In 2008, Congress required Class I railroad main lines handling poisonous-inhalation-hazard materials and any railroad main lines with regularly scheduled intercity and commuter rail passenger service to fully implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by December 31, 2015. PTC uses communication-based/processor-based train control technology that provides a system capable of reliably and functionally preventing train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a main line switch in the wrong position.
In late 2015, Congress extended the deadline by at least three years to December 31, 2018, with the possibility for two additional years if certain requirements are met. The new legislation, the PTC Enforcement and Implementation Act, required that railroads submit a revised PTC Implementation Plan (PTCIP) by January 26, 2016, outlining when and how the railroad would have a system fully installed and activated.
FRA continues to support railroads in implementing PTC, as well as rail carriers that are continuing to voluntarily implement PTC. That assistance includes:
PTC Document Submission: Railroads meeting the requirements for PTC implementation must submit for FRA approval various PTC-related documents. Those documents are available on www.regulations.gov under each railroad's PTC docket number.
For resources related to PTC grants, please visit Railroad Safety Technology Grants.
To view detailed information, click on the timeline to enlarge.
The graphic below displays a summary of when each railroad is targeted to complete its PTC implementation, as reported in the railroad’s revised PTC Implementation Plan.
The graphic below is a summary of current PTC implementation status broken down by major installation categories, as reported in each railroad’s quarterly update on PTC implementation progress.
The graphic below provides a summary of current overall PTC implementation status collectively by freight and passenger railroads.
To view current PTC implementation status for a specific railroad, see PTC implementation status by railroad.
For additional detail on PTC technology, visit PTC system information.