Making A Safe Commuter Rail Industry Even Safer
What is PTC?
Known as PTC, Positive Train Control is complex signaling and communications technology that is designed to make rail even safer. This cutting-edge technology has been developed, tested, and installed in rail systems across the country.
Most of PTC can’t be bought “off-the-shelf,” it comes from industry-wide innovation to meet the technical challenges. Many of these components are new technologies being designed and developed for PTC, and railroads must integrate them with their existing systems.
Spotlight On Commuter Rail
Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 242 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and approximately 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates nearly 700 weekday trains, providing nearly 290,000 passenger trips each weekday.
Metrolink has been providing rail transportation to Southern California since 1992. Nearly 12 million passenger trips are taken on Metrolink trains each year on seven routes across a six-county, 538 route-mile network, which includes a portion of northern San Diego County. As a facet of their continuous efforts to adapt and innovate with technology to provide the safest possible form of surface transportation available, Metrolink began implementing and planning to integrate Positive Train Control – known as PTC – on all their tracks in 2008.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is the sixth largest public transportation system in the nation, providing 1.1 million daily passenger trips on a multimodal network that spans 2,200 square miles in Philadelphia and the four surrounding counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, as well as Trenton and West Trenton, New Jersey and Wilmington and Newark, Delaware. SEPTA’s Regional Rail (commuter rail) system consists of a radial network of 13 rail lines and 155 stations that provide service to and from Center City Philadelphia. SEPTA operates 770 weekday Regional Rail trains over 474 track miles. Annual Regional Rail ridership has increased more than 50 percent in the past 20 years.
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