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 of an extension to a date no later than December 31, 2020, if a railroad completes certain statutory requirements that are necessary to obtain an extension. The legislation, the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015, required that railroads submit a revised PTC Implementation Plan (PTCIP) by January 27, 2016, outlining when and how the railroad would have a system fully installed and activated.
FRA continues to support railroads in implementing 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 the progress each railroad has made towards meeting the statutory criteria to obtain FRA's approval of a limited deadline extension to a date no later than December 31, 2020.
For more information on a specific railroad’s progress toward PTC implementation, see their PTC Progress Reports.
The graphic below is a summary of current PTC implementation status broken down by major implementation 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.