”

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In order to submit a request for an extension, MBTA was required to complete all necessary work, including completion of wayside equipment installation and deployment of the PTC Configuration Management System.

It has also installed onboard equipment on the commuter rail fleet’s locomotives and control cars, provided PTC training to Keolis personnel and conducted field qualification testing on the Stoughton Pilot Line.

A division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), MBTA provides subway, commuter rail, bus and ferry services to eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.