Seattle metropolitan public transport agency Sound Transit has completed the implementation and certification of Positive Train Control (PTC) on all Sounder trains operating between Lakewood and Everett.
The PTC technology applies brakes and stops train movements in potentially hazardous conditions to increase operational safety.
Implementation was carried out in collaboration with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), the operator of Sounder services.
Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said: “Safety is our most important priority at Sound Transit. Each and every one of our riders must get home or to work safely every time.
“Adding Positive Train Control on all our Sounder trains will help us maintain our impeccable track record.”
The deployed PTC equipment comprises wayside equipment, which is installed on the track and onboard equipment installed on the train, as well as back-office systems deployed at the train operations centre.
Overall, the PTC equipment is completely interoperable with BNSF systems. It will help in determining train location, as well as ensure that train operations comply with the established norms.
Sounder trains operating from Everett to Seattle started PTC testing in June 2017, while trains between Tacoma and Seattle began testing in August 2017.
Currently, Sounder trains serve more than 17,000 commuters on a weekday.
In 2016, local people approved the expansion of the Sounder South service including the introduction of longer trains, a project which is expected to boost system capacity by nearly 40%.
Further investments are also planned to extend the service to Tillicum and DuPont, as well as improve stations.