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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak to prep diesel locomotives for PTC

Amtrak is preparing to equip 310 locomotives with positive train control (PTC) technology and comply with the federal deadline by Dec. 31, 2018.

The equipment will be installed on Amtrak's diesel locomotives that operate primarily on the national Amtrak network and state-sponsored routes in the East and Midwest, the railroad announced in a press release.

"PTC is a set of highly advanced technologies designed to enhance rail transportation safety by automatically stopping a train before certain types of incidents occur," said George Hartman, Amtrak's senior manager of PTC. “We are dedicated to ensuring our locomotives are enabled with this important safety technology."

In December 2015, Amtrak activated PTC between New York and Washington, D.C., completing installation on most Amtrak-owned infrastructure on the Northeast Corridor. PTC has been installed between Boston and New Haven, Connecticut, since 2000. And Since 2002, PTC has been installed along the 97 miles of Amtrak-owned track in Michigan and Indiana.

Early last year, Amtrak activated PTC on its 104-mile Harrisburg Line.

Amtrak has signed an agreement with Rockwell Collins to implement the company’s ARINC RailwayNet service, a hosted network, messaging and application platform that is designed to meet PTC requirements as mandated by federal law. The service will enable Amtrak's fleet to interface with the PTC systems of other railroads when using their tracks for Amtrak trains.

Under the agreement, Rockwell Collins will initialize the Amtrak fleet to run on 19 different railroads, including commuter and freight routes that host Amtrak services.

"This scope and significance of this agreement is unprecedented — it represents the most extensive support of tenant operations for PTC to date," said Ken Schreder, vice president, strategic programs and surface transportation systems for Rockwell Collins.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/6/2017