US-based MTA Metro has completed the installation of the Positive Train Control (PTC) commuter rail safety technology in all trains running on the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).
The completion comes ahead of the federal deadline of 31 December amid Covid-19 challenges.
With PTC, trains can now automatically communicate in real-time with central dispatching offices, exchanging information on train location, speed and the actions of the locomotive engineer.
The system spontaneously takes control if a train is travelling too fast while alerting the engineer.
MTA chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said: “There is no higher priority at the MTA than safety, and full PTC implementation brings our railroad operations to the next level.
“I thank Cathy, Phil and the incredible employees at Metro-North and LIRR who made this happen by the federal deadline in the midst of a global pandemic.
“This technology will prevent future collisions and ultimately help save lives across our more than 500-mile commuter rail systems.”
PTC is designed to reduce the potential for human error that causes rail accidents.
All locomotives, including work and revenue trains, have computers on board.
MTA staff, along with the personnel from Systems Integrator Siemens and Bombardier, worked together in delivering the safety technology.
On 5 December, Long Island Rail Road attained full interoperability with Amtrak, which runs in joint territory between Penn Station and Sunnyside, Queens.
On 3 December, Metro-North activated software on the New Haven Line’s M8 fleet.
The two railroads achieved safety plan approvals from the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) this November.