FRA issues final rule on positive train control

January 14, 2010

Rail transportation officials on Jan. 12 announced a final rule (.pdf file) that would require positive train control technology to be installed on all major rail lines, as well as commuter and inter-city passenger rail routes.

According to a press release, Federal Railroad Administration officials say PTC will help avert train-to-train collisions, derailments caused by excessive speed, accidents caused by human error or misaligned switches, and harm to roadway workers. The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 already mandates interoperable PTC systems be fully instituted by the end of 2015. PTC and other rail control systems now are mandatory for most passenger rail operations and trains hauling certain hazardous materials, but officials said they are not required for closed passenger rail systems, such as light rail, rapid transit and subways.