LIRR Commissions Positive Train Control on Four Branches

LIRR Trains
LIRR Trains

Effective Oct. 30, 2019, select trains operating on the Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Oyster Bay, and West Hempstead Branches have begun operating with Positive Train Control, a signal system enhancement that reduces the potential for human error to cause specific types of train collisions and derailments.

The branches have become the latest segments of the LIRR to be operating under Positive Train Control. The system was commissioned on the Port Washington Branch on Dec. 17, 2018. The segment of the Montauk Branch between Babylon and Patchogue received the technology in April, and the Hempstead Branch received it in August.

As a result of this progress, 65 route miles are in PTC operation, or 21.5% of the LIRR’s PTC system.

“The successful and on-time launch of Positive Train Control on these branches continues our forward progress on this critical initiative,” Eng said. “Meeting this milestone reinforces my confidence that we will complete systemwide roll-out of Positive Train Control on time by the end of the 2020.”

Positive Train Control is a federally mandated safety system that is designed to enhance railroad safety by protecting against the potential for human error to contribute to train-to-train collisions, trains traveling into zones where railroad employees are working on tracks, or derailments caused by a train traveling too fast into a curve or into a misaligned switch. It builds upon existing LIRR systems such as in-cab signaling and automatic speed enforcement at critical curves and bridges. These safety measures already offer some of the most substantial functions of PTC to LIRR customers.

For a video explaining how Positive Train Control works, visit the MTA’s YouTube Channel at Searching for the phrase Positive Train Control will bring up a 3-minute video at this link:

The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad are adhering to an aggressive segment-by-segment implementation schedule that puts them on paths to complete the roll-out of PTC across their entire networks before the Federal deadline of Dec. 31, 2020.