The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in the US has certified that the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) railroad’s system-wide signal upgrade has fulfilled all regulatory requirements for Positive Train Control (PTC).

The FRA certification signifies that PATH has achieved formal PTC completion ahead of the federal deadline of 31 December.

A subsidiary of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), PATH is said to be the first railroad system in the region to fulfil the PTC requirements before the deadline.

PTC is a component of Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system designed to improve train safety and passenger security.

It offers automatic emergency braking capabilities on each line to prevent train-to-train collisions and derailments.

“What this will mean in the long term is a safer passenger experience for PATH riders that meet the most rigorous federal safety standards.”

PATH was awarded the FRA certification following extensive testing and review by the agency, ensuring all technical and operational elements of the PTC mandate are met.

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said: “The Port Authority and PATH have worked diligently to ensure that we continue to provide exceptional safety and security for all of our customers.

“What this will mean in the long term is a safer passenger experience for PATH riders that meet the most rigorous federal safety standards.”

The PTC-mandated signal system is now implemented and operational across all PATH lines.

Installation works of the CBTC system are currently underway. Once completed, it will help to determine the train’s exact location, speed and safe braking distance.

The CBTC system will also enable PATH to increase operational frequency of the trains and manage rush-hour congestion.