September 07, 2017

Amtrak’s diesel fleet to meet PTC deadline

Written by  William Vantuono
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AMTRAK has confirmed that it will equip approximately 310 diesel-electric locomotives with Positive Train Control (PTC) technology by the December 31 2018 federal deadline.

To achieve this objective, Amtrak has signed an agreement with Rockwell Collins to implement the company's ARINC RailwayNet service, a hosted network, messaging and application platform designed to meet PTC requirements.

RailwayNet will allow Amtrak's national diesel-electric locomotive fleet to interface with the PTC systems of host railways, and under the agreement, Rockwell Collins will initialise the fleet to operate on 19 railways. This encompasses both commuter and freight lines which host Amtrak services, including state-sponsored routes in the east and midwest.

Amtrak is progressing well with PTC implementation. In December 2015, Amtrak activated Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES), its version of PTC for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between New York and Washington, DC. ACSES has been operational on the NEC's northern-most section, between Boston and New Haven, Connecticut, since 2000.

Incremental Train Control System (ITCS), another version of PTC, has been operational since 2002 along 156km of Amtrak-owned right-of-way in Michigan and Indiana on the Chicago - Detroit corridor. In early 2016, Amtrak activated ACSES on the 167km Philadelphia - Harrisburg line, an extension of the NEC.

“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,” says Amtrak senior manager of PTC, Mr George Hartman. “We are dedicated to ensuring our locomotives are enabled with this important safety technology.”

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