Virginia Railway Express (VRE), a commuter rail service in the US, has completed the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on its trains.

PTC technology is devised to control train speeds and movements automatically to increase operational safety.

VRE completed the implementation of PTC in collaboration with its host railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Under the programme, VRE installed PTC technology on its 20 locomotives and 21 cab control cars, integrated it with a back-office system, and provided necessary training to its employees.

“The implementation of PTC takes system safety to the next level and continues our commitment to providing the safest environment.”

The two railroads were responsible for deploying compatible equipment across their systems, as well as on the 90 miles of VRE-operated railway tracks.

VRE CEO Doug Allen said: “Safety is always our top priority at VRE. The implementation of PTC takes system safety to the next level and continues our commitment to providing the safest environment for riders, railroad workers and the general public.”

The PTC implementation is estimated to have cost VRE around $15m.

The deadline to complete the programme was 31 December last year, however, VRE applied for an extension to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The request was approved by the FRA after VRE fulfilled all statutory requirements necessary to qualify for the extension.

VRE is the 12th largest commuter rail service in the country operating the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines.

It is owned by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

The railroad provides around 4.5 million rides annually in Northern Virginia and Washington DC.